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Confirmed Starting XI: Rashford, Pereira, Mata and James lead the attack against West Ham United

Manchester United travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United this afternoon, seeking their first away win in the Premier League this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s side is unbeaten since the opening weekend of the new season and they will be seeking to keep that record alive during this match, which will be tough for United.

United rose into the top four of the league last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City, a team which beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the second Premier League match of the weekend. West Ham has the same number of points as United, eight, but sit below United due to goal difference. United will need to be on top of their game for this match.

The Hammers have won two of their last four home matches against United, drawing once and losing once, which incidentally is the same number of wins in the other 19 home matches, two, drawing nine and losing eight times. United has scored more goals against the Hammers than any other club – 94 and has lost twice in their last 21 league matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side need to kick on this season and find a way of breaking down their opposition with little creativity. It will be a massive test for some of these players, who are starting their careers at this club. Others may end up finding it too hard in a season that could define United come May.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young;

McTominay, Matic;

Pereira, Mata, James;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Romero; Rojo, Tuanzebe; Lingard, Fred, Gomes; Chong

West Ham United:

Fabianski;

Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell;

Rice;

Yarmolenko, Noble, Fornals, Anderson;

Haller

Substitutes:

Roberto; Balbuena, Zabaleta; Snodgrass, Sanchez, Wilshere; Ajeti

United and West Ham have met 141 times with United winning 66 times, drawing 31 times and losing 44 times. In the last 21 Premier League appearances, United has lost just twice against the Hammers, the last defeat was at the London Stadium last season, a 3-1 defeat on the 29 September 2018 with United’s only goal coming from Marcus Rashford.

Key Players and Battles: Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Harry Maguire to challenge Issa Diop, Declan Rice and Sebastien Haller in Hammers clash?

Manchester United will be pitted against West Ham United at the London Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to get some consistency into his team in order to press on and achieve which may seem the impossible at the end of the season, achieving a UEFA Champions League group stage place for next season.

United and the Hammers are in similar form this season, losing one match, drawing twice and winning three times in all competitions. The Hammers have done well to overcome that 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the opening weekend. For United, this will be a tough match after overcoming both Leicester City and Astana in the past week.

The key battles will be tough for both teams as they look to find ways to get the better of each other and aim to grasp all three points that this match has to offer. I have picked three United players and the three West Ham players that they may need to battle against in order to get the much-needed result from this game.

Key Players: United and the Hammers have key players in all areas of the pitch who could all make the difference in the battle to win this match.

Manchester United: David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Declan Rice, Andriy Yarmolenko, Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson, Sébastien Haller

Key Battles: Harry Maguire tasked with nullifying Sébastien Haller, Jesse Lingard aiming to get the better of Declan Rice and Marcus Rashford to teach Issa Diop a lesson he may never forget?

Key Battle One: Harry Maguire versus Sébastien Haller

Harry Maguire has really helped United find some solidity in their defence this season. Last season a total of 54 goals were conceded in the Premier League alone. This season, just four goals have been conceded so far. Maguire is an experienced player who will be seen as one of the leaders in the team, something needed at the club which lack leadership.

Maguire will need to be at his best, which after his break in the week could well see him there. Sébastien Haller, the French striker who signed for the Hammers from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer already has three goals to his name this season and will be seeking more, especially keeping in mind his side won this fixture 3-1 last season.

Key Battle Two: Jesse Lingard versus Declan Rice

Jesse Lingard has not achieved much for United, in terms of goalscoring or creating goals. The player will turn 27 in December, and should really be in the peak of his career as a footballer, despite the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson stated that he would be a late developer. In order to be part of the club going forward, creating and scoring goals is needed from him.

Lingard could be targeted by Declan Rice, who played the defensive midfield role with the Hammers, which could pose problems for Lingard and United, if he is at the top of his game, which may or may not be the case. United need to find the channels that will feed those forward players seeking goals, either direct to Rashford or wide to Daniel James.

Key Battle Three: Marcus Rashford versus Issa Diop

Marcus Rashford will have the weight of the world on his shoulders when United face West Ham on Sunday. Not only is he on the cusp of reaching a milestone, 50 goals for United, he knows that he is the driving force of the team with the expectation of his performance being to score goals. This will not be easy for him, or United to follow through with, based on form.

Rashford may have a fight against Issa Diop, who was linked to the Old Trafford club in the summer for an extortionate fee, a fee the player is not worth, in my opinion. The Hammers have kept three clean sheets this season, all in their last three matches. Rashford could aim to score a brace, then set the target of reaching 100 goals for United.

Marcus Rashford to lead the line, flanked by Daniel James and Andreas Pereira with Jesse Lingard in behind in 4-2-3-1 formation against the Hammers?

Manchester United will face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League. On Thursday, United beat FC Astana 1-0 with Mason Greenwood scoring the only goal of the game. Based on the travelling party for this match, Greenwood has not travelled, neither have Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw.

The fact that Pogba, Martial and Shaw did not travel is not a surprise as Shaw was ruled out with the other two unlikely to recover in time for this trip. It has also been reported that James Garner and Diogo Dalot have not travelled by Daniel James, who missed the midweek game, has travelled, which is good news.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to retain United winning run, which has lasted two matches so far, also keeping their unbeaten run going, which has lasted three matches since the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. United will be seeking to get their first away win of the season, previously drawing 1-1 with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton.

United and West Ham have met 141 times with United winning 66 times, drawing 31 times and losing 44 times. In the last 21 Premier League appearances, United has lost just twice against the Hammers, the last defeat was at the London Stadium last season, a 3-1 defeat on the 29 September 2018 with United’s only goal coming from Marcus Rashford.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has kept two clean sheets this season (Chelsea 4-0 and Leicester City 1-0) with Sergio Romero keeping one with a 1-0 victory against Astana on Thursday. This will be his first appearance after signing his new contract at the club, which has thwarted all the speculation suggesting that he could leave the club as a free agent in the summer.

After signing his new contract, the 28-year-old, who remembers the 301 defeat against West Ham United last season has demanded focus, keeping that result in the back of his mind. United moved into fourth place last weekend and will need to leave London with all three points in the bag to keep their chances breaking into the top four this season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young

United managed to rest three of this back four against Astana so Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will all be fresh for the trip to London. Lindelof will have a bad memory of this fixture last season as he scored an own goal. Ashley Young came off the bench against Astana so should be fresh enough to start with Luke Shaw not fit.

United have kept clean sheets in their last two matches and De Gea and his defence will be seeking to keep that record running as United look to get themselves in much better form ahead of the bigger matches, which will be coming thick and fast soon enough. This defence is a positive defence and will allow supporters to grow in confidence over the season.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred

Scott McTominay was rested against Astana with Fred getting 90 minutes and an assist under his belt in his second season at the club. McTominay has benched Nemanja Matic this season and for a good reason, he’s too slow to play in the high pressing matches that Solskjaer has his team playing. McTominay has had his critics, so far proving them wrong.

Fred will need to be at the top of his game to have on this Hammers side. He has made mistakes but so has Paul Pogba, but the same people praising Pogba seem to be criticising Fred. He’s a good player and will grasp it at United, although it has been tough for him. He is a better option than Matic though, based on the fact he still has his pace.

Attacking Midfield: Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James

Creativity has been lacking at United this season, and before that. It is something that will need to be solved. Daniel James has travelled with his teammates ahead of this match, so he could well be fit enough to start against the Hammers. Jesse Lingard, who returned against Astana should start behind Marcus Rashford, possibly finding a way to create goals.

Andreas Pereira should play in the right-wing role in this match as Mason Greenwood has not travelled, according to reports, possibly to keep him fresh for the Rochdale match on Wednesday. United will need to find inspiration to get the better of this Hammers team, who have lost one match this season and are currently undefeated.

Striker: Marcus Rashford

The 21-year-old is on the cusp of scoring 50 goals for United, having scored 48 in 178 appearances. He did not have the best performance against Astana on Thursday evening, however, the Kazakhstani side were very defensive and rarely got forward in force, meaning that it was always going to be a disappointing match.

Rashford will have learned from that, as he has from other frustrating matches. His critics, though seem to be full of abuse for the striker, who at 21 has achieved a lot in the game. Some of his critics have obviously achieved so much more in the game, probably on FIFA 19 or another virtual game. Bless them.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Marcos Rojo, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic; Tahith Chong

The bench is a way for Solskjaer to aim to get goals or keep a lead, or even add fresh legs to the team late in the game. The likes of Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe, who both played on Thursday would be useful on the bench if needed. Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic’s experience could prove to be useful if they are needed at any point during the match.

The likes of Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong, who both started against Astana will prove to be useful too. Both played a good game against the Kazakhstani side, who were so defensive it proved hard to get anything past them. Some fans have written off both players after one match. Imagine social media in 1995 with the Class of ’92 making their debuts!

Preview: Marcus Rashford to inspire Manchester United with a brace against the Hammers, reaching his 50th goal for the club?

West Ham United -v- Manchester United

Premier League

London Stadium, London

Sunday 22 September 2019, KO 14:00 BST

Referee: Anthony Taylor  Assistants: Gary Beswick; Adam Nunn Fourth Official: Lee Mason

VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, seeking their first away win in the Premier League this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are unbeaten since the opening weekend of the new season and they will be seeking to keep that record alive during this match, which will be tough for United.

United rose into the top four of the league last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City, a team which beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the second Premier League match of the weekend. West Ham has the same number of points as United, eight, but sit below United due to goal difference. United will need to be on top of their game for this match.

The Hammers have won two of their last four home matches against United, drawing once and losing once, which incidentally is the same number of wins in the other 19 home matches, two, drawing nine and losing eight times. United has scored more goals against the Hammers than any other club – 94 and has lost twice in their last 21 league matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side needs to kick on this season and find a way of breaking down their opposition with little creativity. It will be a massive test for some of these players, who are starting their careers at this club. Others may end up finding it too hard in a season that could define United come May.

Form: Both United and the Hammers have lost once this season. One of them will have to reign supreme in this match in order to continue a good run to the season so far.

Manchester United: WWDLDW

FC Astana 1-0 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, Southampton 1-1 D, Crystal Palace 2-1 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 D, Chelsea 4-0 W

West Ham United: DWWWDL

Aston Villa 0-0 D, Norwich City 2-0 W, Newport County 2-0 W, Watford 3-1 W, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-1 D, Manchester City 5-0 L

Top Scorers: United has scored nine goals this season to West Ham’s eight goals – who has scored the most for each club?

Manchester United: Daniel James and Marcus Rashford vying to become the top scorer for the club this season. Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood not far away though.

Goals: 3 – Daniel James, Marcus Rashford, 2 – Anthony Martial, 1 – Mason Greenwood

United has had a very mixed start to the 2019/20 season. The 4-0 victory over Chelsea set a precedent that the club was unable to continue. The 1-1 draws against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton, the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace and the 1-0 victories over Leicester City and FC Astana confirm that goals will be problematic this season.

West Ham United: Sébastien Haller has shown why he was a good signing this summer scoring three goals for his club this season. More goals needed though for him to succeed.

Goals: 3 – Sébastien Haller, 1 – Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere, Javier Hernández, Mark Noble, Pablo Fornals

West Ham has done well to overcome that 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season. Since then they are undefeated, drawing twice and winning the other three matches they have played. In this match last season, United were surprised by a 3-1 defeat which will be something the Hammers will want to serve up again.

Team News: Solskjaer buoyed by injuries but the team will have to kick on and aim to make a mark against the Hammers without them.

Solskjaer has confirmed that Luke Shaw will miss this match and that both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are likely to miss the match. Daniel James, who was injured against Leicester, missed the Astana match but could be fit to face the Hammers, although we will have to wait and see. This is not great news for United, who need to win this match.

The Hammers will be without Arthur Masuaku who was sent off against Aston Villa on Monday. Aaron Cresswell could replace him in the team. Pellegrini will be without both Michail Antonio (hamstring) and Winston Reid (knee) but Manuel Lanzini (knock) will be subject to a late fitness test. Other than that, the Hammers will be ready to go on Sunday.

Predicted Starting XI: I would expect at least seven or eight changes from the team that beat Astana to face the Hammers on Sunday.

Solskjaer has to make do without Shaw, Pogba and Martial if the latter two do not recover in time for this match, which is unlikely. James could also be a casualty, however, I have presumed that he is fit to start for United. Marcus Rashford will continue to lead the line in Martial’s absence, with Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira supporting, along with James.

Rashford is on 48 goals for United in 178 appearances, which may not be good reading is stats and averages are your thing. However, at 21, to be on the cusp of 50 goals is a great achievement for the lad. He will always get the haters but of late, they seem to be ‘fans’ of the club he plays for, which seems rather strange but hey, each to their own.

Match Prediction: United will have a tough time breaking down the Hammers, who are seeking to improve massively this season.

United and West Ham have met 141 times with United winning 66 times, drawing 31 times and losing 44 times. In the last 21 Premier League appearances, United has lost just twice against the Hammers, the last defeat was at the London Stadium last season, a 3-1 defeat on the 29 September 2018 with United’s onlt goal coming from Marcus Rashford.

West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United

Ratings: Pogba scored much-needed goals (penalties) against West Ham; Rashford and Fred also MOTM contenders

Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Both goals came from penalties, which Paul Pogba scored, taking his goal tally this season to 13, also having nine assists to his name. It was a win United needed to get, no onwards to Barcelona.

West Ham had a goal in the opening minutes of the game but it was offside. It was a let-off for United though, who did not start all that well. United won a penalty in the 18th minute of the match after Juan Mata was seemingly fouled by Robert Snodgrass. After a short delay, Paul Pogba took the penalty and put United 1-0 up in the 19th minute.

West Ham equalised within five minutes into the second half with Felipe Anderson putting the ball into the back of the net. David De Gea and Pogba were both culpable for the goal as between them, they did not make the clearance of the ball with allowed Declan Rice and Manuel Lanzini to put the Hammers in a good position with Anderson scoring.

Marcus Rashford replaced Mata in the 56th minute of the match and within three minutes, had an impact in the game by firing a goalbound effort, which was deflected by Lukasz Fabianski, then deflected by the defence. Minutes later, he had the opportunity to head an effort, clearing the crossbar instead of burying his effort into the back of the net.

United won a second penalty in the 80th minute after Anthony Martial was fouled in the box by Ryan Fredericks. Pogba once again took the spot kick and buried his effort to see United ahead in the game for the second time. United need to start finding ways to beat teams as that seems to be something that is lacking. Also, stop conceding goals; it has been 13 matches since their last clean sheet.

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Man of the Match: Paul Pogba

The Frenchman may not have scored the goal during open play but they were the difference between United winning and losing at Old Trafford today. Pogba has been criticised a lot recently and most of that criticism has been warranted. It seems that he is flirting with another club ahead of the summer transfer window. That will not win him much support. But that aside, he showed his class with two good penalties which carved a good win for United and kept their top four hopes alive.

Match Statistics:

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one made a huge save to deny the Hammers at 1-1, which kept United in the game. United still seem a long way away from keeping clean sheets again though, which is worrying. De Gea made a massive mistake with his distribution of the ball, which led to Anderson finding an equaliser for West Ham.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Dalot needs a lot of experience in the game to become the player many hope that he will. He was one of the better players against West Ham but needs to be more decisive at times. He gave his all though, which was good to see.

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Chris Smalling

Smalling was the better composed central defender in this game. He had an opportunity at the other end of the pitch to score, but blazed his effort over the crossbar. Did what was needed in and around his own box though.

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4 Phil Jones

It was a performance of chaos for Jones, but that is what is expected and what is served up most of the time. He did perform a great clearance, which denied West Ham a chance on goal. Came off the pitch with a wound, which could keep him out for the Barcelona match on Tuesday.

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16 Marcos Rojo

Four months since his last start, the Argentinian was back in the team. I was not overly impressed with his defending or provision of width, in an attacking sense. It will be better when Luke Shaw is back, which won't be until the Manchester derby. Maybe he will be sold in the summer, it needs to happen.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian had a good game for United. He was involved in breaking up play during the match and got the ball forward the majority of the time. Good to see him raise his confidence during his first season at the club. He should be included in the team to face Barcelona on Tuesday.

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6 Paul Pogba

The midfielder needs to raise his game for United. I feel that he's riding the momentum rather than creating it, at times. Some will slate me for slating their legend but at least I am being honest with my thoughts. Pogba scored two penalties, making it 13 goals and nine assists this season, six of those goals were not from the penalty spot. He needs to step up against Barcelona and bring that leadership role he clearly has with France, into this squad. If not, questions will be asked more frequently.

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8 Juan Mata

I like Juan Mata but I just do not think he is a player that can bring anything to the club now. Fair enough, he won the penalty, which Pogba scored but he's not a player that United have used in the right way and probably never will. He started on the right and played in the centre more often than not, which is not working. He could well be nearing an end to his United career.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Since returning from a period of injury, Lingard has done very little to justify a place in the squad, let alone a place in the starting XI. He needs to buck up his ideas and get stuck into achieving something, otherwise his opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in world football will end with him playing elsewhere at a level that suits him. I've defended Lingard many times, but he's had enough chances to make something of himself now.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman won a penalty for United, which turned into the winning goal, scored by Pogba. Aside of that, Martial was slow and sloppy with both possession of the ball and passing it. I wonder who Martial FC will blame for his inability to reach the dizzy heights playing for Manchester United should demand.

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Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian was poor once again for United on his 249th Premier League appearance. United scored twice, both from the penalty spot. Lukaku had little impact in the game, 69% according to the United app, most of which was for passing the ball. He needs to find some form, and fast, if he is to save his career at the club. I think it is clear he will ask to leave though.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata 56'. Made an almost instant impact in the game with a shot on goal within three minutes, which was deflected and cleared. Had involvement in the game which helped his teammates. Will be grateful of the slight rest he had today. Perhaps in view of him starting on Tuesday in Barcelona.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Replaced Lukaku 75'. The 17-year-old made his second Premier League appearance in just over a month. Got stuck into the game and helped United on the attack at times. Good to see him get more opportunities and hope to see him get more before the end of the season.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Rojo 75'. Came on at right-back and played a good part in the game for 15 minutes plus added time. Good to see him putting himself on the line for his team by playing in positions needed by the manager, despite it being for a short period of time.

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Goals: Paul Pogba 19′ (p), 80′ (p); Felipe Anderson 49′

Assists: Manuel Lanzini 49′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Rojo (Pereira 75′); Fred, Pogba; Mata (Rashford 56′), Lingard, Martial; Lukaku (Greenwood 75′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Lindelof, Darmian; McTominay

Bookings: Juan Mata 34′; Ryan Fredericks 79′

Confirmed Starting XI: Lingard, Lukaku and Martial lead the line against the Hammers; Greenwood and Rashford on the bench

Manchester United are back in Premier League action at the Theatre of Dreams this evening as they host West Ham United. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 3-1 – one of the worst performances of the season. Revenge is something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to serve.

United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, a match they were not outclassed in. With Arsenal falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Everton, it has left United with a chance to get back into the top four this season. However, United will need a winning run.

Solskjaer will be missing Ashley Young (one match) and Luke Shaw (two matches) due to suspension. This will mean that he utilises the likes of Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and even Diogo Dalot in the team for the next two league matches, or he plays a formation, at least for this match, which uses three central defenders.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Dalot, Jones, Smalling, Rojo;

Fred, Pogba;

Mata, Lingard, Martial

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Lindelof, Darmian; Pereira, McTominay; Rashford, Greenwood

United and West Ham have played 140 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 25 February 1911, a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup. United has won 65 matches, drawn 31 times and lost 44 times. Earlier in the season, at the London Stadium, United lost 3-1, meaning they will be looking for revenge.

United has been beaten four times in their last six matches. It has shown that Solskjaer has overachieved with this team. There are many changes to be made in the summer if the owners are willing to back him; they need to. United needs to get back on winning ways, taking no prisoners against West Ham, who will be looking to do the double over United.

West Ham has not been that consistent, at least for the right reasons of late. Four defeats and two wins in their last six matches. That is not the consistency United will be looking for as teams in the same state have beaten them this season. Ten goals conceded, six scored, one clean sheet in the last six matches. Not great reading for the Hammers.

How Manchester United could look against West Ham United in a 3-2-3-2 formation; Rashford and Lukaku, supported by Dalot, Pogba and Martial

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday evening as they host West Ham United. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 3-1 – one of the worst performances of the season. Revenge is something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to serve.

United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, a match they were not outclassed in. With Arsenal falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Everton, it has left United with a chance to get back into the top four this season. However, United will need a winning run.

Solskjaer will be missing Ashley Young (one match) and Luke Shaw (two matches) due to suspension. This will mean that he utilises the likes of Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and even Diogo Dalot in the team for the next two league matches, or he plays a formation, at least for this match, which uses three central defenders.

United and West Ham have played 140 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 25 February 1911, a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup. United has won 65 matches, drawn 31 times and lost 44 times. Earlier in the season, at the London Stadium, United lost 3-1, meaning they will be looking for revenge.

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Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea is the best option in goal to face West Ham on Saturday but he will need to start looking to regain his form. It is fair to say his form has been questionable this season, especially with rumours suggesting that he could leave the Old Trafford club in the summer, with one year remaining on his contract. A clean sheet would be a good start…

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Defence: Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones

Ashley Young (one match) and Luke Shaw (two matches) are suspended so Solskjaer does not have much experience in the fullback roles. Opting for a three at the back formation could overcome that problem, keeping an experienced defence, which might do the job. Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones could be trusted against the Hammers.

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Midfield: Andreas Pereira, Nemanja Matic

The midfield needs some assurances. They could come in the experienced Nemanja Matic, who could help shield the back three and Andreas Pereira, whose energy could help United, especially in knitting the defence with the attacking midfield. Having Paul Pogba playing in a more attacking role could see this midfield doing what it needs to do.

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Attacking Midfield: Diogo Dalot, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial

Having five players in attacking positions could give United enough firepower against the Hammers on Saturday. Diodo Dalot, who has played a more attacking role under Solskjaer, could play a role on the right-wing, also doing his bit defensively. Anthony Martial on the left could give the attack a boost in the wide areas. Pogba in an advanced role could be key.

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Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku

At this stage of the season, United need to be scoring goals. That will mean getting the best of all players on the pitch. United has played better with two strikers on the pitch. Seeing Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku supported by the likes of Martial, Pogba and even Dalot could be beneficial against the Hammers. Scoring goals galore, maybe.

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Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian; Juan Mata, Fred, James Garner; Alexis Sanchez

Solskjaer will need to have some able players on the bench against the Hammers. The defence may need to be freshened up in the latter stages of the match, also with some experience coming off the bench in the midfield or attacking positions. Solskjaer may look to add youth to the bench if the likes of Alexis Sanchez are not fit enough to play a role.

Preview: Manchester United need to hit the Hammers hard to achieve top four finish this season…

Manchester United -v- West Ham United

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 13 April 2019; KO 17:30 BST

Referee: Graham Scott

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday evening as they host West Ham United. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season at the London Stadium, the Hammers beat United 3-1 – one of the worst performances of the season. Revenge is something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will need to serve.

United lost 1-0 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford, a match they were not outclassed in. With Arsenal falling to a 1-0 defeat away to Everton, it has left United with a chance to get back into the top four this season. However, United will need a winning run.

Solskjaer will be missing Ashley Young (one match) and Luke Shaw (two matches) due to suspension. This will mean that he utilises the likes of Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and even Diogo Dalot in the team for the next two league matches, or he plays a formation, at least for this match, which uses three central defenders.

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Form: Both United and West Ham has been beaten four times in their last six matches. Both teams will be seeking a victory at Old Trafford

Manchester United: LLWLLW

Barcelona 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Watford 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Arsenal 2-0 L, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 W

United has been beaten four times in their last six matches. It has shown that Solskjaer has overachieved with this team. There are many changes to be made in the summer if the owners are willing to back him; they need to. United needs to get back on winning ways, taking no prisoners against West Ham, who will be looking to do the double over United.

West Ham United: LLWLWL

Chelsea 2-0 L, Everton 2-0 L, Huddersfield Town 4-3 W, Cardiff City 2-0 L, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Manchester City 1-0 L

West Ham has not been that consistent, at least for the right reasons of late. Four defeats and two wins in their last six matches. That is not the consistency United will be looking for as teams in the same state have beaten them this season. Ten goals conceded, six scored, one clean sheet in the last six matches. Not great reading for the Hammers.

Top Scorers: United has more players scoring goals but the Hammers have the ability to get goals themselves, despite poor form

Manchester United: 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 14 – Paul Pogba, 13 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

West Ham United: 9 – Felipe Anderson, 8 – Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernández, 5 – Michail Antonio, Lucas Pérez, 4 – Robert Snodgrass, 3 – Mark Noble, Angelo Ogbonna, 2 – Grady Diangana, Issa Diop, Declan Rice, Andriy Yarmolenko, 1 – Fabián Balbuena, Andy Carroll, Ryan Fredericks

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Team News: United have injured players returning to fitness whereas West Ham has a problem with players out of action

Injuries could well be coming to an end for United ahead of the West Ham match this weekend. Alexis Sanchez was training ahead of United’s Champions League clash with Barcelona and could be a contender for the squad this weekend. Matteo Darmian was training also. Solskjaer could have a few players ready to come into the team.

Ashley Young is suspended for this match after his red card against Wolverhampton Wanderers, United’s last Premier League match. Luke Shaw will miss this match and the one against Everton on the 21 April after amassing ten yellow cards this season. Diogo Dalot and Darmian could well be in with a chance to face the Hammers.

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini currently has seven players on the sidelines through injury; Winston Reid (knee), Carlos Sanchez (ACL), Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Andy Carroll (ankle), Samir Nasri (calf), Michail Antonio (ankle), Jack Wilshere (fitness). The first four players have been ruled out, the latter three all major doubts for this match.

Predicted Starting XI: Three at the back for United; Dalot playing as a wing-back; Martial on the left covering defence and attack?

Injuries seem to be coming to an end for Solskjaer with both Sanchez and Darmian returning to training this week. With Young (one match) and Shaw (two matches) currently suspended, United has only Dalot and Darmian in the fullback roles. Marcos Rojo could play at left-back as he did for the U23s last week or Solskjaer could use three at the back.

Match Prediction: United to serve a dish which is best served cold at Old Trafford on Saturday evening?

United and West Ham have played 140 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 25 February 1911, a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup. United has won 65 matches, drawn 31 times and lost 44 times. Earlier in the season, at the London Stadium, United lost 3-1, meaning they will be looking for revenge.

Manchester United 3-0 West Ham United

Confirmed Starting XI: Shaw back in the team; Sanchez leads the line

Manchester United face West Ham United in the Premier League this evening, the penultimate match in the league this season. United last played on Friday evening, an away match against Brighton and Hove Albion which they lost 1-0. Winning this match will secure United in second place in the Premier League this season, their highest ever finish post-Sir Alex Ferguson. United had already qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season following their victory over Arsenal.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Smalling, Jones;

Valencia, Herrera, McTominay, Shaw;

Lingard, Pogba;

Sanchez

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Blind, Young; Mata; Martial Rashford

United have one more league match, against Watford this season, which will be played at Old Trafford with five full days rest ahead of the Emirates FA Cup final, in which Jose Mourinho’s side will go head to head with his former club, Chelsea, at Wembley to contest the historic domestic trophy in which United could win the trophy for the 13th time, level with Arsenal, who won the trophy last season.

Report: Romelu Lukaku sank West Ham with an Old Trafford debut brace; Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial score too

Manchester United beat West Ham United 4-0 at Old Trafford in the opening game of their Premier League campaign. In the days before the match, manager Jose Mourinho said United were on fire, and he was right. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, assisted by Marcus Rashford. The Belgian’s second goal came off his head with Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisting. United’s third goal was scored by Anthony Martial, Mkhitaryan the provider again. United rounded off the scoring through Paul Pogba, a thundering effort, assisted by Martial. United have started the new season at the top of the league.

Jose Mourinho named a good starting XI to take on the Hammers with his side having a bright start. West Ham also had a bright start, nothing to write home about for either side in the opening six minutes of the match. In the seventh minute of the match, Romelu Lukaku got the ball on the left flank, ran up the pitch and tried to get a cross into the box, which was cleared for a United corner. The corner came to nothing with the Hammers clearing and Blind getting a cross into the box, hitting Nemanja Matic with the ball going out for a goal kick. A bright spell from United there, unlucky not to find something.

In the eleventh minute of the match, Paul Pogba got away from his marker and saw his low cross cut out by Winston Reid. Henrikh Mkhitaryan then hit the ball over the crossbar from inside the box, which was the best chance yet for United. In the 14th minute, Juan Mata played a pass into Marcus Rashford on the edge of the box. The forward was challenged and went down easily, nothing given by the referee and West Ham made the clearance from danger. United then started their attack again. In the 16th minute of the match, Daley Blind had the ball at the edge of the box, not sure if it was a cross or a shot, but he was wide of the target.

United had a great chance to take the lead in the 19th minute of the match with Joe Hart off his line, brought out by United, the ball being played in the box and a scuffle to get the ball into the back of the net. West Ham cleared the ball, which stopped United from taking the lead, luckily. United maybe need to be a bit more ruthless up front. United were still trying to piece something together in the 21st minute of the match with a looped pass over to the left flank for Blind to cross into the box, going out of play for another goal kick. United won a corner minutes later, Blind reaching Bailly who put the ball out of play.

In the 25th minute, Rashford tried to get something by twisting and turning in the box to get through from the left flank but his effort was deflected behind. United were still looking strong. Mata had a great chance in the 27th minute, not aiming for a goal, squaring the ball across the face of the goal to create a chance, which was thwarted by the Hammers. United won another corner soon after, the threat being cleared for another with Lukaku looming and Hart clearing his area. United took the lead in the 33rd minute of the match through Lukaku with Rashford doing the work to get the ball into the box and Lukaku firing, striking the post and in.

Nemanja Matic was having a great game for United as half time approached. Not only was he commanding his area, he also attempted to create something himself, showing that he was not just a one trick pony. Mourinho will be proud of his newest signing of the summer. Eric Bailly was booked in the 43rd minute for a challenge on Javier Hernandez, who was being a tricky customer in the match, but nowhere near as dangerous as he could be. There was a minute of added time at the end of the half, West Ham had a chance, with David De Gea making the save, Bailly and Pogba clearing the danger. 1-0 to United.

Four minutes into the second half and Rashford could have doubled United’s lead, latching onto Pogba’s pass, making the run and getting close to the box and launching his shot, which was wide of the target. Pablo Zabaleta was booked for a foul on Rashford in the 51st minute of the match, United winning a free-kick just outside the box on the left flank. Lukaku scored his second of the day from the free-kick with Mkhitaryan putting the perfect ball into the box and the Belgian striker heading home. 2-0 United and a second Old Trafford goal for the £75 million man.

Mkhitaryan found the back of the net in the 57th minute after some good attacking play by United, but Rashford was offside, having played the ball on the attack and the third goal was ruled out for United. Just before the hour, Marko Arnautovic’s looping header clipped the bar in the first credible chance for the visitors. United getting a ticking off by the manager, who ran from his seat and into the technical area. Antonio Valencia was booked for a challenge on Arnautovic in the 60th minute, just before the Hammers made their first change with Edmilson Fernandes replaced by Diafra Sakho and Declan Rice replacing Mark Noble.

Immediately after the changes, United were looking for a third with Lukaku unlucky to complete his hat-trick. Pogba, latching onto the ball coming back saw his effort deflected by Zabaleta with the home side winning a corner. Mkhitaryan made a good run towards the box, firing his shot but Hart thwarted the effort. United were playing with such an attacking threat that the Hammers will be happy when the whistle has been blown for full-time. United seem to have changed in the year from Mourinho’s first Premier League match to the first of this season. A lot better and better with attacking chances too.

In the 66th minute, Rashford had a superb strike on go from just inside the box, beating the keeper, who dived to save the effort and striking the post and. Unlucky for Rashford, who seems determined to get something from the game today. Mourinho will be happy with his team, who seem to be pulling out all the stops to entertain and impress. In the 71st minute, after some good interplay with Valencia, Blind, receiving the cross had a shot on goal, just hitting it slightly over the crossbar from a wide-angle. Mourinho sent Marouane Fellaini, Matteo Darmian and Anthony Martial out to warm up, seemingly looking to make some changes.

Lukaku had a shot in the 75th minute, over the crossbar. Fellaini replaced Mata in Mourinho’s first change of the match with United reverting to a 4-3-3 formation. West Ham started to try to piece something together after the United substitution. Some poor clearing by Blind could have seen Arnautovic score, but his shot is still rising now. In the 79th minute, Mourinho brought on Martial to replace Rashford to a rousing reception. West Ham made their third change with Aaron Cresswell replacing Arthur Masuaku. Martial, in the 82nd minute, had the ball on the flank, passed to Lukaku who thought he may have been offside, not taking the chance to score his third of the day.

74,928 supporters were at Old Trafford to see new summer signing Nemanja Matic put in a great performance and more importantly see new striker, Romelu Lukaku score his brace. In the 85th minute, Lukaku was put through to try to complete his hat-trick, Hart getting the ball. In the 88th minute of the match, Anthony Martial scored the third goal for United after Mkhitaryan played the ball in for the Frenchman. After the celebration, Jesse Lingard replaced the Armenian as the third and final change of the match. United went 4-0 up and top of the Premier League after Paul Pogba scored United’s fourth goal, assisted by Martial – some good play from the French teammates. Manchester United send West Ham packing after a 4-0 victory.

Goals: Romelu Lukaku 33′, 52′, Anthony Martial 87′, Paul Pogba 90′

Assists: Marcus Rashford 33′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 52′, 87′, Anthony Martial 90′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Fellaini 75′), Mkhitaryan (Lingard 88′), Rashford (Martial 79′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Darmian; Herrera

Bookings: Eric Bailly 43′, Antonio Valencia 60′

copyright: JW