Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 5/6
After the 2-0 triumph over Leicester City at King Power Stadium saw West Ham secure Premier League survival, the Hammers now have a chance to edge closer to a top half finish with another victory. Manchester United, on the other hand, hope to make amends for the unexpected defeat to Brighton and clinch second-place finish with one game to spare.
This has proved to be quite a disappointing season for West Ham United, who ultimately secured survival with two games to go, but their performances this term have been a far cry from the times when the Hammers were a tough nut to crack even for England’s top sides. Long-serving manager Slaven Bilic was let go in November, but the reality is that not much has changed since David Moyes took over the reigns.
West Ham have been leaking goals for fun this season, conceding 67 goals in 36 Premier League fixtures, and shaky back line is definitely the main issue at the moment. While nobody was too surprised to see the Hammers lose comfortably to Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City, heavy defeats to Swansea and Burnley could have definitely been avoided. The team did show a great deal of character to defeat Leicester on the road and escape the danger zone, but we are not convinced they have what it takes to match Man Utd on Thursday.
David Moyes is sweating over the fitness of Marko Arnautovic, Pedro Obiang and James Collins, but Javier Hernandez, Sam Byram, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio are out injured.
Heading for a runners-up finish in the Premier League and preparing for the FA Cup final, Manchester United can deem this season as promising, although much will depend on their success in the high-profile clash against Chelsea at Wembley. While the Red Devils were unable to keep up with relentless Man City, they held on to the second place from the very start and were never in real danger of missing out on a top 4 finish.
Hungry for silverware, Manchester United are now fully focused on the FA Cup final against Chelsea, although they will want to reach Wembley in high spirits, which is why we trust them to perform well in the final two Premier League fixtures. The Red Devils have just seen a three-match winning run come to an end as they were beaten by Brighton, and there are no doubts that Jose Mourinho will demand a response from his players, even though Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez could again miss out.
Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku are unlikely to be risked ahead of the FA Cup final, but Phil Jones returns to the side.
Key Factors to Consider
- West Ham boast the worst defensive record in the league (67 goals)
- Man Utd won last three meetings with the Hammers, scoring 10 goals
- The Red Devils scored 2 goals in each of their last three away games vs West Ham
- Man Utd won five of last eight away fixtures in the league (L3)
- West Ham had mixed success in last six home games (W2 D2 L2)
West Ham have been largely disappointing this season and one lucky win cannot change much. Man Utd, on the other hand, have done really well on the travels of late and we expect the trend to continue.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 5/6
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