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Preview: Manchester United need to hit the Hammers hard to achieve top four finish this season…

Manchester United -v- West Ham United

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 13 April 2019; KO 17:30 BST

Referee: Graham Scott

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday evening as they host West Ham United. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 3-1 – one of the worst performances of the season. Revenge is something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to serve.

United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, a match they were not outclassed in. With Arsenal falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Everton, it has left United with a chance to get back into the top four this season. However, United will need a winning run.

Solskjaer will be missing Ashley Young (one match) and Luke Shaw (two matches) due to suspension. This will mean that he utilises the likes of Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and even Diogo Dalot in the team for the next two league matches, or he plays a formation, at least for this match, which uses three central defenders.

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Form: Both United and West Ham has been beaten four times in their last six matches. Both teams will be seeking a victory at Old Trafford

Manchester United: LLWLLW

Barcelona 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Watford 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Arsenal 2-0 L, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 W

United has been beaten four times in their last six matches. It has shown that Solskjaer has overachieved with this team. There are many changes to be made in the summer if the owners are willing to back him; they need to. United needs to get back on winning ways, taking no prisoners against West Ham, who will be looking to do the double over United.

West Ham United: LLWLWL

Chelsea 2-0 L, Everton 2-0 L, Huddersfield Town 4-3 W, Cardiff City 2-0 L, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Manchester City 1-0 L

West Ham has not been that consistent, at least for the right reasons of late. Four defeats and two wins in their last six matches. That is not the consistency United will be looking for as teams in the same state have beaten them this season. Ten goals conceded, six scored, one clean sheet in the last six matches. Not great reading for the Hammers.

Top Scorers: United has more players scoring goals but the Hammers have the ability to get goals themselves, despite poor form

Manchester United: 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 14 – Paul Pogba, 13 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

West Ham United: 9 – Felipe Anderson, 8 – Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernández, 5 – Michail Antonio, Lucas Pérez, 4 – Robert Snodgrass, 3 – Mark Noble, Angelo Ogbonna, 2 – Grady Diangana, Issa Diop, Declan Rice, Andriy Yarmolenko, 1 – Fabián Balbuena, Andy Carroll, Ryan Fredericks

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Team News: United have injured players returning to fitness whereas West Ham has a problem with players out of action

Injuries could well be coming to an end for United ahead of the West Ham match this weekend. Alexis Sanchez was training ahead of United’s Champions League clash with Barcelona and could be a contender for the squad this weekend. Matteo Darmian was training also. Solskjaer could have a few players ready to come into the team.

Ashley Young is suspended for this match after his red card against Wolverhampton Wanderers, United’s last Premier League match. Luke Shaw will miss this match and the one against Everton on the 21 April after amassing ten yellow cards this season. Diogo Dalot and Darmian could well be in with a chance to face the Hammers.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini currently has seven players on the sidelines through injury; Winston Reid (knee), Carlos Sanchez (ACL), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Andy Carroll (ankle), Samir Nasri (calf), Michail Antonio (ankle), Jack Wilshere (fitness). The first four players have been ruled out, the latter three all major doubts for this match.

Predicted Starting XI: Three at the back for United; Dalot playing as a wing-back; Martial on the left covering defence and attack?

Injuries seem to be coming to an end for Solskjaer with both Sanchez and Darmian returning to training this week. With Young (one match) and Shaw (two matches) currently suspended, United has only Dalot and Darmian in the fullback roles. Marcos Rojo could play at left-back as he did for the U23s last week or Solskjaer could use three at the back.

Match Prediction: United to serve a dish which is best served cold at Old Trafford on Saturday evening?

United and West Ham have played 140 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 25 February 1911, a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup. United has won 65 matches, drawn 31 times and lost 44 times. Earlier in the season, at the London Stadium, United lost 3-1, meaning they will be looking for revenge.

Manchester United 3-0 West Ham United

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