Manchester United will face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. On Thursday, United beat FC Astana 1-0 with Mason Greenwood scoring the only goal of the game. Based on the travelling party for this match, Greenwood has not travelled, neither have Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw.
The fact that Pogba, Martial and Shaw did not travel is not a surprise as Shaw was ruled out with the other two unlikely to recover in time for this trip. It has also been reported that James Garner and Diogo Dalot have not travelled by Daniel James, who missed the midweek game, has travelled, which is good news.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to retain United winning run, which has lasted two matches so far, also keeping their unbeaten run going, which has lasted three matches since the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. United will be seeking to get their first away win of the season, previously drawing 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton.
United and West Ham have met 141 times with United winning 66 times, drawing 31 times and losing 44 times. In the last 21 Premier League appearances, United has lost just twice against the Hammers, the last defeat was at the London Stadium last season, a 3-1 defeat on the 29 September 2018 with United’s only goal coming from Marcus Rashford.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
David De Gea has kept two clean sheets this season (Chelsea 4-0 and Leicester City 1-0) with Sergio Romero keeping one with a 1-0 victory against Astana on Thursday. This will be his first appearance after signing his new contract at the club, which has thwarted all the speculation suggesting that he could leave the club as a free agent in the summer.
After signing his new contract, the 28-year-old, who remembers the 301 defeat against West Ham United last season has demanded focus, keeping that result in the back of his mind. United moved into fourth place last weekend and will need to leave London with all three points in the bag to keep their chances breaking into the top four this season.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young
United managed to rest three of this back four against Astana so Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will all be fresh for the trip to London. Lindelof will have a bad memory of this fixture last season as he scored an own goal. Ashley Young came off the bench against Astana so should be fresh enough to start with Luke Shaw not fit.
United have kept clean sheets in their last two matches and De Gea and his defence will be seeking to keep that record running as United look to get themselves in much better form ahead of the bigger matches, which will be coming thick and fast soon enough. This defence is a positive defence and will allow supporters to grow in confidence over the season.
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred
Scott McTominay was rested against Astana with Fred getting 90 minutes and an assist under his belt in his second season at the club. McTominay has benched Nemanja Matic this season and for a good reason, he’s too slow to play in the high pressing matches that Solskjaer has his team playing. McTominay has had his critics, so far proving them wrong.
Fred will need to be at the top of his game to have on this Hammers side. He has made mistakes but so has Paul Pogba, but the same people praising Pogba seem to be criticising Fred. He’s a good player and will grasp it at United, although it has been tough for him. He is a better option than Matic though, based on the fact he still has his pace.
Attacking Midfield: Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James
Creativity has been lacking at United this season, and before that. It is something that will need to be solved. Daniel James has travelled with his teammates ahead of this match, so he could well be fit enough to start against the Hammers. Jesse Lingard, who returned against Astana should start behind Marcus Rashford, possibly finding a way to create goals.
Andreas Pereira should play in the right-wing role in this match as Mason Greenwood has not travelled, according to reports, possibly to keep him fresh for the Rochdale match on Wednesday. United will need to find inspiration to get the better of this Hammers team, who have lost one match this season and are currently undefeated.
Striker: Marcus Rashford
The 21-year-old is on the cusp of scoring 50 goals for United, having scored 48 in 178 appearances. He did not have the best performance against Astana on Thursday evening, however, the Kazakhstani side were very defensive and rarely got forward in force, meaning that it was always going to be a disappointing match.
Rashford will have learned from that, as he has from other frustrating matches. His critics, though seem to be full of abuse for the striker, who at 21 has achieved a lot in the game. Some of his critics have obviously achieved so much more in the game, probably on FIFA 19 or another virtual game. Bless them.
Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic; Tahith Chong
The bench is a way for Solskjaer to aim to get goals or keep a lead, or even add fresh legs to the team late in the game. The likes of Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe, who both played on Thursday would be useful on the bench if needed. Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic’s experience could prove to be useful if they are needed at any point during the match.
The likes of Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, who both started against Astana will prove to be useful too. Both played a good game against the Kazakhstani side, who were so defensive it proved hard to get anything past them. Some fans have written off both players after one match. Imagine social media in 1995 with the Class of ’92 making their debuts!