It has been quite a season for Manchester United and West Ham United as the both team clash at Upton Park on Sunday, Louis Van Gaal and Sam Allardyce would remind their troops of what is the distinct possibility for their side this season.
West Ham have faced a slight dip in their form recently, winning just 1 game out if their last 6 league games. Sam Allardyce is having to constantly change the make-up of his side with defensive injuries and players missing due to International duties. Allardyce would hope for his key men Alex Song and Stewart Downing to find their early season form.
Manchester United would look to further enhance their claim for the Champions League spot. United fans would remember Wayne Rooney’s superb goal against West Ham from the half-way line earlier in the season. Rooney will be the key man for Man United yet again even if played in the mid-field by Louis Van Gaal.
Van Gaal’s philosophy of playing three at the back will be out for judgment yet again but signs have been there United’s 3-men defence is starting to gel with Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones giving United fans some assurance over the tactics.
West Ham have often been the side who have upset Manchester United, especially at Upton Park. Van Gaal would hope he does not have to suffer similar fate against West Ham at Upton Park what his managers before him at Manchester United have experience.
Sam Allardyce has defensive injury crisis ahead of the visit of Manchester United on Sunday.
Sam Allardyce will have just one fit centre-back with Winston Reid and James Collins ruled out with hamstring injuries. Allardyce would hope Cheikhou Kouyate to provide some defensive having recovered from an ankle problem
Biggest miss for the West Ham side would be the injury to Andy Carroll. Carroll picked up the injury in the loss against Liverpool and will miss the game against Manchester United.
Manchester United are thankful for their lack of injuries now-a-days. Only Michael Carrick remains United’s only injury concern ahead of the West Ham game. Carrick has a calf strain which has kept the 33-year old player out of action for two weeks now.
Defender Jonny Evans and winger Ashley Young returned to action after injuries in Tuesday’s replay victory over Cambridge at Old Trafford.
Alex Song vs Daley Blind
Arguably each side’s best player from the mid-field this season. Song has settled in to West Ham’s style of play and provided West Ham with the much needed stability which has allowed Mark Noble to go further up front and support the attackers.
Daley Blind has been the true link between United’s defence and attack. Blind goes about his play in the simplest and the most effective. Blind looks to control United’s play with simple passes.
Gary Neville had asked Daley Blind to start passing more balls forward which was on show against Leicester with a super chipped assist to Robin Van Persie. Blind is understood to be Van Gaal’s mind on the pitch and the executor of Van Gaal’s plans.
Wayne Rooney has scored 10 goals in his last nine Barclays Premier League games against West Ham and Robin van Persie has scored in each of his last five, netting a total of six goals in that run.
Manchester United have won 11 and lost none of their last 12 Premier League matches against West Ham.
Manchester United have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League games away in the capital (W12 D7 L1).
The Hammers have scored more goals (10) than any other team in the Premier League in the 15 minutes just after half time.
Only Chelsea (8) have scored more goals from corners than West Ham this season (7).
Predicted Line Ups
West Ham (4-3-1-2) – Adrian, O’Brien, Tomkins, Jenkisnon, Creswal, Noble, Song, Nolan, Downing, Sakho, Valencia
Manchester United (4-1-2-1-2) – De Gea, McNair, Rojo, jones, Shaw, Blind, Rooney, Di Maria, Mata, Van Persie, Falcao
Sam Allardyce has never given easy game to Manchester United and I expect it to be no different this Sunday when West Ham welcome Manchester United at Upton Park. Van Gaal has demanded his United players to win in the decisive week for his players.
I see Manchester United’s focus the stronger of the two sides and with West Ham currently dealing with Sakho’s fine and Carroll’s injury I see Manchester United win this all important game and make a push for the Top 4 place in the league.
Predicted score line – West Ham 0 Manchester United 1
Betting Odds –
West Ham United – 4.20; Draw – 3.60; Manchester United – 1.95
Stats Credits: Opta