On Sunday night, a crucial Premier League match between two clubs in need of points but for very different reasons will take place, with Manchester United traveling to West Ham United.
West Ham is in 15th position, just four points above the relegation zone, while Man United is now fourth in the Premier League table, only four points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool.
With only four points separating West Ham from the relegation zone going into this round, a sequence of three straight losses threatens to bring the Hammers back into the Premier League (PL) relegation battle. The 3-0 loss at Manchester City, their most recent defeat, came as no great surprise to manager David Moyes, who felt his team had “defended very well” despite the heavy loss.
As Moyes attempts to end a three game league losing streak at the London Stadium (D1, L2), he is now focused on the opposite half of the city and his former club, Manchester United. With the exception of a 1-0 EFL Cup victory at Old Trafford in September 2021, Moyes has only won five of his 36 head to head matches against the Red Devils (D7, L24), ended by a run of seven straight losses while managing West Ham.
United, who won it this year, is fighting to go back into the UEFA Champions League, but their hold on a top four berth was weakened after a 1-0 loss to Brighton on Thursday. Erik ten Hag’s team was defeated by a 99th minute penalty, the latest goal they have ever given up in the Premier League. Following that loss, Ten Hag urged his team to play with more precision, but this has been a problem for them all year as they had scored the fewest goals of any team in the top seven entering the round (49).
The Red Devils’ loss exacerbated a persistent problem this season on the road, as they have only won one of their previous five league away games (D1, L3) and earned only 24 of their 63 Premier League points away from Old Trafford. Although a porous defense that has allowed 80% of their Premier League goals on the road is likely to blame, United’s commanding overall H2H record in the PL era (W33, D13, L7) should give them confidence going into West Ham.
When West Ham scores at least twice in ten of Michail Antonio’s 11 goal-scoring appearances this season, it usually signals a promising night of entertainment. Christian Eriksen, a midfielder for Manchester United, set up the winning goal in the season opening rematch (1-0), and his nine triumphs over West Ham rank as his third best career total (D2, L6).
Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek, and Nayef Aguerd were all out against Man City last time out due to sickness; all three were back at the practice facility on Friday and are anticipated to be in the starting lineup for this match. West Ham will be hoping to get the three players back to full health.
Gianluca Scamacca and Kurt Zouma are not available for selection against Ten Hag’s team, and Vladimir Coufal will miss out due to a hamstring injury after his match against the Citizens.
There will be adjustments from the lineup that took the field at the Etihad Stadium. Rice, Soucek, and Aguerd are all expected to start again, and Said Benrahma may move into Pablo Fornals’ offensive position.
Alejandro Garnacho, a gifted adolescent who recently returned to first team training after recovering from an ankle injury, may join Man United’s lineup for this game.
However, the 20 time English champions are still without Lisandro Martinez, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Raphael Varane, and Tom Heaton.
Anthony Martial and Fred may be replaced by Jadon Sancho and Christian Eriksen, and Marcel Sabitzer may compete for a midfield position. Red Devils head coach Ten Hag is anticipated to make changes to the lineup that began against Brighton.
Despite Martinez and Varane’s injuries, Harry Maguire was not deployed as a substitute on Thursday, and the Man United defense is once again anticipated to feature Victor Lindelof and Shaw in the middle.
Possible starting lineup for West Ham United
Fabianski, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Emerson, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma Paqueta and Antonio.
Possible starting lineup for Manchester United
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Shaw, Dalot, Fernandes, Casemiro, Eriksen, Antony, Rashford and Sancho.
We predict: West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United
Since September 2019, Man United has not lost to West Ham in the Premier League, winning seven of their past eight matches overall.
We predict Ten Hag’s team to maneuver their way to a crucial three points this weekend. The Red Devils have failed to play their best football on the road this season, but West Ham are not in great form.