Menu

Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Cavani, Greenwood, Fernandes and Martial to lead the attack against the Hammers? Van de Beek to partner McTominay in midfield?

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.

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

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.

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

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

Despite conceding three goals against PSG, the Spanish goalkeeper put in a good performance and made a few good saves to keep United in the match. Against Southampton on Sunday, De Gea came off due to an injury to his knee, which he seemed to recover from but showed signs of strain on Wednesday evening against PSG. If fit, he would be the best option against the Hammers but Dean Henderson will do his best if he gets the opportunity once again. United have two positive goalkeepers and with Henderson pushing De Gea, it could turn into something good for United as they have struggled with goalkeepers in the past.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles

The defence is an area that will require some work during the January transfer window, if United are going to be active. Victor Lindelof’s performance against PSG was poor at times and I think that with Eric Bailly back from injury and Axel Tuanzebe able to play against the Hammers, after suspension against PSG, there are two other options to partner Harry Maguire. I think Tuanzebe will be that man. Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka will play in the fullback positions against West Ham with United needing to put in a defensive performance to get the better of the London club this weekend.

Midfield Two: Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay

I was not all that impressed by Fred against PSG. He lost his head and was given the chance to redeem himself but ended up getting sent off. Many will blame Solskjaer for that, but Fred is responsible for his own actions. He let his teammates, the manager, the coaches and the supporters down with his actions. Because of his actions, he should be dropped. He cannot keep doing things like that. Donny van de Beek should take his place in the centre of midfield with Scott McTominay keeping his place. He rose in stature against PSG. Never let Neymar get away with his pathetic acting and always put in the effort, which is great to see.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial

This is an area where United need to perform much better. Against PSG, Bruno Fernandes had a poor game based on his standards and that led to criticism of him too. He’s been the player to set the standards at the club the season and some seem to expect Man of the Match performances all of the time, which is not going to happen. Mason Greenwood could be recalled on the right-wing with Anthony Martial playing on the left-wing. Both players will need to perform to the best of their abilities with Martial aiming to finish his chances much better than he did against PSG, which was a poor performance for him.

Forward: Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani has earned himself his stripes at United so far this season, despite playing a minor role compared to some of his teammates. He was unfortunate not to have scored against his former club on Wednesday evening, chipping the goalkeeper but hitting the crossbar. Some criticised the player for doing that but if he had scored it, the criticism would have not happened. On the other hand, if he’d tried to round the keeper and score and miss, the criticism would still be there, probably moaning about the fact he could have chipped the keeper. You can’t with with these moaning fans nowadays.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams; Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic; Marcus Rashford

Back to three substitutes in the Premier League, Solskjaer might not be able to rotate many players with the threat of the Hammer on the horizon. United will need a victory to keep rising in the league table and after a defeat, a win will restore confidence. Dean Henderson will most likely be on the bench in this match, unless De Gea is unable to play, which could be a possibility, keeping him fit for Tuesday. In defence, Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams could be there if needed. In midfield, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic could offer something with Marcus Rashford the only attacking player on the bench.

Written by John Walker

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

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

West Ham United ready to sell £45 million rated defender this summer

Manchester United have received a boost regarding their interest in West Ham United central defender Issa Diop, although that interest seemed to be last summer with little interest in the player this summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were linked to Diop last summer with the Hammers seeking £75 million for the French defender, which was a massive fee for a player that had not yet been capped by his country at senior level. The Sun has reported that the player could be available for £45 million this summer.

It is expected that United will be looking to strengthen their defence this summer as the club has been linked with Nathan Ake, who signed for Manchester City, Gabriel Magalhaes, who is linked to both Arsenal and Napoli and Pau Torres, despite links not being duplicated in the past three weeks or so. It would seem that Victor Lindelof may not be trusted by the manager long-term and could be set for a new role as a squad player at the Old Trafford club.

The 23-year-old made 35 appearances for the Hammers during the 2019/20 season, scoring three goals and one assist. It was suggested that Solskjaer was seeking a left-footed player in the centre of defence this summer, with Diop being right-footed, possibly not the player that United need right now. Diop signed for the Hammers in the summer of 2018 and has a contract that expires in the summer of 2023, meaning the club will be able to decide the transfer fee for the player, agreeing that £75 million was too much.

Personally, I don’t think that United should be looking at Diop as the player to help secure United’s defence as with him during the past season, the Hammers conceded 54 goals in the Premier League alone, which is not great. Granted, that will not all be on him and he only made one error which led to a goal but United need to combative player to partner Harry Maguire that will be able to play the ball forwards and help United on the attack – that is not Diop.

Newspapers end up linking players to clubs all of the time, sometimes based on something, other times based on nothing. It is suggested that David Moyes wants to rebuild his West Ham squad this summer and requires the funds to do that. I would imagine that a club at the level of the Hammers would be seeking to keep their better players and build around them, although they might have to get rid of one good player in order to have the funds to continue their rebuild.

That said, it does not mean that United should be seeking to sign the player fo £45 million as it could be a big mistake. United spent £80 million on Maguire last summer and despite the club having a better season in terms of conceded goals, there is still work to be done. Diop might become a good player in the coming years but in terms of being ready to play in the UEFA Champions League, I am not convinced one bit. United should steer clear of this transfer option and not help West Ham rebuild by over paying for a player that clearly does not have a future at the club.

Written by John Walker

Player Ratings: United 1-1 West Ham; Greenwood takes tally to 17 this season, Rashford poor

Manchester United drew 1-1 with West Ham United in the final Premier League match at Old Trafford this season. Paul Pogba gave away a penalty with Michail Antonio scored at the end of the first half with Mason Greenwood equalising six minutes into the second half. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be happy with his team’s performance, which was not as good as it could have been. United have moved up to third this evening but that could change if Chelsea beat Liverpool.

It was a poor first half for United. Solskjaer side had seven shots on goal, three of which were on target with 63.3% possession. United got the ball forward quite a bit but failed to do anything with it. After what we have seen recently, this is poor football. The Hammers won a penalty in added time after Paul Pogba used his hands to defend a free kick. VAR ruled that a penalty was awarded. Michail Antonio scored his eighth goal in six matches for David Moyes’ side. 0-1 at half time.

Solskjaer made a change during the break with Aaron Wan-Bissaka replacing Tim Fosu-Mensah after the Dutchman was booked at the end of the first half. United took five minutes or so to get back into the game from the restart. Mason Greenwood equalised for United, scoring his 17th goal of the season. Pogba started the play, finding Greenwood. The teenager played a simple give-and-go with Anthony Martial, who played the assist for Greenwood to fire low beneath Lukasz Fabianski. 1-1.

Solskjaer made his second and final substitution in the 85th minute of the match with Odion Ighalo replacing Rashford. It came minutes after Bruno Fernandes earned his second booking of the season. United seemed to lack the same force they had at the start of the restart and yet again they did not take advantage of the situation they found themselves in, going for the win and going into the final game inside the top four of the Premier League with a clear advantage.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one was not really tested against the Hammers but could not save a penalty, which is normal for him.

12345

24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

The Dutchman started at right-back and did not have too bad a game. However, he was booked in the 44th minute of the match which is probably the main concern with him being replaced by Wan-Bissaka during the break.

12345

2 Victor Lindelof

The Swedish iceman had to be shouted at by De Gea a few times during the match. It makes you wonder what the player is thinking. Granted, United have little choice at this moment in time to not play him but it is clear that he's not the partner that Maguire needs at the club.

12345

5 Harry Maguire

The captain helped try and shut out the Hammers but they were having too many chance on goal, especially from set-pieces. I feel that he needs a more assured partner in the centre of defence otherwise United are not going to be strong at the back. Stronger but not United strong.

12345

33 Brandon Williams

It was good to see him start against West Ham but his left-flank was targeted throughout the match. It will be a learning experience for him though

12345

6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman has not been the same player for a few matches now. He gave away a penalty at the end of the first half, using his hands to deflect a free-kick. He needs to make up for this one. Pogba helped redeem himself by starting the attack that resulted in Greenwood's equaliser. Needs to be doing more though in this team.

12345

31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian veteran midfielder played all, keeping the ball and distributing it to his teammates. It did not work all the time for him and he seemed frustrated at times. United look set to not take another chance they were given, which is a massive shame.

12345

11 Mason Greenwood

The teenager scored the equaliser for United six minutes into the second half in an attack started by Pogba. Martial provided the assist with the 18-year-old firing under Fabianski.

12345

18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder did not have the best of matches in the final Premier League game at Old Trafford. His passing was off and he was booked for an off the ball clash with Noble.

12345

10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward is not in form right now, not in the first half at least. He can be better than this. He was booked with twenty minutes to go in the second half and still seemed to be out of the game, for what reason I do not know. Rashford was replaced by Ighalo in the 85th minute of the match.

12345

9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman provided the assist with United getting back in the game with Greenwood's equaliser. Martial did not seem to be at his best, which is the same for his teammates. On Sunday, they will need to be 100% better than this.

12345

Substitutes

29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Replaced Fosu-Mensah 46'. The right-back replaced Fosu-Mensah at the start of the second half. He added something to the squad, however, I would have preferred to see him rested for the game though.

12345

25 Odion Ighalo

Replaced Rashford 85'. The Nigerian almost immediately has a chance on goal, which did not work for United. It was a good start straight from the bench though.

12345

Goals: Mason Greenwood 51′; Michail Antonio 45+2′ penalty

Assists: Anthony Martial 51′

Manchester United: De Gea; Fosu-Mensah (Wan-Bissaka 46′), Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford (Ighalo 85′); Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Dalot; Mata, Lingard, Fred, James, McTominay

Bookings: Tim Fosu-Mensah 44′, Marcus Rashford 70′, Bruno Fernandes 81′; Arthur Masuaku 82′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Manchester United v West Ham United; Pogba and Fernandes start

Manchester United return to action against West Ham United in the Premier League this evening after being beaten by Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. This is the final league match at the Theatre of Dreams this season and will be the penultimate match of the season at home. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to get his team firing in this game to stop the Hammer from doing the double over them this season and break into the top four.

If United beat David Moyes’ side, they will rise up to third in the league with Chelsea due to face Liverpool in the later kick off on Wednesday, meaning that they could, if Chelsea beat Liverpool, still be fourth in the league going into the final match of the season against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. United will not win the FA Cup this season but they should at least ensure UEFA Champions League football.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams;

Pogba, Matic;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford;

Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Dalot, Wan-Bissaka; Mata, Lingard, Fred, James, McTominay; Ighalo

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Johnson, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell;

Soucek, Rice;

Bowen, Noble, Fornals;

Antonio

Substitutes:

Balbuena, Yarmolenko, Anderson, Lanzini, Wilshere, Haller, Masuaku, Randolph, Coventry

United and West Ham have played 47 times in the Premier League with United winning 28, drawing 12 and losing seven times. United have scored 94 goals conceding 43. United have kept 18 clean sheets with the Hammers keeping seven. United have won five penalties, scoring four with the Hammers winning two and scoring both. United have been shown 55 yellow cards with the Hammer having 71. United have had four red cards with the Hammers getting two.

Earlier this season, at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals. It was a tough defeat for United to take and after losing against Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday, Solskjaer’s side should be looking to bounce back. In this fixture last season, United won with two Paul Pogba penalties which cancelled out Felipe Anderson’s 49th minute equaliser.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Mengi and Laird on the bench against the Hammers?

Manchester United return to action against West Ham United in the Premier League on Wednesday evening after being beaten by Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. This is the final league match at the Theatre of Dreams this season and will be the penultimate match of the season at home. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to get his team firing in this game to stop the Hammer from doing the double over them this season and break into the top four.

If United beat David Moyes’ side, they will rise up to third in the league with Chelsea due to face Liverpool in the later kick off on Wednesday, meaning that they could, if Chelsea beat Liverpool, still be fourth in the league going into the final match of the season against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. United will not win the FA Cup this season but they should at least ensure UEFA Champions League football.

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

United and West Ham have played 47 times in the Premier League with United winning 28, drawing 12 and losing seven times. United have scored 94 goals conceding 43. United have kept 18 clean sheets with the Hammers keeping seven. United have won five penalties, scoring four with the Hammers winning two and scoring both. United have been shown 55 yellow cards with the Hammer having 71. United have had four red cards with the Hammers getting two.

Earlier this season, at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals. It was a tough defeat for United to take and after losing against Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday, Solskjaer’s side should be looking to bounce back. In this fixture last season, United won with two Paul Pogba penalties which cancelled out Felipe Anderson’s 49th minute equaliser.

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

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper had a terrible game against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday. He conceded two goals which he should have stopped easily. He will know that and despite what Solskjaer has said in public, he will have reminded him that he needs to up his form to continue as United’s number one goalkeeper. Some of the best goalkeepers in the world have had blips but this seems to be more than just a blip. De Gea carried United for a number of seasons, literally being the player that stopped United from being beaten. It is time we admit that he has been poor but repay him for his loyalty. A goalkeeper in poor form could change that form with a but of support. This is what supporting a team is all about.

Defenders: Tim Fosu-Mensah, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams

United face some problems in defence at this stage of the season with Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones already out of action before Luke Shaw injured his ankle against Southampton and before Eric Bailly received a head injury at Wembley. This will leave United with two central defenders that have experience. We could see Solskjaer draft Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi into the first team, however, it is unlikely that they will start. Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs to be rested from this game, keeping him fresh for Sunday’s match against Leicester City. Tim Fosu-Mensah can take his place. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will continue in the centre of defence with Brandon Williams keeping his place at left-back with United returning to a back four formation.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

In midfield, the lack of Paul Pogba on Sunday left United weak. Fred is a decent midfielder, or has been when United relied upon him week after week, but after little time on the pitch, any form he built during that time playing week after week has gone. Pogba should start in this game, alongside Nemanja Matic, which is the best partnership possible at this time. Scott McTominay has lost form majorly too and he needs playing time to change that, but right now, United need to be winning matches. Perhaps, if United beat West Ham, Solskjaer could play some of these players against Leicester, or even giving them a run out against LASK in the final match of the season at Old Trafford.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer changes his attacking formation against Chelsea and despite other times whereby it paid off, this one backfired. United will need to resort to the 4-2-3-1 formation with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford playing in the advanced areas. All three players will be unhappy with the defeat on Sunday and will be seeking to come back from that by taking advantage of Leicester’s defeat to Spurs and even assuming that Liverpool will beat Chelsea, which could see United rise to third in the Premier League this week, which would be uplifting from Sunday’s defeat – the clubs first in 20 matches, ending in 19 matches unbeaten, which is proof that something is being built at the club.

Striker: Anthony Martial

The French forward has been in some great form this season, Granted, it did not happen for him on Sunday, despite the fact he won the penalty that got United a late consolation goal, through Fernandes. In truth, later scoring 22 goals this season, like Rashford, Martial will need to keep firing to ensure his future looks good at the club. When Martial signed for United, some were unsure of the type of player that Louis van Gaal had signed but in his first game, he showed the world what he could do. Five years later, he is still showing what he can do, beating his best ever season at the club (his first) by five goals so far. Tony Martial came from France…

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ethan Laird, Teden Mengi; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo

Solskjaer will have five substitutes to use during matches for the remainder of the season and the whole of next season. Some will moan that the bigger clubs hold an advantage but all teams in the Premier League will need a certain squad size, so why not allow all players to be used across the season? This is a positive not a negative. Despite the fact that many will be calling for De Gea to be dropped, Sergio Romero will remain on the bench. In defence, Wan-Bissaka, Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi could be called upon, if needed. I would prefer the right-back to be completely rested though. In midfield, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Fred and Scott McTominay will be available. Odion Ighalo will be the only attacking player on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Maybe it is time for Solskjaer’s United to hammer the Hammers

Manchester United -v- West Ham United

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 22 July 2020, KO 18:00 BST

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann 

Fourth Official: Mike Dean Replacement Official: Natalie Aspinall

VAR: Peter Bankes Assistant VAR: Peter Kirkup

Manchester United return to action against West Ham United in the Premier League on Wednesday evening after being beaten by Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. This is the final league match at the Theatre of Dreams this season and will be the penultimate match of the season at home. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to get his team firing in this game to stop the Hammer from doing the double over them this season and break into the top four.

If United beat David Moyes’ side, they will rise up to third in the league with Chelsea due to face Liverpool in the later kick off on Wednesday, meaning that they could, if Chelsea beat Liverpool, still be fourth in the league going into the final match of the season against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday. United will not win the FA Cup this season but they should at least ensure UEFA Champions League football.

Form: United have been in some good form recently but in the past three matches, the indications have been there that this team has weaknesses. It is time for them to stand up to West Ham.

Manchester United: LWDWWW

Chelsea 3-1 L, Crystal Palace 2-0 W, Southampton 2-2 D, Aston Villa 3-0 W, Bournemouth 5-2 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 W

West Ham United: WWLDWL

Watford 3-1 W, Norwich City 4-0 W, Burnley 1-0 L, Newcastle United 2-2 D, Chelsea 3-2 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 L

Top Scorers: United will need to find a way to get Rashford, Martial and Greenwood scoring again after failing to find their form against Chelsea at Wembley.

Manchester United Goals: 22 – Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, 16 – Mason Greenwood, 9 – Bruno Fernandes, 5 – Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, 4 – Daniel James, 3 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

Solskjaer’s side has been in good form since the restart of the league and have now been defeated, which is a first for Bruno Fernandes at the club. United will need to hit back against the Hammers, going straight back to winning ways which would also see them take advantage of Leicester City dropping points after their defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. A victory over the Hammers would see United rise to third in the table, although Chelsea face Liverpool in the later kick off, which could see United stay there of slide to fourth – still an improvement.

West Ham United Goals: 9 – Michail Antonio, 7 – Sébastien Haller, 5 – Robert Snodgrass, 4 – Pablo Fornals, Mark Noble, Andriy Yarmolenko, 3 – Aaron Cresswell, Issa Diop, Tomas Soucek, 2 – Angelo Ogbonna, 1 – Fabián Balbuena, Jarrod Bowen, Javier Hernández, Felipe Anderson, Declan Rice, Jack Wilshere, Pablo Zabaleta

West Ham lie 16th in the Premier League table six points clear of the relegation zone with two matches left to play this season. It is quite possible that they will remain in the Premier League this season as they have a healthier goal difference compared to the teams below them. A win out of their next two will secure their position in the league for another season. David Moyes will be hoping that comes in this match.

Team News: Solskjaer has defensive worries ahead of West Ham clash; youth players might be added to the squad to add defensive cover.

Solskjaer could be without four defenders for the visit of the Hammers to the Theatre of Dreams. Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones remain on the sidelines, Luke Shaw may not be fit enough after missing the last two matches and Eric Bailly will be out for a period of time following his head injury against Chelsea at Wembley. Solskjaer might need to draft in one of Teden Mengi or Ethan Laird for this match. Solskjaer, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“That’s the way of a footballer’s life, you need to get over this. We’ll be ready for Wednesday. We know how huge those two games are, they’re going to be massive for us and we’re looking forward to it.”

Moyes looks set to be missing two players ahead of his return to Old Trafford. Ryan Fredericks (calf/shin/heel) and Robert Snodgrass (lower back) set to be out of his squad, which might not be the biggest of problems for the veteran manager. The Hammers will be seeking to take three points from Old Trafford this season, doing the double over United this season, which would be devastating.

Predicted Starting XI: Top four or bust for United with UEFA Champions League football needed more than ever next season.

United will need to bounce back form their defeat to Chelsea, which was the first in four matches against Frank Lampard’s side. With Leicester losing on Sunday, the chance to break into the top four, possibly at their expense is too much to lose for United. Putting the best available team out to get the result against the Hammers will be needed but it is not going to be easy. United have been pretty poor in their last three matches now.

Match Prediction: United have a lot to lose if they do not bounce back from their FA Cup semi-final defeat against West Ham on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

United and West Ham have played 47 times in the Premier League with United winning 28, drawing 12 and losing seven times. United have scored 94 goals conceding 43. United have kept 18 clean sheets with the Hammers keeping seven. United have won five penalties, scoring four with the Hammers winning two and scoring both. United have been shown 55 yellow cards with the Hammer having 71. United have had four red cards with the Hammers getting two.

Earlier this season, at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 2-0 with Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scoring the goals. It was a tough defeat for United to take and after losing against Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday, Solskjaer’s side should be looking to bounce back. In this fixture last season, United won with two Paul Pogba penalties which cancelled out Felipe Anderson’s 49th minute equaliser.

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

Written by John Walker

September Review: Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka shine in a poor month for Manchester United

Manchester United played five matches in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup during the month of September.nIt was not a great month for United with just three wins, one of them on penalties, two draws and one defeat. It means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a poor record at the club, winning 14 times, drawing seven and losing seven of the 28 matches he has managed at the club.

United started the month at home in the Premier League against Leicester City after the two-week international break. United won that match 1-0 with Marcus Rashford scoring from the penalty spot. David De Gea kept his second clean sheet of the season. United weathers the Leicester storm and got back to winning ways. A 1-0 victory over FC Astana in the Europa League then followed with Mason Greenwood scoring his first goal.

After back to back wins, United were seeking to break into the top four once again away to West Ham United. It was a poor match for United, who were missing a number of players through injury with the Hammers winning 2-0 – a poor performance all round. A 1-1 draw with Rochdale in the Carabao Cup then followed, which saw United win 5-3 on penalties with Greenwood scoring his second goal for the club.

Some (slight) positivity then followed in the run-up to the Arsenal match at Old Trafford. Both teams have been poor this season but Arsenal were much higher than United in the league table. Scott McTominay opened the scoring but it was not enough for United, who made a defensive error which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalise. October will need to see massive improvement from United. Solskjaer will know this.

Mason Greenwood – three appearances, 196 minutes, two goals.

The teenager, who turned 18 today (1/10) made three appearances for United in September. He started against FC Astana, scoring the only goal of the game but then suffered from a bout of tonsillitis which meant he missed the away match against West Ham, a 2-0 defeat for United. Greenwood was back in the team to face Rochdale, scoring United’s only goal of the game in a 5-3 penalty victory.

Daniel James – four appearances, 300 minutes, pace and ability.

The Welshman has proven himself as a great signing, a £15 million bargain if you will. Daniel James played four times during September, missing the Europa League match against Astana through injury. He was not able to add to his three-goal tally during the month but showed himself as an injection of pace in the squad which has helped the attack. He started the attack against Arsenal with Scott McTominay scoring.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – three appearances, 270 minutes, composed defending, an extra man on the flanks.

The 21-year-old right-back was a great signing this summer. He has improved United’s defence that much that when he is not playing, he is missed. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played three times for United in September and was missing from the Arsenal draw due to a bout of tonsillitis, which was a shame as he was missed, again. His worth to this United squad is going to be massive in the months to come.

Notable Mentions: Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, and Marcus Rashford.

September was clearly not a great month for United. However, it does not mean that individual players did not perform. Axel Tuanzebe played four times for United, spending 274 minutes on the pitch, captaining United against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup. He defended well but made a mistake against Arsenal which his teammates failed to deal with. It is a team game after all. Tuanzebe will kick on though and improve.

Scott McTominay made three appearances, missing the Europa League and Carabao Cup matches, although he was on the bench. 270 minutes played and one spectacular goal at Old Trafford against Arsenal will make the player more determined to shine. Marcus Rashford made four appearances, playing 331 minutes of football, scoring one goal, a penalty, assisting another. Not the best performance from the 21-year-old though.

Who is your Player of the Month for September 2019?

A look at what lies ahead in October…

In October, United will play six matches, two of these before the international break, four after. United start the month away to AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League (3/10) and they travel to face Newcastle United in the Premier League (6/10). After the international break, United face Liverpool at Old Trafford (20/10), Partizan Belgrade away (24/10), then away to Norwich City (27/10), ending the month away to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup (TBC 29/10).

What We’ve Learned: No fight, desire or will to win; injuries are costly; creativity is non-existent in this squad

Manchester United deserved the beating they took at the hands of West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scored the goals to keep their side unbeaten after the opening weekend of the season. United now have two defeats, two wins and two draws in six Premier League matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really needs to look at things that need to be changed on order to get the best out of his squad, that is if they want to give him the best. Some of these players have seen at least three managers at the club and could feel it in themselves to see at least another before they head for pastures new.

United will have the Carabao Cup third round match against Rochdale to find their feet but that will not give them any bragging rights whatsoever. In order to get over what they have endured, a good start to the season which turned into a continuation of a poor spell under the Norwegian. He needs to find a way out of this one to get United firing again.

Where was the leadership, desire, hunger, fight, energy and the will to win?

Against the Hammers, there was no fight, will to win, desire, determination, hunger nor leadership for that matter. For a club as big as United, this should be the bare minimum. Do these players get off by not winning? Do they care about the future success of the club? Do they realise the opportunity that they have been given?

In any other job, these players would be fired for not doing what they have to do. Football is different as its a 50/50 game from the very start. There are winners and losers, and despite wanting it to be so different, United seem to be losers at this moment in time. Each and every player will need to look hard at themselves in the mirror and ask questions.

Am I good enough for United? Do I have the hunger and the desire to win? Am I able to hold myself responsible when I make mistakes, or is it the fault of the manager? These questions need to be answered honestly. The ones that find more negatives do not belong at this club, they are part of the problem. The manager of the club needs to find them and get rid.

There are many things lacking at United, creativity is just one of those things.

United started the season by scoring four goals against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. That start to the season soon came to a halt after failing to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, and Southampton, then the 1-0 victories over Leicester City and Astana, followed by the poor result away to West Ham. United need to find a way to score goals.

In order for a goal to be scored, there needs to be creativity. Right now, there is none of that. Marcus Rashford has frustrated this season. He has scored three goals but two of them have been penalties. Anthony Martial has been lively, but for the past few weeks, injured and unable to play. Daniel James has scored three good goals, which is good for him.

The team is not creative. It was not creative last season, or the season before. Some of the best football that United has played has not been all that recent. There was a purple patch when Solskjaer took over last year but that fizzled out in March. You might need to look back to Louis van Gaal, David Moyes or Sir Alex Ferguson to find good football, consistently.

Injuries are going to be very costly this season. Youth could prop up this team though, no young players should be written off.

This season, United started with Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah on the sidelines – the latter two overcoming knee injuries and surgery. Not long after, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba joined the injury list and today, in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham, Marcus Rashford was added to that list. This will be a long season.

Injuries happen to every club, I mean Norwich City had ten players on their injury list not that long ago and they still managed to produce a victory over Manchester City, a team which scored eight goals against Watford this weekend. There are problems that need to be avoided in terms of injuries and replacing the unfit players in the squad.

Mason Greenwood missed this match due to illness, which was a big blow after scoring his first goal for the club, at a competitive first team level. Him overcoming his illness and Rashford not having a serious injury, along with Pogba, Shaw and Martial returning for the next game, which would be a blessing for us all.

Younger players are the ones we have our hopes on this season, time for the older players to admit they don’t offer much?

When you see supporters of the club talking about the talented youth, you see that they are desperate for them to be given a chance. On Thursday, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong both started, both were criticised by the ‘Einsteins’ who had clearly decided that they were not good enough as should not play for a while.

The future of the club lies with the youth as the current crop of players in the first team is underachieving. The likes of Gomes, Chong, Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Ethan Laird, Dylan Levitt and even Brandon Williams are the players who may come through and set a benchmark. It almost never happens from the very start.

In the 1995/96 season, the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt came through from the academy ranks. A 3-0 defeat in the League Cup, first leg to York City was not Beckham’s finest moment. However, he did not give up like some supporters have done with the current crop – he fought for his place and bettered himself.

When you gamble, you need a contingency plan to avoid failure. Lessons need to be learned here.

Solskjaer gambled this season and so far it has not paid off. It may do but many cannot see the wood for the trees at this moment in time. It seems to easy for so-called supporters to come out with their bile on social media; sack the manager, get rid of the owners, do this, do that. Easily said than done. How many time do you keep sacking managers?

Solskjaer let Ander Herrera leave as a free agent this summer – he wanted more money, the club felt he was not worth that. No replacement obtained. Romelu Lukaku also wanted to leave he left, no replacement. Granted, if you think about James Garner and Mason Greenwood, both players have been replaced, however, it is a gamble.

When gambling does not pay off, there needs to be a contingency, think Yellowhammer. The contingency plan then needs to be implemented when the gamble has not paid off. I don’t think Solskjaer has a contingency plan for this gamble, he may have hoped it could pay off. So far it has not, but it might, in time.

Ratings: Gutless and toothless display from Manchester United as they are beaten 2-0 by West Ham

Manchester United saw themselves beaten 2-0 by West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It was a toothless and gutless performance from United, who lost Marcus Rashford to injury with no main striker able to lead the line. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a contingency plan more than ever now. Onwards to the Rochdale match.

West Ham started the match in fine form, pressing forward with United’s defence having to put a lot of work into their game. The Hammers seemed patient to work hard and try and get United on the counter or press them at their own game. Angelo Ogbonna was booked in the 14th minute after a foul on Andreas Pereira.

United got themselves into the game with Daniel James show his class with a great run up the left flank, winning a corner, which they did not pressure the hosts from. The lack of creativity is going to be a massive problem this season and something that stops United from winning matches and scoring so few goals.

The match was 50/50 getting close to the end of the first half but the Hammers manager to create something, with United pressuring them in their final third. Mark Noble too many touches of the ball unchallenged, passing to Felipe Anderson, who then passed to Andriy Yarmolenko, who beat David De Gea, who made a dive to avert the goal.

United had the chance to equalise at the start of the second half after Pereira played the ball into the box towards Juan Mata, who was booked moments before, only for his to break through and miss the chance to find the equaliser. It was United’s best chance of the match so far. United seemed to be a little more determined but needed more improvement.

Rashford was forced off the pitch after pulling up just before the hour mark of the match and Jesse Lingard replaced him. The Hammers still looked like the team on top with United looking vulnerable time and time again. United took Nemanja Matic off, replacing him with Fred in the 71st minute and Mark Noble was booked in the 74th.

Jack Wilshire was fouled on the edge of the United box, winning a free-kick for his team. The free-kick was lofted over the crossbar with De Gea wise to it. There were glimpses of improvement from United but nothing that was set to change the scoreline. In the 81st minute, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his final substitution with Angel Gomes replacing Mata.

In the 84th minute of the match, the Hammers doubled their lead through Aaron Cresswell scoring a textbook David Beckham-esque free-kick, bending it over the United wall and into the top corner. De Gea got a hand to it but not enough to deny the Hammers from earning three points. A toothless and gutless performance by United.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper had little to do during the match against the Hammers and was unlucky not to get a touch of Yarmolenko’s goal bound effort at the end of the first half. In the second half, De Gea was not bombarded by chances with the Hammers having a free-kick late in the game, conceding a second goal and the second defeat this season.

12345

29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back did what he could do to break forward against the Hammers, however, it was clearly not a day that United were ready for. Lacklustre players playing a lacklustre game. The defeat was deserved. It is not the fault of one player, the entire team can carry this dismal performance.

12345

2 Victor Lindelof

The Swede will be disappointed with this result after signing his new contract with the club. The first goal was a defensive error with United not challenging their opposition, the second was a set-piece, something which United should be ready for. However, Cresswell’s Beckham-esque strike was magnificent. Onwards to the next match.

12345

5 Harry Maguire

The £80 million signing will not be happy with his or his teams performance against West Ham. The victories over Leicester City and Astana mean nothing now. He will know that. Solskjaer talked up his chances of becoming the captain of the club, which is something I would agree with, however, not this season. Defeats are part of the game and a response is vital now. Not against Rochdale either.

12345

18 Ashley Young

As Luke Shaw is still on the sidelines, Young is not the player I want to see playing a lot of fixtures this season. He was a liability at times last season, in defence, but as a professional, he was top notch. United need a big change up. I don’t know where this is going to take the club. It is not good business to keep relying on players who are past their best.

12345

39 Scott McTominay

The young midfielder has got to be one of the hardest workers in this team. To think of the abuse he has been victim of just because he’s not called Bruno Fernandes, it is pathetic. A product of the academy and a home grown player should get more support from the clubs ‘supposed’ supporters.

12345

31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder started back to back games this week and despite having stats worth bragging about against Astana, his performance against the Hammers was dire and something to forget. I get that the midfield is light but Fred would have been a better option to start the game. As it stood, the Brazilian replaced the 31-year-old.

12345

15 Andreas Pereira

The Belgian-born Brazilian had a good game, despite the result. Playing on the right-wing in the 4-2-3-1 formation, he did what he needed to do going forward. He played a great ball into Mata at the start of the second half, which was a chance of an equaliser, which Mata scuppered.

12345

8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder was one of the experienced players on the pitch against the Hammers. His performance was not the best. He did have the best chance of the game though, for United anyway, missing from yards with a seemingly gaping goal in front of him (due to the angle of Fabianski). He was replaced by Gomes in the 81st minute of the match.

12345

21 Daniel James

The inexperienced Welshman had hunger, desire and the moves to break forward but with a pretty lacklustre team around him and no target man on the pitch, it was not going to work for him or United. He’s set the trend this season with his three goals so far, which is great for his debut in the Premier League. I cannot fault him for his effort. He tried, that is all he could do.

12345

10 Marcus Rashford

The England forward did not seem to be in the mix against the Hammers. He did try and bust a gut for his club but there was something not quite right with him. Just before the hour mark, the striker pulled up and could not continue. He was then replaced by Lingard.

12345

Substitutes

14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Rashford 61’. After replacing Rashford, Lingard was the main striker. He’s had good performances in the past, but that is where they are, in the past. There was literally nothing to help United get back into the game or even have the chance of creating a goal, let alone scoring one. Not good enough.

12345

17 Fred

Replaced Matic 71’. The Brazilian should have started this match, but after playing on Thursday and his lack of football so far this season, fitness might have been an issue. He did well when he came on but United lacked leadership, inspiration and desire. It was always going to be a defeat after that opening goal at the end of the first half.

12345

28 Angel Gomes

Replaced Mata 81’. Had nine minutes on the pitch after playing for about an hour on Thursday. United were already out of the game before his introduction. It will be a good experience for him though. United need players to be annoyed with these defeats, to get their bellies on fire and come back with desire and determination to blow away their opposition.

12345

Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko 44′, Aaron Cresswell 84′

Assists: Felipe Anderson 44′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Matic (Fred 71′); Pereira, Mata (Gomes 80′), James; Rashford (Lingard 61′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Chong

Bookings: Angelo Ogbonna 14′, Mark Noble 74′; Juan Mata 48′

copyright: JW