With an impossible quadruple still mathematically possible, Manchester United has had little time to enjoy their longest trophy drought since the 1980s after winning the Carabao Cup. Instead, they are focusing on moving forward in the FA Cup. Together with José Mourinho, Erik ten Hag is only the second manager in club history to win a significant trophy in his first season, but he’s not content to sit back and enjoy the success, saying he’s “at the start of returning Man Utd to where it belongs.”
Old Trafford will undoubtedly receive a hero’s welcome, and the Red Devils have proven this season that home is where the heart is because they have gone 18 games without losing there (W16, D2). Man United has scored at least twice in each of the last 13 games in that run, a record that will give their fans confidence since they have only lost one home head-to-head match since 2007. (W15, D3).
But, that loss did occur in a cup match in 2021, which may offer West Ham optimism of defying the odds and making it to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2015–16 season. On that occasion, Manchester United eliminated them, and Hammers boss David Moyes has had trouble in the past while visiting Old Trafford; in his managing career, he has only managed to secure one away victory over his previous employers.
West Ham has struggled with travel sickness this season, but perhaps some solace can be found in the fact that their only victories on the road in 2023 have come in the FA Cup (W2, D2, L2). The pressure-relieving 4-0 home win against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League over the weekend helped to allay rising fears of relegation, so they did at least gain some momentum going into their most recent task.
Watch out for Marcus Rashford, who is currently one of the best players in the world of football and who also enjoys playing against the Hammers. He has faced them in a career-high ten head-to-head matches while also scoring ten goals, one of which came during their 2015–16 FA Cup quarterfinal encounter. Danny Ings will be attempting to score his first goal against the Red Devils since February 2015 after opening his West Ham account at the weekend.
Christian Eriksen (ankle) and Donny van de Beek (knee) will both be out for Manchester United due to injury, and Anthony Martial (hip) is questionable for Wednesday’s game.
Given their hectic schedule of games, Ten Hag may want to switch up his starting lineup. In goal, Tom Heaton and Jack Butland will compete for the starting job, and Tyrell Malacia, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, and Victor Lindelof may all be called upon to fill in.
Should Ten Hag decide to rest midfielders Casemiro and Fred, Marcel Sabitzer and Scott McTominay are both available, although Fernandes is likely to keep his spot in an advanced midfield position.
Rashford, who has recently scored the game-winning goal in Man United’s previous two home victories over West Ham (both 1-0), may stay on the left wing, while Alejandro Garnacho may get the nod, and Jadon Sancho will try to take Antony’s place on the right side of attack.
Kurt Zouma and Maxwel Cornet have resumed training for West Ham after missing time due to thigh and calf ailments, respectively. Moyes will be hoping the pair can quickly be reintegrated into the first squad.
Both Vladimir Coufal (heel) and Lukasz Fabianski (eye socket) had to leave the victory over Forest because of injuries, and neither player is expected to play on Wednesday.
Coufal’s potential absence is likely to result in Ben Johnson moving to right back and either Emerson Palmieri or Aaron Cresswell being recalled to the other side of the defense. Alphonse Areola is anticipated to start in goal regardless of whether Fabianski is available.
Due to his prior participation on behalf of Aston Villa in this season’s FA Cup, Hammers striker Ings is ineligible, hence Antonio or Gianluca Scamacca are likely to start up front, with Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma assisting in attack.
Heaton; Wan-Bissaka; Lindelof; Maguire; Malacia; Casemiro; Sabitzer; Sancho; Fernandes; Rashford; Weghorst are likely starters for Manchester United.
Areola, Johnson, Kehrer, Aguerd, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Paqueta, Benrahma, Antonio, and Bowen might be the starting lineup for West Ham United.
We predict: Manchester United 2-0 West Ham United
Both clubs enter Wednesday’s match on a high after winning last weekend, but Man United has the momentum and will be considered the heavy favorites to win, even if Ten Hag decides to rest some of his usual starters.
We predict the Red Devils to easily win this match in front of a joyous Old Trafford crowd, securing their spot in the quarterfinals. The last six encounters between these two clubs have all been won by a single goal.