Juan Mata is desperate for Manchester United to put their Liverpool defeat behind them with an FA Cup quarter-final win over West Ham.
A 2-0 setback at Anfield on Thursday has left Louis van Gaal’s side on the brink of an exit from the Europa League and delivered another damaging blow to an inconsistent season.
United were dumped out of the FA Cup at the last-eight stage to eventual winners Arsenal last term, but host a West Ham side on Sunday who have not won at Old Trafford in their last nine visits in all competitions.
And Mata is eager to restore some pride by sealing a spot in a Wembley semi-final with a fifth home win in a row.
“It was not a good performance and not a good result obviously,” Mata told MUTV. “But we need to move on, we need to win on Sunday. It is a chance to play at Wembley again and a chance to win a title.
“The FA Cup is very special for all of us and it is against a very good team like West Ham. We need to recover as soon as possible and then focus just on the FA Cup. Then, after the weekend, we can look at the Europa League again.”
West Ham dispatched Blackburn Rovers 5-1 in the previous round and followed that with three consecutive Premier League victories – the last of which saw them come from 2-0 down to defeat Everton 3-2.
The mood around Upton Park could scarcely be better given their recent performances, but manager Slaven Bilic has warned that United will offer a far sterner test than they did against Liverpool this week.
“United had a great performance against Arsenal at home. They are a massive club and have one of the biggest managers in the business,” said Bilic, whose side held United to a 0-0 draw in the league game at Old Trafford in December.
“We are expecting a good side to play in front of their own fans and we are expecting a better performance from them.
“Thursday was not a game you can take as normal from them. It’s intimidating to play away.”
United hope to have Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Phil Jones available, while Bastian Schweinsteiger (knee) and Antonio Valencia (ankle) could also feature. Jesse Lingard, banned from the Liverpool game, is back, but captain Wayne Rooney (knee), Ashley Young (groin) and Luke Shaw (leg) remain out.
Bilic has confirmed that Darren Randolph will keep his place in goal, while the returning Victor Moses (quad), Enner Valencia (ankle), Joey O’Brien and Winston Reid (both hamstring) have given a real boost to the squad. Defensive duo James Tomkins (calf) and James Collins (hamstring) are out.
Key Opta Stats:
– This is the ninth time these sides have been drawn in the FA Cup – the previous eight have alternated between West Ham progressing twice and United progressing twice.
– United have lost their last two FA Cup home games against fellow Premier League sides, both by a 2-1 scoreline (Swansea City in 2014 and Arsenal in 2015).
– West Ham scored as many goals in their last FA Cup away game as they had in their previous 11 in the competition (5).
– Man United have netted 12 goals in their last four home games in all competitions – the same amount they’d scored at Old Trafford in their previous 13 matches.
– Michail Antonio has scored in his last three appearances for West Ham in all competitions.