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Preview: West Ham United -v- Manchester United – Premier League

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West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Saturday 5 December 2020, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Simon Long, Eddie Smart

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR: Lee Mason Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes

Manchester United are on the road again in the Premier League this weekend as they face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday evening. The Hammers played on Monday evening, beating Aston Villa 2-1 and will have had at least four days to rest ahead of their next match whilst United played on both Sunday, beat Southampton 3-2 and on Wednesday, losing 3-1 to PSG, giving them just two days of rest ahead of the match. This can be seen as both positive and negative with United’s fitness possibly being higher than the Hammers, but fatigue could also kick in for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to rotate his squad a little to continue throughout the month with seven more matches to be played before the end of the year which will see United finding out their fate in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup on their quest for trophies. David Moyes will also be seeking to get the better of United once again after his dire nine-month spell at the club. Solskjaer’s side will need to be at their best to take on the Hammers, who have been playing some good football. United also need to keep one eye on Tuesday’s match away to RB Leipzig – avoiding defeat there will see United remain in the Champions League.

Manchester United: LWWWWL

Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 L, Southampton 3-2 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 W, Everton 3-1 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 L

West Ham United: WWWLDD

Aston Villa 2-1 W, Sheffield United 1-0 W, Fulham 1-0 W, Liverpool 2-1 L, Manchester City 1-1 D, Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 D

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (10) and Marcus Rashford (nine) leading with their goalscoring for United this season. Sébastien Haller (six) and Jarred Bowen (four) are the top scorers for the Hammers.

Manchester United Goals: 10 – Bruno Fernandes, 9 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Edinson Cavani, 2 – Mason Greenwood, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, 1 – Own Goal, Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United were on a good path before their defeat to PSG on Wednesday evening, winning their last four matches in a row. The defeat is not the end of the world though as they sit at the top of their group in the Champions League and require a point to qualify for the round of 16 stage of the competition. It is important that United keep winning in the Premier League though, aiming to better their league position whilst entering a busy period of the season. United sit in ninth place currently, which will change before they face the Hammers but are a point behind the London club. It is important to win this match and keep winning.

West Ham United Goals: 6 – Sébastien Haller, 4 – Jarrod Bowen, 3 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Pablo Fornals, Robert Snodgrass, Andriy Yarmolenko, 1 – Felipe Anderson, Fabián Balbuena, Manuel Lanzini, Angelo Ogbonna, Tomas Soucek

The Hammers have started well this season and sit in the top five in the Premier League, albeit just a point clear of United, who have a game in hand over all of the clubs above them. In the last six matches, the Hammers have won three times, drawn twice and lost once. It is early days to suggest that David Moyes’ side will continue to challenge for a top four place this season and it is too soon to suggest United wouldn’t. December is going to be a tough month for many clubs with those in Europe and in the Carabao Cup likely to play at most nine times. The Hammers have six matches to play making it easier for them.

Team News: Just one confirmed injury for United and one player out for the Hammers. Can Marcus Rashford recover from a shoulder injury ahead of this clash in London with United seeking to beat the Hammers for the first time since April 2019.

Phil Jones (knee) is the only player that is currently ruled out through injury this weekend. Luke Shaw (thigh) has a 25% chance of featuring against West Ham on Saturday and Marcus Rashford (shoulder) has a 75% chance of featuring against the Hammers. Axel Tuanzebe will be available after sitting out the 3-1 defeat to PSG through suspension and Eric Bailly could well be back in action after recovering from injury himself. United won the last four matches prior to the defeat to the French champions and will need to return to winning ways against the Hammers, having not beaten them at all last season.

Andriy Yarmolenko tested positive for coronavirus during the international break and because of this he has a 25% chance of featuring for his club. The rules suggest that he would need to test negative to the virus before he can return to training. This may well happen in the coming days but it would seem unlikely that he would be fit enough to feature against United this weekend. This is the only issue that the Hammer have ahead of the clash against United, which will see David Moyes face his former club and seeking to keep his club in good form this season. West Ham sit fifth in the league with 17 points – United in ninth with 16 points.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani to keep his place as United’s main striker? Bruno Fernandes to battle back from inconsistent performance against PSG? Donny van de Beek to return to the starting XI once again?

Solskjaer will be seeking to overcome the 3-1 defeat to PSG on Wednesday evening and get back to winning ways in the Premier League against West Ham United, who they have not beaten since the 2018/19 season. I expect David De Gea to start in goal despite looking uncomfortable against PSG at times. If he is not fit, Dean Henderson will be a capable option. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles should all start. Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay in midfield with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial playing behind Edinson Cavani.

Match Prediction: 48 matches player between United and the Hammers in the Premier League with United winning 28 times and the Hammers winning seven times – United need a good result.

United and the Hammers have played a total of 48 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 28, the Hammers have won seven with both teams drawing 13 times. United have scored 95 goals against the Hammers; winning five penalties, scoring four of them. The Hammers have scored 44 goals against United; winning three penalties, scoring all of them. United have kept a clean sheet 18 times with the Hammers keeping seven. In terms of discipline, United have been shown 58 yellow cards and four red cards whereas the Hammers have been shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

In this fixture last season, which was played on the 22 July 2020, it was a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the London Stadium with Michail Antonio opening the scoring from the penalty spot in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute of the match, assisted by Anthony Martial. At Old Trafford in a match which was played on the 22 September 2019, the Hammers won 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals in either half to take all three points in the match, United will need to be in good form against the Hammers, who are doing well this season.

West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW