Match Preview: West Ham vs Manchester United

Aiming to get back to winning ways after a disastrous Champions League opening defeat to Young Boys, Manchester United travel to the capital to face off against West Ham United in the Premier League. 

Sunday’s game will be the first of United’s two meetings against West Ham in the space of five days – having been drawn together for next Wednesday’s 3rd round tie of the EFL Cup

For the Red Devils, the result in midweek provided a small blow to their good start to the season but Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be hoping his side continues their good form in the league when coming up against David Moyes‘ high-flying Irons side.

The clash on Sunday will be televised on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League, with a kick-off set at 14;00. The referee for the fixture will be Martin Atkinson. 

Form Guide

As far as league form is concerned for Man United, it’s been a great start to the season having collected three wins and a draw in four games. Their last trip on their travels in the Premier League saw them set a new English record after extending their unbeaten away run to 28 games with a win at Wolves

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The Red Devils have shown to perform when coming up against West Ham, picking up three wins in their four meetings. United last visit to the London Stadium saw them win 3-1 with goals coming from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford. 

West Ham’s last victory over United would be almost two years to this day, having collected all three points in a 2-0 win back in September 2019. For Moyes side, they come into this fixture in red hot form having extended their unbeaten run to five games with a midweek win over Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Europa League.

Currently, in 8th place with eight points in the league standings, the Hammers will be aiming to pick up maximum points for the first time since 23rd August, having drawn their last two league games against Southampton and Crystal Palace. 

Team News

Solskjær’s team news sees the return of Marcus Rashford to training having returned this week following shoulder surgery, but the 23-year old is not expected to feature in his first-team action till at least October.

One player who could feature at the London Stadium on his return to the side is Scott McTominay, who recently recovered from groin surgery. More injury news for United sees Amad and Edinson Cavani both unavailable. 

West Ham team news sees them without star man Michail Antonio. The 31-year old has had an immense start to the season, collecting the August’s Player of the Month award for his seven-goal contributions in four league games, but the Jamaican international will be suspended for Sunday’s game having been sent off at Southampton last week.

Antonio is now set to miss his second consecutive meeting against United at the London Stadium having been injured for the Hammers last game against United last season. Moyes is expected to rely on Jarrod Bowen as his replacement at striker. 

Ones to watch out for

United’s player to watch out for is Cristiano Ronaldo

Having scored twice in his re-debut against Newcastle United last weekend, the Portuguese followed up with a goal in United’s first group game against Young Boys. Three goals in two games have seen Ronaldo start his 2020/21 campaign in goal-scoring form. 

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Ronaldo will certainly be looking to add to his tally of three goals and could very well do so on Sunday. However, previous matchups against the Irons has seen the 36-year old only net once in his previous four trips to East London. 

West Ham player to watch out for is Said Benrahma.

In the absence of Michail Antonio, West Ham’s most influential attacking option has been Said Benrahma. Four goal contributions in the first four league games has seen him become a key player for Moyes side,  having had to adjust to the league last season. 

The Algerian international will cause the United defence a lot of problems if allowed to thrive in the attacking midfielder role. Benrahma will have bags of energy coming into this game having been rested in West Ham’s midweek European tie. 

Will United be able to shuffle off their European woes?

United current League form sees them at the top of the league standing having played four games. But having started the week with a poor result in Europe, Sunday afternoon gives United the chance  to shuffle off their European heartache and end the week on a high with a result against a thriving West Ham side.  The next few fixtures for United sees them host four home games in a row – with Solskjær’s men aiming to make Old Trafford a fortress following last season’s poor displays at home. 

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