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Preview: Edinson Cavani to lead United’s attack against West Ham in the Emirates FA Cup? Henderson to start ahead of De Gea?

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Manchester United -v- West Ham United

Emirates FA Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Tuesday 9 February 2021, KO 19:30 GMT

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis and Ian Hussin

Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Craig Pawson Assistant VAR: Richard West

Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday evening. This will be the thirteenth time that United and the Hammers have been drawn against each other in England’s oldest domestic trophy. Both United and the Hammers are in good form with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United scoring 12 goals in their last two matches and David Moyes’ Hammers coming back from a defeat to Liverpool to beat Aston Villa during the week, which saw loanee Jesse Lingard score a brace to help win the match. A draw with Fulham put them on a similar path to United, who also had a win and a draw in their last two matches. This will be a fight of the fittest and the hungriest team will reach the quarter-final stage.

Lingard is not eligible to face United in the FA Cup as he featured against Watford in the third round of the competition earlier this season, so is cup-tied. If he had not played, he could have featured against United should their have no nothing stated in the contract forbidding that. United will be eager to get back to winning ways after having victory over Everton snatched from their grasp at the death on Saturday evening, which made the 3-3 draw feel like a defeat. Solskjaer will need to work with his players in the days ahead to find the problems and hope that they can be solved before kick off at the Theatre of Dreams on Tuesday evening. United will be seeking to put their semi-final defeat to Chelsea last season behind them and aim to win the cup this season.

Manchester United: DWDLWW

Everton 3-3 D, Southampton 9-0 W, Arsenal 0-0 D, Sheffield United 1-2 L, Liverpool 3-2 W, Fulham 2-1 W

West Ham United: DWLWWW

Fulham 0-0 D, Aston Villa 3-1 W, Liverpool 3-1 L, Crystal Palace 3-2 W, Doncaster Rovers 4-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 2-1 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (18), Marcus Rashford (16), Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial (7) have outscored West Ham United so far this season. The Hammers have scored a total of 45 goals in all competitions. United have scored 75 goals so far this season.

Manchester United Goals: 18 – Bruno Fernandes, 16 – Marcus Rashford, 7 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, 6 – Scott McTominay, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, 3 – Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Donny van de Beek

Over the past six matches, United have won three times, draw twice and lost once. Solskjaer’s side have scored 18 goals, conceding eight and keeping two clean sheets. Twelve of the goals have been scored in the last two matches with United beating Southampton 9-0 and drawing 3-3 with Everton, which saw United go 2-0 up, with Everton coming back to 2-2 in seven second half minutes with United taking the lead once again, only to suffer a draw at the very death of the match. United’s defence needs some improvement and in goal, David De Gea will need to face his demons and find the root cause of his problems with confidence and a lacking ability to go out and grab the ball, rather than welcome the shot, which tends to be a mistake.

West Ham United Goals: 8 – Tomas Soucek, 7 – Sébastien Haller, 5 – Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, 3 – Craig Dawson, Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko, 2 – Jesse Lingard, Angelo Ogbonna, Robert Snodgrass, 1 – Oladapo Afolayan, Felipe Anderson, Fabián Balbuena, Ben Johnson, Manuel Lanzini

Over the past six matches, the Hammers have won four times, draw once and lost once. Moyes’ side have scored 13 goals, conceding seven and keeping two clean sheets. Moyes has the Hammers playing well this season and at the time of writing, the club were fifth in the Premier League, which is a good position for them to be in at this stage of the season. United have beaten the Hammers already this season, winning 3-1 at the London Stadium at the start of December. Tomas Soucek scored the opening goal for this club but Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford scored to give all three points to United, keeping their away record in the league unbeaten this season.

Team News: Phil Jones and Paul Pogba to miss the Hammers clash with Eric Bailly having a 25% chance of featuring. David Moyes to be without Arthur Masuaku and maybe even Darren Randolph. Tomas Soucek red card might also keep him out of action, unless the club wins their appeal. Jesse Lingard is cup-tied so cannot feature against United.

Phil Jones (knee) and Paul Pogba (thigh) have both been ruled out of the clash with West Ham United in the Emirates FA Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. Eric Bailly (knock) currently has a 25% chance of featuring against David Moyes’ side. Pogba’s injury looks like a tough one which could see the player on the sidelines for a number of weeks, but there severity of it has not yet been discovered so there remains a chance that he could be out for a lesser period of time. Amad Diallo seems to be enjoying his football at U23 level right now and despite the fact many would like to see him make his debut, him enjoying his football at the level he’s currently playing in might be best for him, unless Solskjaer has plans for him soon, which was intimated.

Tomas Soucek (suspended) is currently set to miss the clash with United at Old Trafford after being sent off by Mike Dean in the 0-0 draw with Fulham on Saturday. The red card seems harsh and Aleksandar Mitrović’s reaction was unsportsmanlike to say the least. The Hammers have appealed the red card, so if it is rescinded, he could feature against United. Arthur Masuaku (knee) has been ruled out of the match and Darren Randolph (knock) is currently being assessed and has a 25% chance of being fit to face United. Jesse Lingard is not eligible to play against United as he is cup-tied in the competition, having already played for United in the 1-0 victory over Watford at the start of January.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood to lead the attack against the Hammers; Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay in midfield? Dean Henderson in goal?

Solskjaer will need to look into whether David De Gea has what it takes to lead United into the Emirates FA Cup with a view of making the quarter-finals of the competition this season. Last season, after some poor performances, De Gea cost United in the semi-final against Chelsea with some big glaring errors similar to those against Everton at the weekend. Dean Henderson has played in the cup competitions so far this season, so should be given his chance to feature for United once again. Edinson Cavani is the main striker in this team right now, so should keep his place once again. Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood will take the wide places with Bruno Fernandes in behind the striker. Donny van de Beek start with Scott McTominay in midfield.

Match Prediction: United and the Hammers have met 12 times in the Emirates FA Cup with United winning five times, drawing three times and losing four times. United have scored 21 goals, conceding 15.

United and the Hammers have met 12 times in the history of the Emirates FA Cup. United have won five times, drawing three times and losing four times. United have scored a total of 21 goals, conceding 15. United have kept four clean sheets with the Hammers keeping two. United have lost just two of their matches against the Hammers in the FA Cup at Old Trafford – the last time being just over 20 years ago; a 1-0 victory for the Hammers in which Paulo Di Canio scored the only goal of the match. Prior to that, the other defeat at Old Trafford was in 1986 before Sir Alex Ferguson managed the club. Ray Stewart and Geoff Pike scored the goals for the Hammers back then.

United last faced the Hammers in the FA Cup back on the 13 April 2016 at Upton Park in the sixth round replay after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford a month prior. Dimitri Payet scored the opening goal in the draw with Anthony Martial equalising in the 83rd minute. At Upton Park, United won 2-1 with Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini scoring for United and James Tomkins getting a consolation for the Hammers. That season, under the management of Louis van Gaal, United went on to win the FA Cup, beating Everton 2-1 at Wembley in the semi-final and then beating Crystal Palace 2-1, after extra time, in the final. It was the first major honour for United after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson three years prior.

Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW