Prediction: Correct Score – 2-2
Manchester United have the chance to notch back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since March as they face West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday.
The Red Devils now sit fourth in the league table and could rise all the way to second. Elsewhere, Manuel Pellegrini’s troops have enjoyed a positive start to the campaign and will be hoping to continue that in what looks to be a potentially tough test on home soil.
West Ham United
Despite having got their season underway in the worst possible way with a 5-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City on the opening day, Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers come into this match in very good form. Sitting eighth in the Premier League table, the Londoners have not tasted defeat since and got another positive result at Villa Park last time out with a 0-0 draw having gone down to ten men during the match.
One aspect that they will hope to continue this weekend is their positive defensive record in recent weeks. They have not conceded a single goal in any of their last three matches in all competitions. This means the team now have a chance to notch four consecutive clean sheets for the first time since February 2014. But for their thumping to the champions on the opening day, they actually do have a great record at the back in the league too having only shipped two further goals since.
The Hammers do not have any fresh injury concerns for the match at the London Stadium but defender Arthur Masuaku is not available due to suspension following his sending of against Aston Villa. Manuel Lanzini will be put through a late fitness test after picking up a slight problem but should be fit enough. Elsewhere, long-term absentees Winston Reid and Michail Antonio are still missing.
Following their slender victory over Leicester City at Old Trafford last time out, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops now have a wonderful opportunity to make it back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since March. They also have a great chance to earn their first three points away from Old Trafford since their 3-1 success against Crystal Palace all the way back in February. The Red Devils have not gone seven away matches without a win since 2014.
They will take confidence from their recent results though. Away from the Premier League, the team also managed to get their UEFA Europa League campaign off to the best start as they overcame FC Astana 1-0 at Old Trafford. Should they earn another victory against West Ham United, it could go a long way in silencing Solskjaer’s doubters, with a victory potentially seeing them overtaking rivals Manchester City into second in the Premier League table.
The Red Devils still have some significant injury worries for the game at the London Stadium. Long-term absentees Eric Bailly and Timothy-Fosu Mensah still remain on the sidelines. Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba are all also still doubts after missing out last weekend. Another blow comes in the form of Daniel James who missed training and will be striving to be fit in time for the match.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester United have a better all-time head-to-head record between the two sides (W66, D31, L44)
- The Hammers won the last clash at the London Stadium between the two 3-1
- Manuel Pellegrini has won a third of his matches against Manchester United as a manager, only losing once at home against the Red Devils
- Anthony Martial has had a hand in ten goals in his last eight matches against the Hammers (six goals, four assists)
- West Ham have not won back-to-back home matches against Manchester United since the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons
The Red Devils will be extremely keen to follow up their wins over Leicester and Astana with another victory. It is crucial that they win these sort of games if they hope to be successful in their pursuit of UEFA Champions League football next season. However, West Ham will not be pushovers and will give them a tough test in the capital. It could potentially be a draw between the two sides on Sunday.
Prediction: Correct Score – 2-2
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