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Predicted XI: Cavani, Sancho, Van de Beek and Lingard to start against West Ham? Ronaldo, Fernandes, Pogba and Maguire on the bench?

Manchester United will return to Carabao Cup action on Wednesday evening as they welcome West Ham United to the Theatre of Dreams just tree days after the two sides met in the Premier League at the London Stadium, which saw United leave victorious. Cristiano Ronaldo equalised five minutes after Said Benrahma opened the scoring with Jesse Lingard scoring the winner for United before David De Gea saved a last-minute penalty taken by Mark Noble, who was substituted before the spot kick. It was a good match to witness for United supporters and even better that is was another match unbeaten on the road – 29 now.

Over the last two seasons, United have reached the semi-final stage of the Carabao Cup, losing to Manchester City at this stage, who have been the eventual winners of the cup. Granted, the Carabao Cup is not the club that many would want to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lift as his first for United as it would not placate the fans who want to see him win a trophy as their stance will change as soon as it happened. I guess the flip flop fans are here to stay, even if they end up getting embarrassed week in and week out. Solskjaer should strive to make it to the final of this competition and lift the trophy – it could well be the first of many for him as a manager.

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 147 matches in the history of the two clubs. United have won 70 times, drawing 32 times with the Hammers winning the remaining 45 matches. The majority of the matches have come in the Premier League, Football League Division One and Two, with the remaining being played in domestic cup competitions; 13 in the FA Cup with just three in the League Cup, which is now called the Carabao Cup with United winning twice and losing once. United won 1-0 in 1985, in 2010, the Hammers won 4-0 with United winning 4-1 in 2016. Solskjaer will want to win this match too.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face West Ham United in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has been in great form this season and it seems that he is determined to retain his number one shirt at the club, seeing off the challenge of Dean Henderson, who needs to play regularly to continue his development. Tom Heaton will also challenge De Gea for a place in the team being that he is experienced and has a part to play, however small. These things will help De Gea continue to find his place at the club once again, which has seemingly shrunk after a few seasons of mistakes and a lack of direction under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

De Gea will be ready to step into the goal for this match days after saving a last-minute penalty which could have resulted in United moving from a winning position to a draw, which would have felt like a defeat. United are so much better with De Gea at the club and his experience and passion for United will be great for the club with United expected to challenge for the Premier League title this season, which has started well but needs to continue. United are in a much better place than they were five years ago, not that a section of the fan base will recognise that as the negativity seems to be something that they love more than United, which is strange.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw

United’s defence has some strength and experience this season and it will be a luxury for Solskjaer to make some changes to keep the players fresh for what the rest of the season will present them. Against the Hammers, Diogo Dalot could step into the right-back position and show what he has to offer at the club this season and perhaps beyond. I believe that with the injury to Alex Telles, which he has overcome and will be working on returning to the squad, Luke Shaw will keep his place in the squad for this match, which is good because he has done nothing wrong this season so far and looks to be achieving a lot at the club.

Victor Lindelof could return to the starting XI for this match which will result in Harry Maguire being rested but on the bench in case he is needed to fortify the defence late in the game. Raphael Varane will partner Lindelof making his debut in the Carabao Cup this season, which realistically is a competition that United could win, stopping Manchester City from winning it for the fifth successive time with the trophy spending the last six seasons in Manchester with United winning it in the 2016/17 season. It is the first trophy to be won during the course of a season – not the best trophy for Solskjaer but a trophy none the less.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic

United’s midfield is far from perfect but it is something that will have to be endured for the 2021/22 season, or at least until January if the club have plans to make a purchase. Nemanja Matic will be due a start, which could be good for United, as long as he is not playing next to Fred, who offers little in most matches that he plays. Matic is getting older which has seen the club become less reliant on him but there are not many options in the defensive midfield area that have experience. Scott McTominay is a player that can operate well in that area, but he does offer more going forward. Replacing Matic is a problem for United that will have to wait.

Having both Matic and McTominay on the pitch at the same time could work well with the former shielding the back four and the latter linking the midfield with the attack and ensuring balls are played forward for the players in the advanced roles in the squad, aiming to get the better of the Hammers for the second time in three days. There will be options off the bench which will involve Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes which would either mean Matic came off and McTominay had to step in his role, of the Scotland international came off and Pogba played alongside Matic, which has happened before and worked well.

Attacking Midfield: Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard

In these positions there are bags of talent available for Solskjaer and a few players who have not been given a lot of minutes so far this season. Jesse Lingard had a strange week last week with a mistake that cost United a point in the opening Champions League group stage match with Young Boys, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat with United in a leading position before Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the 35th minute. Lingard came on late in the match against West Ham on Sunday and scored the winning goal in the 89th minute of the match before David De Gea saved a penalty in added time, which secured the victory.

Donny van de Beek has not had many minutes of late and he is a player that should be doing so much more for United this season after the small part he played last season. I think he should play in Bruno Fernandes’ position in this match which will test him and see what he can bring to the table. To have the luxury of being able to rotate players will stop fatigue from setting in later in the season. Jadon Sancho has not yet settled in at United and playing in this match, which will not have the pressures of the Premier League or the Champions League could be good for him and allow him to show what he can do before the negative fans write him off.

Forwards: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani has not played since the 1-0 victory away to Wolverhampton Wanderers which was almost a month ago. Solskjaer has suggested that he will be back in action for this match, which to me suggests that he will be starting. There are many positives here as he will rotate with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and even Marcus Rashford when he is fit and there is a possibility with the number of attacking players in the squad that Solskjaer could change the formation at times for matches, which would allow the club to not be seen as predictable going forward.

Last season, Cavani scored 17 goals and six assists in all competitions which was a great fit for United as with other players, they helped the club to achieve their second place in the Premier League and reach the final of the UEFA Europa League. Solskjaer will be hoping that the attacking line he has at the club this season, which has been fortified by the arrival of Jadon Sancho and Ronaldo will result in goals galore, which is something the Norwegian will be memorable of during the management of Sir Alex Ferguson which saw a swashbuckling United side take on their opposition.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood

Just three substitutes can be used in this competition this season, two fewer than last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Only seven substitutes can be named on the bench too, which is two fewer than in the Premier League this season. Solskjaer may be able to use some fringe players in this match, also utilising some minutes for the players that are not currently playing regularly. I think Solskjaer will give other players the chance to earn a place in the starting XI ahead of the next match, keeping players fresh as the club starts to play two matches each week for the foreseeable future with the Carabao Cup and the Champions League here.

I think Tom Heaton might be on the bench, but there is also a chance that Solskjaer rests De Gea but after his penalty save, he might be in the zone to continue playing for the club in the League Cup. In defence, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be available, but Eric Bailly could well step in to replace the United captain on the bench. In midfield, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could add something, should they be required in the match and in attack, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood should be available with Anthony Martial getting a midweek rest based on the fact his form is not up there with his teammates.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Solskjaer to shuffle the pack against the Hammers? Cavani to lead the line?

Manchester United -v- West Ham United

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 22 September 2021, KO 19:45 BST

Referee: Jonathan Moss Assistants: Marc Perry, Timothy Wood

Fourth Official: Chris Kavanagh

Manchester United will return to Carabao Cup action on Wednesday evening as they welcome West Ham United to the Theatre of Dreams just tree days after the two sides met in the Premier League at the London Stadium, which saw United leave victorious. Cristiano Ronaldo equalised five minutes after Said Benrahma opened the scoring with Jesse Lingard scoring the winner for United before David De Gea saved a last-minute penalty taken by Mark Noble, who was substituted before the spot kick. It was a good match to witness for United supporters and even better that is was another match unbeaten on the road – 29 now.

Over the last two seasons, United have reached the semi-final stage of the Carabao Cup, losing to Manchester City at this stage, who have been the eventual winners of the cup. Granted, the Carabao Cup is not the club that many would want to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lift as his first for United as it would not placate the fans who want to see him win a trophy as their stance will change as soon as it happened. I guess the flip flop fans are here to stay, even if they end up getting embarrassed week in and week out. Solskjaer should strive to make it to the final of this competition and lift the trophy – it could well be the first of many for him as a manager.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WLWWDW

West Ham United 2-1 W, BSC Young Boys 2-1 L, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Leeds United 5-1 W

Goals: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, 3 – Mason Greenwood, 2 – Jesse Lingard, 1 – Fred

Assists: 7 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Bruno Fernandes, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane

West Ham United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LWDDWW

Manchester United 2-1 L, Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 W, Southampton 0-0 D, Crystal Palace 2-2 D, Leicester City 4-1 W, Newcastle United 4-2 W

Goals: 5 – Michail Antonio, 3 – Said Benrahma, 2 – Pablo Fornals, 1 – Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek

Assists: 3 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Said Benrahma, 1 – Jarrod Bowen, Vladimir Coufal, Pablo Fornals, Declan Rice

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 147 matches in the history of the two clubs. United have won 70 times, drawing 32 times with the Hammers winning the remaining 45 matches. The majority of the matches have come in the Premier League, Football League Division One and Two, with the remaining being played in domestic cup competitions; 13 in the FA Cup with just three in the League Cup, which is now called the Carabao Cup with United winning twice and losing once. United won 1-0 in 1985, in 2010, the Hammers won 4-0 with United winning 4-1 in 2016. Solskjaer will want to win this match too.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Team News: United have two players out due to injury with the Hammers missing one – others will be missing as they step up their fitness though – time to see Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard?

Marcus Rashford (Shoulder) and Amad Diallo (Thigh) will both be ruled out of the Carabao Cup clash with the Hammers at Old Trafford. Alex Telles (Ankle) and Phil Jones (Match Fitness) are both stepping up their return from injury and Edinson Cavani (Other) is said to me eyeing this match to make his return from injury. Scott McTominay made his return from injury on Sunday against the Hammers and slotted right in to the action, giving United’s midfield a boost ahead of the rest of the season. Perhaps Jesse Lingard, who scored the winner against the Hammers and Donny van de Beek will start this match with some players given a rest?

Winston Reid (Knee) is the only West Ham player to be injured for the clash against United at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening in the Carabao Cup. Michail Antonio will be eligible to face United in this match having been suspended for the Premier League clash at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon which the Hammers lost 2-1 after Jesse Lingard scored a late goal for United and David De Gea saved a penalty in added time. David Moyes has no other doubts ahead of the match, at this time anyway and there may be some rotation for both teams as they keep their eyes on the Premier League matches at the weekend.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer to shuffle the pack with Dalot, Lindelof, Matic, Lingard, Van de Beek and Cavani all starting in the Carabao Cup clash with West Ham?

It is expected that Solskjaer will shuffle the pack for this match, giving some fringe players the chance to get some minutes under their belts also giving other players a rest ahead of the Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, which has been moved to a 12:30 BST kick off. I think the likes of Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani could all start in this match, which would be good to see. Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba could all be on the bench in case they are needed at some point in the match.

I wonder if Tom Heaton could start this match, giving David De Gea a rest, but then again, after saving that last-minute penalty against the Hammers on Sunday, having De Gea start would be good as he will still be feeling confident, which is a good thing. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw could play in the fullback positions with Lindelof and Raphael Varane in the centre of the defence. In the midfield, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay could partner in the pivot with Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho playing in the attacking midfield positions. Edinson Cavani could lead the line for United.

Match Prediction: United to get the victory they need to see them in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this season but it will not be an easy victory for the Red Devils.

Solskjaer and United will be seeking to get through the Hammers for the second time in a week and put themselves in the draw for the fourth round of the Carabao Cup this season. Perhaps they will face lower league opposition, which is the path that Manchester City seem to get each season, not really tested in the competition until at least the latter stages of the competition when they have faced United in the past two seasons. This is normally a competition that United field youth in but with the level of competition each season, that has not been possible. This match should feature some fringe players though.

I think United will get the win that they want but it will not be easy with the Hammers seeming to head to the Theatre of Dreams with the mindset of causing an upset, which is hat they wanted to do against United on Sunday, however, Ronaldo’s equaliser five minutes after the home side scored, followed by Lingard’s winner – not to mention De Gea’s penalty save stopped that from happening. United got the points on Sunday and I think they will get their second victory over the Hammers this season, just three days after facing them in the Premier League. I wonder what kind of draw they could get for the fourth round of the competition, if they win?

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Ronaldo and Lingard score against the Hammers but De Gea saved the day…

Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 in the Premier League at the London Stadium. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side once again came from behind to set their unbeaten away run to 29 matches now, two more than Arsenal’s record from 2004. Said Benrahma opened the scoring in the 30th minute for the Hammers but five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the match. It looked like a 1-1 draw before Jesse Lingard won the match for United. There was late drama with a penalty awarded for the Hammers but David De Gea made the save from Mark Noble’s effort. What a match, what a moment, what a result!

It was a lacklustre start for United and the Hammers with chances being created by the home side and United seemingly using luck to deny the Hammers from the lead. Harry Maguire seemed to have a mistake in him in this match, which was a worry but the doubts were soon forgotten about as United started to find comfort in the match. There was a hairy moment for Paul Pogba in the opening stages after Kurt Zouma caught his foot and the Frenchman was writhing on the floor in agony – he soon recovered through. The Hammers took the lead in the 30th minute through Said Benrahma, assisted by Jarrod Bowen.

David Moyes seemed ecstatic with the goal as he has not yet beaten United since he was sacked in April 2014 but like Alan Pardue in the Emirates FA Cup final in 2016 – he celebrated too soon. Five minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo had scored his fourth goal of the season – his 122nd goal for United, levelling the score in this match. United then started to dominate the game for bursts, pressing for a second goal to put them in the lead for the first time in the match – but it was not coming, at this time anyway. The Hammers regained possession and were trying to get ahead again but at the end of the half, if was a fair 1-1 scoreline.

There were no substitutions at the start fo the second half from either team and United were once again seeking to get the better of the Hammers, but were not able to at this stage. The home side were also trying to get back in the match and take the lead – things not working out for them either. It all seemed to be one way traffic around the hour mark in the match, which was probably worrying for the Hammers but United were unable to get anything from their attacks – but that would be tiring out the defence, which is dangerous ground for them. The Hammers then broke forward but the game was stopped due to a foul on Scott McTominay.

The Hammers made their first substitution in the 68th minute of the match with Andriy Yarmolenko replacing Nikola Vlasic. Just after the change, it seemed that United could have given away a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka tackled Tomas Soucek, but the referee gave the free-kick to United. Solskjaer was readying a double substitution with Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard replacing Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba. Minutes after the substitution, Ronaldo was seemingly fouled in the box but the referee gave nothing. On replay, it seemed that Ronaldo ran into the player, therefore was not fouled. United were still trying to break the deadlock.

In the last 12 minutes or so of the match, David De Gea gave away a corner after a defensive error in lofting the ball back to him. Luckily nothing came of that set-piece. United made their third substitution in the 88th minute of the match with Nemanja Matic replacing Fred. The Hammers also brought Manuel Lanzini on for Benrahma. It seemed that Lingard won the game for United a minute after coming on, beating the Hammers goalkeeper from range to put United ahead with Matic assisting the goal. The West Ham fans had their heads in their hands as they knew what Lingard could do after his loan spell last season and he righted a wrong from the last game too.

There was some more controversy in this match though with penalties. Ronaldo went down in the box again, and yet again nothing was given with the Portuguese record breaker looking bemused. It seemed to be one of those days. But at the other end of the pitch, as the Hammers were seeking to avoid defeat, Luke Shaw gave something away with an outstretched arm in the box, which clipped the ball. The referee had given a corner but VAR was brought into play for this one and the penalty was awarded. Declan Rice stepped up by Moyes made his third substitution with Mark Noble replacing Bowen to take the penalty, which David De Gea saved.

What a day for De Gea, who was no stranger to penalties but saving them was a different story. United lost the UEFA Europa League final to Villarreal on the 26 May 2021 11-10 on penalties with De Gea not saving a single one, also missing his spot kick. To see him save this and keep the win for United, as opposed to the draw is magnificent. The confidence he will gain from that is immense and it will help him on the road to becoming the goalkeeper he once was for the club. What a match, what a moment and what a result. United will have the Hammers again on Wednesday evening, this time at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup third round.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a save from a Bowen strike but conceded on the half hour with the Hammers ahead through a deflected Benrahma effort. United levelled through Ronaldo and seemingly won the match through Lingard but De Gea was not done yet. A late penalty given to the Hammers saw De Gea save Noble's spot kick and confirm the victory for United.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Ever present on the right flank. Made four clearances and two tackles with a positive pass success rate too. His crossing lets him down though. In the second half, his attacking was not very present.

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19 Raphael Varane

The deflection off him beat De Gea in the 30th minute. It happens though. He defended well for United as they persevere for the victory - which they got in the end.

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5 Harry Maguire

Seemed to strengthen the Hammers with his lack of decisiveness in defence at times. Carried on doing what he did and played a part in the victory.

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23 Luke Shaw

Attacked constantly on the left, which was lacking against the Young Boys on Tuesday. Hs service was something United failed to capitalise from. Conceded a penalty in added time, which De Gea saved.

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17 Fred

Careless at times with the ball. That is Fred though. Was replaced by Matic in the 88th minute of the match.

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39 Scott McTominay

Glad to see him back. He was right amongst it against the Hammers. Had a shot off target but was present with the defensive duties in midfield.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The Golden Boy contender played well against the Hammers. His pace was a problem, as was his ability but he never got a goal or an assist in the match. He was replaced by Sancho in the 73rd minute of the match.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Lacked rhythm at the start of the match but soon found it. Played a part in the equaliser scored by Ronaldo. Might find himself rested on Wednesday, but on the bench no doubt.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman seemed to have been caught by Zouma in the first half and was in agony after the challenge. He soon recovered. He played on the left in the attacking three (behind Ronaldo) and did well at times. United needed a change to break the deadlock in this game and Lingard replaced him in the 73rd minute of the match.

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Scored his fourth goal in three matches for United - his 122nd goal for the club. Seemed unlucky with penalties today with nothing given, with one of them seemingly standing though. Great to see him back for United, scoring the goals as he did before he left and did more of after leaving.

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Substitutes

25 Jadon Sancho

Replaced Greenwood 73'. Came on to provide something different for United but seemed to be lacking a lot. It will take time for him to become acclimatised in the Premier League. But some will not be happy to give him a chance to earn his stripes.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Pogba 73'. Came on to create and did just that. Won the game for United in the 89th minute and the Hammers fans knew what it meant to see him score at the London Stadium once more, just in a different shirt this time.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Fred 88'. Came on at the death and assisted a minute later. Did was was required of him.

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Goals: Said Benrahma 30′; Cristiano Ronaldo 35′, Jesse Lingard 89′

Assists: Jarrod Bowen 30′; Nemanja Matic 89′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Fred (Matic 88′), McTominay; Greenwood (Sancho 73′), Fernandes, Pogba (Lingard 73′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Van de Beek; Martial

Bookings: N/A

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Ronaldo leads the attack against the Hammers; McTominay starts too

Manchester United return to Premier League action this afternoon when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Ronaldo

Substitutes:

Heaton; Bailly, Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial, Sancho

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell;

Soucek, Rice;

Vlasic, Benrahma, Fornals;

Bowen

Substitutes:

Areola; Dawson, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku; Lanzini, Noble, Kral; Yarmolenko

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Ronaldo to continue scoring goals for United? Sancho, Greenwood and McTominay to start against Hammers?

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face West Ham United in the Premier League at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea will be seeking to keep his place in goal ahead of the clash with West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The Spanish goalkeeper has played all five matches that United have played this season, conceding five goals and keeping one clean sheet. It was an unfortunate defeat against the Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, which is something that the club must bounce back form this weekend, keeping their place at the summit of the Premier League, which would seem a likely outcome. If they were not the top team in the league, they would be close to it. United need to continue the momentum they have set this season.

The supporters of the club could do with getting behind the manager and the players, rather than wishing defeats come and the manager is sacked, as that has happened before and each time it seems to set United back even further. Things are done without their acceptance because they have no control of any outcome at the club, so the sooner they realise they are nothing but critics who people don’t listen to, the better. De Gea has started this season in fine form, turning back the years and proving himself ahead of the challenges that will come – Dean Henderson seeking to become number one and Tom Heaton also challenging for matches.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence suffered a setback in the opening Champions League match of the season, falling to a 2-1 defeat to the Young Boys. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a bad foul which left United with ten men and having to sacrifice an attacking player for Diogo Dalot, then resort to a five at the back formation, under attack, which was unable to keep a 1-0 lead from Cristiano Ronaldo’s opening goal. Against the Hammers, Solskjaer will need to find a way for his side to bounce back and grind out another win in the Premier League this season, also seeking to extend their 28-match unbeaten record on the road in the Premier League.

Diogo Dalot could be given a rare Premier League start with Wan-Bissaka being dropped to the bench for this match, giving him a rest ahead of the suspension he will receive in the Champions League in just over a week and a half, which could be good for United and keeping key players fresh for other matches. Luke Shaw should keep his place in the left-back position, doing well against the Young Boys, despite doing more defending than attacking, which was rare after his start to the season. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane should start in the centre of defence, which could keep United ticking over – although Victor Lindelof will be seeking a start too.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba

The midfield is not ideal for United at this time as there is a lack of balance. Nemanja Matic is the only experienced defensive midfielder with Fred making more mistakes that settling in at the club after a number of years. Donny van de Beek seems to be getting few chances with Scott McTominay sitting out a period of time following the groin injury he sustained against Southampton earlier in the season. With the Scotland international back in training and likely to be involved against the Hammers, either this weekend or in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, things could start to improve a little for United.

With McTominay picked to start in this match, providing that he has gone through all the fitness tests and he is ready to start playing again, it could come at the right time for Solskjaer, whose options in this area seem limited with players selected being limited in terms of their ability. Paul Pogba could feature in the pivot once again, as he played an advanced role on the left-wing against the Young Boys, which did not seem to work for United, especially after the sending off of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. This could work though with McTominay mopping up the defensive duties and Pogba linking the defence with the attack.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho

United have many great options in these positions ahead of the clash with the Hammers. I think Solskjaer will go back to basics with Mason Greenwood, who scored in the first three Premier League matches of the season, playing on the right-wing, which is a position that he has excelled in at times, also running into the box and picking off the goalkeeper, or even assisting for the striker or another attacking player, which was shown a few times last season. Bruno Fernandes will play through the middle but we could Donny van de Beek come on in the second half to give the Portuguese magnifico a bit of rest ahead of the challenge later in the week.

Fernandes has scored four goals for United this season, also getting one assist but he is being challenged by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has three goals in his first two appearances for the club this season. Jadon Sancho could start on the left-wing once again, which is a position he can play in – although he may be more comfortable on the right. He was taken off before half time against Young Boys on Tuesday as United were down to ten men – which was through no fault of his own. United attacking players have lots of excitement in them with Ronaldo, Fernandes and Greenwood al scoring so far this season and Sancho seeking to score.

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo

Since re-signing for United this summer, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in two appearances, making it 121 goals for the club, matching Andy Cole. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in his sights, scoring 126 goals for the club during his time as a player. Wayne Rooney’s record is a long way off and might not be achievable for the 36-year-old but you never know in this game. Ronaldo was determined to get a good result for United in the Champions League this week, but a 2-1 defeat – the first of the season will have hit the team hard but given them determination against the Hammers to get back to winning ways.

There seems to be a lot of criticism of United and Ronaldo in the media and amongst fans of other clubs but that just shows you that Manchester United are coming back and people are threatened as to what the club could achieve. Manchester City lost their opening match this season, losing to Tottenham Hotspur but little was said about that but when United lose – hold the front page and the following seven pages as every man and his dog wants to say something about that. United are back, they are still a work in progress but to be able to grind out the results they already have grinder out this season shows that something is being created at the club.

Substitutes: Tom Heaton; Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Aaron Wan-Bissaka; Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek; Anthony Martial, Anthony Elanga

Solskjaer made many changes in the defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, but the gamble did not pay off for him as United capitulated and conceded two second half goals to earn their first defeat of the 2021/22 season – it was going to come at some point. Back in the Premier League, United will be able to name nine substitutes, using just three of them. I think Tom Heaton will remain on the bench for United as I don’t think Dean Henderson will be over his fatigue from his battle with coronavirus and his match fitness will not be where it needs to be to play his first match in the top flight this season.

Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be the substitutes in the defensive positions, although Alex Telles is now back in training from his ankle injury but it may be a week or so before he is considered for a place on the bench, let alone a starting place for United. In the midfield, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek could all be available against the Hammers – which will be another challenge for United – one that they will need to get the better of this weekend, if they want to challenge for the Premier League title this season. In attack, Anthony Martial and Anthony Elanga could both be available – it would be great to see the latter.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United to bounce back against the Hammers; Moyes still seeking a victory over United since being sacked in 2014

West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Sunday 19 September 2021, KO 14:00 BST

Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Lee Betts, Richard West

Fourth Official: David Coote

VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday when they travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United, which is the first of two matches against the London club in the next five or six days with United welcoming the club to the Theatre of Dreams in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to BSC Young Boys in the opening UEFA Champions League group stage match on Tuesday evening, which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for a challenge, Cristiano Ronaldo score his third goal this season and United fail to keep their 1-0 lead.

It is one of those things in football – it happens. It just annoys me that some supporters seem to put the victories down to ‘individual brilliance’ but always seem to blame Solskjaer for the defeats or the draws. Some of these people on social media seem to be very quiet when United win, seemingly only tweeting when United lose or draw, which seems very strange to me. That said, you are not allowed to criticise these people as they are always right, even when they are wrong. They seem to want the club to never achieve anything, always changing the manager, then moaning about the lack of stability brought by their demands.

Manchester United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: LWWDWW

BSC Young Boys 2-1 L, Newcastle United 4-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Leeds United 5-1 W, Everton 4-0 W

Goals: 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 3 – Mason Greenwood, Cristiano Ronaldo, 1 – Fred, Jesse Lingard

Assists: 7 – Paul Pogba, 1 – Bruno Fernandes, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane

West Ham United – Recent Form, Goals Scored and Assists: WDDWWW

Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 W, Southampton 0-0 D, Crystal Palace 2-2 D, Leicester City 4-1 W, Newcastle United 4-2 W, Atalanta 2-0 W

Goals: 5 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Said Benrahma, Pablo Fornals, 1 – Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek

Assists: 3 – Michail Antonio, 2 – Said Benrahma, 1 – Vladimir Coufal, Pablo Fornals, Declan Rice

Previous meetings with West Ham and their connections with Manchester United.

United and West Ham have played a total of 50 matches in the history of the Premier League. United have won 30 times, drawing 13 times with the Hammers winning the remaining seven matches. United have scored a total of 99 goals against the Hammers, winning five penalties and scoring four of them. West Ham have scored 45 goals, winning three penalties and scoring all of them. United have kept 19 clean sheets with the Hammer keeping just seven. In terms of discipline, United players have been shown a total of 62 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammers’ players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

There is a lot of history between United and the Hammers. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager was the former manager of United during the ill-fated 2013/14 season and he was sacked before the season even finished. There have been many players to have played for both clubs, the most receipt being Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season at the club. The likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Teddy Sheringham, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Roy Carroll, David Bellion, Jonathan Spector and Ravel Morrison have all played for both clubs and probably more in the not too distant past.

Team News: Five United players could be out of the clash with the Hammers this weekend with two missing for the home side; Ronaldo and Greenwood to be involved in the goals once again?

Marcus Rashford (Shoulder) and Amad Diallo (Thigh) have been ruled out of the clash with the Hammers this weekend. Alex Telles (Ankle), Phil Jones (Match Fitness) and Edinson Cavani (Other) seem to be doubtful for this match with the Uruguayan likely to feature in the Carabao Cup next week. Scott McTominay, who had to undergo groin surgery earlier in the summer, could be back in action after training for the last week or so, which is good news for United after the problems with the midfield recently with only one player, Nemanja Matic, able to play in the defensive midfield area. United will get there in the end.

Winston Reid (Knee) is the only West Ham player to be injured for the clash against United at the London Stadium on Sunday. This seasons top scorer (so far) Michail Antonio is suspended for this match after his sending off against Southampton last week, but he will be back in contention to face United at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. David Moyes will have something up his sleeve to get the better of United this weekend with the Hammers sitting in eighth place at the time of writing and United sitting top of the league, which will change with the seven matches being played before this one kicks off.

Predicted Starting XI: Ronaldo, Sancho, Fernandes and Greenwood to lead United’s attack against the Hammers; Pogba and McTominay in midfield; Dalot given rare Premier League start?

Solskjaer will be seeking to get back to winning ways after a defeat in the Champions League to Young Boys on Tuesday evening. David Moyes has never beaten United in seven Premier League matches since being sacked by United in April 2014 – he has lost five times, drawing twice. In his last four appearances against the Hammers, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals against the Hammers and will be seeking to continue his goalscoring run against the club. The Hammers are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches, which is a record for them. Either that will continue or be ended on Sunday.

I think David De Gea will keep his place in goal this weekend. In defence, Diogo Dalot could be trusted ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was sent off against Young Boys. Luke Shaw will keep his left-back position. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will partner each other in the centre of defence. In midfield, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba could play in the pivot with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho playing in the attacking midfield positions behind the striker. Cristiano Ronaldo will keep his place leading the like for United after scoring three goals in his first two starts after returning to United.

Match Prediction: United to get back to winning ways against the Hammers, using last seasons double over the club and David Moyes not beating United after being sacked by them in 2014.

United will need to bounce back against the Hammers this weekend. Solskjaer’s side have done well this season and at the time of writing, sit top of the Premier League. That will change before a ball has been kicked at the London Stadium with Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur all seeking to make their way to the top of the league, however, Spurs and Chelsea will face each other in the late Sunday afternoon kick off after the Hammers v United match. The Red Devils will need to rediscover their good form to take all three points in this match.

Last season, United won 3-1 in this fixture with Tomas Soucek opening the scoring for the home side and Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford getting the better of the Hammers at home, taking all three points back to Manchester. At Old Trafford, it was a 1-0 victory for United with a Craig Dawson own goal settling the tie between the clubs as United did the double over the Hammers. Solskjaer will be hoping to do the same this season but first must find the route to victory in this match, coming from a defeat in the opening Champions League group stage clash against the Young Boys earlier in the week.

West Ham United 1-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Jesse Lingard’s rise in form could be good for Manchester United this summer

Jesse Lingard has been at Manchester United for the last 21 years, signing for the club as a youth player, previously playing for both Fletcher Moss Rangers and Penketh United. He has made a total of 210 appearances for United as a professional player, scoring 33 goals and 20 assists in his time at the club, making his debut in the 2014/15 season under the management of Louis van Gaal. Sir Alex Ferguson had previously stated that Lingard would be a late developer in the game, which is exactly what he was, although his form stuttered over the last few seasons, which was not good for either the club of the player. During his time at United, Lingard spent many seasons out on loan with Leicester City, Birmingham City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County all clubs he tried to find his form before hitting the high notes at United.

After scoring 13 goals in 48 appearances during the 2017/18 season, which was his peak for scoring goals in his career at United, Lingard then started to fall down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho, the manager who followed Van Gaal then under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, still had a barren period at the club which saw him fall from starter to bench warmer, to a player that missed out a lot of the time. A turbulent time in his family life has helped to cause a downturn in Lingard’s career and in January 2021, the 28-year-old, who should be hitting his peak was loaned to West Ham United under former United manager David Moyes. There was high hopes for the player to raise his game with fewer pressure than he would be under at United, which could reignite the player’s career in the game that he loves.

Lingard made waves at West Ham, scoring nine goals and five assists in 16 Premier League appearances, which saw the player reach for form he once had at United. The season ended with West Ham finishing sixth in the league and achieving a place in the UEFA Europa League group stages. This will be good for the London club next season, although it will case problems as they do not have regular experience of playing in European competitions taking it’s toll on the club. There was a lot of talk at the end of the with the Hammers interested in signing Lingard permanently, but also the player seemingly interested in remaining a United player and fighting his way back into the first team, which may or may not be possible for him. The lack of pressure away from United was good for him, which may result in his performances being stagnant again, if he stays.

Does Lingard have a future at Manchester United?

United have many options at the club already in the attacking positions in the squad and Lingard would definitely be behind Bruno Fernandes playing behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation. He can also play on either wing, but will be behind Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Anthony Martial on the left and once again Rashford, James, Mason Greewood and quite possibly Amad Diallo on the right. It would see Lingard’s options reduced to a bench warmer once again, or even a player that misses out more often than not. It would be a shame if that happened. There is a chance he could get himself higher up the pecking order with Rashford carrying an injury and maybe needing an operation after Euro 2020 this summer and the fact that players who participated in the tournament may not be in the early stages of pre-season.

This would give Lingard time to impress Solskjaer and perhaps get himself into the squad, either as a starter or a substitute at the start of the 2021/22 season, with United getting ready to start the season at home to Leeds United in the first Premier League match of the season. If United were to complete the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, which looks highly likely at this time, his work to get into the squad would become much harder. Saying that, United will need a payer capable of stepping in for Fernandes, who is clearly fatigued after the delay from the 2019/20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, then the 2020/21 season commencing after a break of just four weeks or so, then a long and strenuous 2020/21 season, which saw United reach the final of the UEFA Europa League, losing to Villarreal in Gdañsk.

Lingard has shown with his form at the Hammers, that he is still a player that can put in the performances, but it is unknown whether he can meet tat same grade at United, with him working much harder to displace other players at the club in order to get more match time. It would seem that with talented youth coming through the ranks, such as Shola Shoretire, Anthony Elanga and Hannibal Mejbri – it could pose a higher level of difficulty for Lingard to achieve his place in the squad. It all seems complicated at this time, which may be simplified if a number of players were loaned this summer, or even sold. The future of Juan Mata will have a big say in what happens too, as that will leave another player to complete with – which might not be fun for Lingard. He has already had a tough summer, being named in the England training squad but removed for Euro 2020.

The future may look a lot clearer for Lingard away from the Theatre of Dreams

Lingard will become a free agent in the summer of 2022 so there is little time to get something sorted if United wanted to recoup some money from the sale of the player. There have been rumours of a £25 million transfer fee and a wage of £110,000 per week, which is something that puts the Hammers off purchasing the player as their wage bill will be hampered by that much weekly wage on one player. He would become one of the best players at the club though, with experience of the English game and more importantly, European experience, winning the Europa League in the 2016/17 season under Mourinho. There may be much work for both United and the Hammers to get a deal done for the player but there is also a chance that United would offer him a new contract, keeping him at United, or even ensuring that he cannot leave the club as a free agent.

If that was to happen, Lingard would want to be guaranteed game time at United, otherwise he would not sign a new contract as he would become frustrated. There may well be other teams out there who hold an interest in Lingard, which could pay the £25 million fee and pay the wages that he will demand, although he may need to lower his expectations as his time at United, on the wage that he has been on, does not exactly look all that great for him. Keeping Lingard at United could represent the repeat of a mistake, which has been made many times before. Phil Jones should have left the club on the expiry of his last contact with Marcos Rojo also sealing the same fate but new contracts were offered and United were stuck and still are with Jones who has not played for 18 months now. These mistakes need to be avoided if the club is to move forward.

For me, I would rather see Lingard sold. I don’t think the pressure to succeed at United would see him give the same performances he gave at West Ham and with the rumours of a new three-year deal being offered by United, it could represent yet another mistake that could cost United. If the reported £130,000 per week wage is correct, it will price so many clubs out of making an offer for Lingard, even at the end of his contract. Yes, his form at West Ham was good but not good enough for United to give hims a pay rise. He should be taking a pay cut, possibly have a bonus structure tied into his contract paying him more for good appearances but no player would accept that when they know United will pay them higher rates of money, even if they have a track record of poor performances for a number of seasons. Hopefully he wants to salvage his career away from United.

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Luke Shaw the Man of the Match in Hammers victory; Greenwood, McTominay, Fernandes, Lindelof and Maguire all did well

Manchester United beat West Ham United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. It was a tough match for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and was nearly a carbon copy of the Emirates FA Cup clash at the start of February in which United needed extra time to find the winner. However, in the 53rd minute, it seemed like Scott McTominay had scored United’s winner but looking at the replay, his header was deflected into Craig Dawson, who beak Lukasz Fabianski, scoring the only goal of the match. United had a total of 15 shots on goal with four of those on target. The Hammers had just seven shots, none on target and all in the second half.

From the very start of this match, it seemed like it was going to be a carbon copy of the Emirates FA Cup clash between the two sides, which was a 0-0 draw, needing extra time to find a winner. Obviously, there is not extra time in the Premier League so the two sides will need to try and win the match. The Hammers got the first chance after Mikhail Antonio drove down the left, forcing Victor Lindelof to concede a corner, which was delivered towards the far post and went straight out for a goal kick. Luke Shaw then powered down the left into the box, passing to Mason Greenwood whose flick hit Craig Dawson before dribbling into Lukasz Fabianski.

In the fifth minute of the match, Declan Rice seemed to have become injured but the soon got up to his feet and continued, which would have been a relief to David Moyes. It seemed that this was going to be a match that would see patience pay off. In the 18th minute, the Hammers were on the attack and Dean Henderson rose through a crowd to meet the ball with Jarrod Bowen coming off worse from a collision with the Hammers midfielder needing some treatment but was alright to continue. Shaw powered into the box again in the 22nd minute but Tomas Soucek got back, conceded a corner with the Hammers holding firm.

In the 25th minute of the match, Greenwood had a good chance, working himself some space on the right edge of the box, before crossing the ball into Marcus Rashford, whose header was glanced wide of the target, which should have perhaps been a much better finish from the forward who has scored 18 goals in all competitions so far this season. Two minutes later, is was Harry Maguire’s turn for some treatment after a collision with Antonio with Maguire needing some treatment to a possible facial injury. He was fine to continue, which was a good sign for United. Greenwood then found more space by Mark Noble was there to intercept the danger.

Greenwood then had a chance dead on the half hour mark of the match, getting free on the left byline but Fabianski was there at the near post, at the second attempt, to gather the ball and nullify the forward’s attack. United then started to step up the pace with Rashford now trying his luck from distance but it was deflected behind for another corner, which came to nothing. Shaw then played an over-hit pass to the left but Dawson was there to clear the line. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was booked in the 35th minute for hacking down Antonio on the left, which was his second league booking of the season.

Greenwood then forced a save out of Fabianski in the 37th minute after he raced through on goal but the Polish goalkeeper stuck out his hand to put the ball behind for another corner, which again, nothing came from it. Two minutes later, Bruno Fernandes’ clever lofted pass picked out Rashford’s run in the box but the forward could not get enough on the ball to threaten the Hammers nor trouble Fabianski. The minutes were added on at the end of the half with it ending 0-0. The Hammers had no shots on goal with United having eight; with two of those on target. This was United’s match to win based on these stats.

Scott McTominay became the second United player to be booked after he pulled back Antonio inn the 49th minute of the match after it seemed like the forward had crossed the halfway line on the attack. The Hammers then decided to test United, not that they had done so in the match so far, registering no shots on goal in the match to this point. It makes you wonder whether Moyes is holding out for a point as his side does not seem to be pushing for a victory. In the 53rd minute of the match, United broke through with Greenwood sliding a cross into Rashford, who was lurking in the box but Vladimir Coufal was there to conceded another corner.

Fernandes took the corner, curling it into the near post with McTominay rising to head the ball into the back of the net but it coming off him and then into Dawson, who beats Fabianski, conceding the first goal with the United midfielder claiming the goal, what was given as an own goal. United then tried to double their lead in the 60th minute with Fernandes’ low drive heading for the bottom corner but Fabianski performed a wonderful save to deny the Portuguese magnifico another goal this season. United kept control of the ball but the Hammers have had five shots on goal, none of them on target with just over 16 minutes left to play.

Rashford was booked for a late challenge on Coufal in the 76th minute of the match with three United players now on a yellow card in this match. Greenwood then had a chance to double United’s lead in the 78th minute after a brilliant junking run down the left, getting into the box and taking on Dawson only for his shot to his the post, which was a shame. However, it was good to see United pressing the Hammers, who deserve nothing from this match for playing passive football at times, especially during the first half. United won a corner which Fernandes took in the 81st minute but Fabianski punched it clear with United regaining possession.

The Hammers were getting players forward in the last few minutes of the match, seemingly trying to get an equaliser, but having a shot on target was the only way that could happen. United’s defence were doing their jobs and keeping the Hammers from creating credible chances. Manuel Lanzini drove into United’s area before trying to play Antonio into space but the ball took a deflection and looped up with Lanzini forced to improvise, resulting in the ball being fired over the crossbar. Daniel James showed his pace as United rushed for was minutes later, whipping the ball in the penalty area but Fabianski dived out and failed to cling onto the ball.

The Hammers seemed frustrated as the match entered the final minutes of play with United doing all they needed to win all three points after their goal in the 53rd minute of the match. James was booked in the first minute of added time, the fourth player to be booked in this match for United. In the end though, United did all they needed to do, beating the Hammers home and away this season, also beating them in the Emirates FA Cup. It was the first double over the Hammers since David Moyes managed United in the 2013/14 season, which seems like another record broken after that dreadful season for the club.

Solskjaer used no substitutes in this match, which will keep some players fresh for the visit to the San Siro when they face AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg with the gave 1-1 with Milan scoring an away goal last week. United will need to turn their attention to that match, seeking to reach the quarter-final draw ons Friday. United then face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening, aiming to reach the semi-final, which is a sore point for Solskjaer after losing four consecutive semi-finals; three last season and one so far this season.

Manchester United

26 Dean Henderson

Kept his 11th clean sheet for United this season. Not that the Hammers actually tried to score though with seven shots on goal, none of them on target and all in the second half. He will be pleased with his effort though, especially after a tangle early on in the match.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United largely attacked on the left flank with Shaw which did not give Wan-Bissaka much credit but he did have some involvement in the game both defensively and in attack.

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2 Victor Lindelof

This was an impressive performance, especially against Antonio. Some suggest that Lindelof gets bullied by the more physical players but that did not happen again this evening. He's put in a few good performances recently too.

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5 Harry Maguire

Suffered a head injury in the first half and was shouting at his teammates, which was good to hear, in a leadership perspective. Got the result that was needed, which was another three points on the board to see United got back into second place ahead of the International break with just the Europa League and FA Cup matches to come in the next week.

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23 Luke Shaw

Man of the Match once again for me. United were attacking on his side with him being the most potent player on the attack. He offered a lot of width inn a season which has shown his strengths. He made an important block at the end of the match, keeping United in a winning position. This is a cracking season for Shaw.

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39 Scott McTominay

Duelled with Rice and his physical play gave him and Noble competition. He initially claimed the goal, which came off him, then onto Dawson to beat Fabianski. It was a shame it was not his goal, which would have been his eighth of the season.

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17 Fred

He covered a lot of ground and ran his heart out but in terms of something actually offered in the match, there was little. He needs to find some good form again, which will gain him the credit that he deserves.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Provided Rashford with a good chance, which was wide of the target. Came close to scoring from Fernandes' brilliant pass and hit the post in the second half. His luck will come this season.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

He played a deep role throughout some of the match, aiming to get some influence in the game. His corner resulted in the only goal of the game being scored, despite it being an own goal with no assist. He played a brilliant ball into Greenwood for his great chance in the first half. It was a shame he could not have scored.

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Ratings: Luke Shaw the Man of the Match in Hammers victory; Greenwood, McTominay, Fernandes, Lindelof and Maguire all did well

Showed his pace and had a few good moments in the right flank in the second half. He was not really an outlet that would have provided a goal though, despite trying.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Put in a lot of effort in the game despite not being fully fit to face the Hammers. Should have perhaps scored at least once in the first half. He played to the end which was admirable and shows what he will do for the team. I long to see a fully fit Rashford though.

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Goals: Craig Dawson 53′ o/g

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Greenwood

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Bishop; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic, Shoretire

Bookings: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 35′, Scott McTominay 49′, Marcus Rashford 76′, Daniel James 90+1′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Marcus Rashford starts against West Ham United; Diallo on the bench with United seeking victory

Manchester United return to Premier League action at Old Trafford when they welcome West Ham United this evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had a tough season and despite results not being great, they are not unbeaten in their last 12 matches in all competitions. David Moyes’ side is in fine form at this stage of the season with the club seeking to finish in the European places, which would be a great result for the club and something they will strive to complete as long as they stay in with a chance of achieving that. Jesse Lingard has been a good loan signing for the club, but he won’t be able to feature against United.

United had a poor result at Old Trafford against AC Milan on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg in which Milan scored twice in the opening 11 minutes of the match; the first being ruled out of offside, the second for a hand ball. United scored in the 50th minute of the match with Amad Diallo coming on at the start of the half and scoring his first goal for the club in five minutes. United led until the penultimate minute of added time with Dean Henderson punching Simon Kjaer’s header into the back of his net with the away goal finally being scored, which puts Milan in an advantageous position ahead of the second leg.

Manchester United:

Henderson;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred;

James, Fernandes, Rashford;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant, Bishop; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Diallo, Matic, Shoretire

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Dawson, Diop, Cresswell;

Coufal, Rice, Noble, Soucek, Johnson

Bowen, Antonio

Substitutes:

Martin, Trott; Balbuena, Alves; Lanzini, Coventry; Benrahma, Odubeko

United and the Hammers have played 49 times in the history of the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 13 times and losing just seven times. United have scored a total of 98 times, conceding 45. The Red Devils have won five penalties, scoring four of them with the Hammers winning three and scoring all of them. United have kept 18 clean sheets against the Hammers with the London club keeping just seven. In terms of disciplining, United’s players have been shown a total of 58 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammer’s players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

Earlier this season, United beat the Hammers at the London Stadium with a 3-1 scoreline with saw Tomas Soucek open the scoring in the 38th minute of the match. Paul Pogba equalised in the 65th minute, Anthony Martial put United ahead in the 68th minute and Marcus Rashford completed the scoring in the 78th minute of the match to claim all three points. In this fixture last season, is was a 1-1 draw with Michail Antonio scoring a penalty in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute. United and the Hammers met at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in February with Scott McTominay scoring the only goal.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Diallo, Fernandes and James to support Greenwood in attack against West Ham; Rashford to have some involvement?

Manchester United return to Premier League action at Old Trafford when they welcome West Ham United on Sunday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had a tough season and despite results not being great, they are not unbeaten in their last 12 matches in all competitions. David Moyes’ side is in fine form at this stage of the season with the club seeking to finish in the European places, which would be a great result for the club and something they will strive to complete as long as they stay in with a chance of achieving that. Jesse Lingard has been a good loan signing for the club, but he won’t be able to feature against United.

United had a poor result at Old Trafford against AC Milan on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg in which Milan scored twice in the opening 11 minutes of the match; the first being ruled out of offside, the second for a hand ball. United scored in the 50th minute of the match with Amad Diallo coming on at the start of the half and scoring his first goal for the club in five minutes. United led until the penultimate minute of added time with Dean Henderson punching Simon Kjaer’s header into the back of his net with the away goal finally being scored, which puts Milan in an advantageous position ahead of the second leg.

How United have faired against West Ham United in the Premier League.

United and the Hammers have played 49 times in the history of the Premier League with United winning 29 times, drawing 13 times and losing just seven times. United have scored a total of 98 times, conceding 45. The Red Devils have won five penalties, scoring four of them with the Hammers winning three and scoring all of them. United have kept 18 clean sheets against the Hammers with the London club keeping just seven. In terms of disciplining, United’s players have been shown a total of 58 yellow cards and four red cards with the Hammer’s players being shown 72 yellow cards and two red cards.

Earlier this season, United beat the Hammers at the London Stadium with a 3-1 scoreline with saw Tomas Soucek open the scoring in the 38th minute of the match. Paul Pogba equalised in the 65th minute, Anthony Martial put United ahead in the 68th minute and Marcus Rashford completed the scoring in the 78th minute of the match to claim all three points. In this fixture last season, is was a 1-1 draw with Michail Antonio scoring a penalty in added time at the end of the first half and Mason Greenwood equalising in the 51st minute. United and the Hammers met at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in February with Scott McTominay scoring the only goal.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face West Ham United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday evening…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

David De Gea is back in the country but must isolate for five days before having a coronavirus test, then he will need another to get back into a stadium – both must be positive. It is unlikely that he has had the time out before this match so Dean Henderson will keep his place, which will be the longest run he has had in goal at United. It has been largely positive for him, apart from conceding that goal against Milan on Thursday evening, which would have annoyed him. Henderson is a capable goalkeeper and I like the fact he is very vocal but he is also inexperienced and playing for United will help that. He should relish the competition at the club.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United have kept four clean sheets in the last six matches, conceding two goals, which is good form, despite some of the results being 0-0 draws. Solskjaer’s defence is stronger than the rest of the team at this present time with up to seven players on the sidelines through injury. Eric Bailly faced Milan on Thursday, which suggests Victor Lindelof will be back in the team tomorrow. Alex Telles also started against the Italians, so Luke Shaw will probably be back in the team. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire will keep their places against the Hammers with United needing a victory to make it easier to finish inside the top four this season.

Midfield: Fred, Scott McTominay

The midfield is rather depleted at tis stage of the season with just Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic fit to face the Hammers. Matic played against Milan on Thursday, as did McTominay with both players playing 90 minutes. Matic would be a poor pick to start again in a few days, so McTominay and Fred should start together. It may not be ideal but it is the best option right now with neither Paul Pogba or Donny van de Beek likely to be involved due to injury. United had good squad depth in the midfield this season but injuries cannot be helped. Perhaps Solskjaer will draft in a youth player, but their injury woes are not much better right now.

Attacking Midfield: Amad Diallo, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James

It might be a bit much expecting Amad Diallo to start against West Ham but with the injury crisis as it is at the club right now, United have few options. I would like to see him eased in so that he does not get affected by the quality in the league but I think he has what it takes to get something for his club, as was shown with his goal against Milan on Thursday, which he achieved five minutes after replacing Anthony Martial. Bruno Fernandes is a dead cert in this match and after a busy period, he might be feeling the pressure, which is something he will thrive on. Daniel James should be the other starter, playing well in the recent matches.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

It would seem that Mason Greenwood might be the only fit forward to face West Ham this weekend. It is a shame that it has come to this, which might place a lot of pressure on the forward but he has the skills, the ambition and the determination to succeed and it might just be the right time for hims to shine. Of course, there are rumours that Marcus Rashford could be fit enough to face the Hammers but it may not be all that ideal as if he makes his injury worse, he could be missing for a longer period of time. United should have enough to show their presence against the Hammers but they really need to win this match.

Substitutes: Lee Grant; Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Nemanja Matic, Ethan Galbraith, Shola Shoretire; Marcus Rashford

Solskjaer may struggle to fill his substitutes bench with up to seven players likely to miss this match but I managed to think of nine to fill the bench. Lee Grant will be the replacement goalkeeper with the absence of David De Gea. In defence, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe offer something, if needed. In midfield, which is the weakest area right now, Nemanja Matic, Ethan Galbraith and Shola Shoretire could find some involvement in this big match for United. Marcus Rashford could be available on the bench in attack with rumours suggesting that he cold have recovered enough to have some involvement.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW