Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Prediction: West Ham vs Manchester United


Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

In-form Manchester United start the new year with a trip to London Stadium hoping to extend their Premier League winning run to six in a row against Slaven Bilic’s West Ham. The Hammers’ saw their three-match victorious stretch come to an end last time and will be keen for a swift return to winning ways. It will not be easy, but Bilic’s men have shown they are capable of pulling a surprise against the big guns.

West Ham

Having made a dreadful start to the new 2016-17 season which saw them get agonizingly close to the relegation zone in the Premier League, West Ham have managed to recover and propel themselves to the mid-table thanks to a December’s purple patch. The 2-2 draw at Liverpool was followed by three consecutive triumphs over Burnley, Hull City and at Swansea respectively, whereas their fine mini-run was ended last time out at reigning champions Leicester City. There is plenty of optimism in West Ham camp however as the Hammers hope to put a dent in Manchester United’s roaring form and go unbeaten in five consecutive top tier matches against the Red Devils for the first time ever. It will be easier said than done knowing that Slaven Bilic’s men struggle with a great number of injuries to their first-team members.

Team News

Captain Marko Noble’s fitness will be given a late assessment as the experienced midfielder suffered a blow to his knee against Leicester City.

Alvaro Arbeloa, Arthur Masuaku, Diafra Sakho and Gokhan Tore all remain sidelined with injuries as well. Simone Zaza and Sam Byram are yet to feature for West Ham this season as they continue to nurture their knee and thigh injuries, respectively.

Manchester United

The Red Devils were brilliant towards the turn of the year and will surely be hoping to extend their brilliant Premier League five-match winning stretch. Their winning run actually extends to six in a row in all competitions as Jose Mourinho’s men sparked the great run with a 2-0 win at FK Zorya Luhanks in the UEFA Champions League. In addition to great form, Manchester United have also displayed great character and winning mentality which gave plenty of joy to the Red Devils’ fans. The 2-1 come-from-behind win over Middlesbrough last time out was particularly impressive as it brought back the feeling of those Sir Alex Ferguson times, when Manchester United were a force to be reckoned with through their never-dying attitude. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been particularly impressive over the last few weeks with the experienced Swedish international bagging 12 goals thus far and managing three assists as well. Former Paris Saint-Germain captain is enjoying his time under Jose Mourinho and is defying his age once again with imposing, quality performances.

Team News

Defender Eric Bailly is due to travel to the Africa Cup of Nations and the Ivorian will be unavailable after featuring against Middlesbrough. Captain Wayne Rooney has little chance of coming back to action after missing the last two matches.

In the meantime, Michael Carrick has little chance of making it into the squad, whereas Luke Shaw is a definite absentee due to his groin strain.

Key Aspects to Consider

  • West Ham are unbeaten in 4 consecutive EPL matches vs Man United
  • Red Devils are enjoying an impressive 5-match winning streak
  • Hammers will miss no less than 8 players against Mourinho’s men
  • Man United kept a clean sheet in only 2 of their last 9 EPL matches
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 12 goals in 19 rounds so far

Conclusion

Last couple of matches between the two rivals brought plenty of excitements and goals at both ends of the pitch. West Ham and Manchester United are coming off from a fine stretch in the league and will be keen to kick off the new 2017 year on a high at London Stadium. United lost their last trip to London, but had gone six matches without a loss prior to the 3-2 defeat in May.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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