MX23RW : Wednesday, May 18 15:25:49| >> :60:2788:2788:
[monks data]
Jan 22, 2022 at 3pm UK at Old Trafford
Man Utd
1 - 0
West Ham
Rashford (90+3')
Maguire (56')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rice (63')

Preview: Manchester United vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester United and West Ham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In a potentially pivotal game for both sides' top-four hopes, Manchester United and West Ham United prepare for battle at Old Trafford in Saturday's Premier League clash.

The Red Devils prevailed 3-1 at Brentford in midweek, while David Moyes's men went down 3-2 at home to Leeds United.


Match preview

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick on January 15, 2022© Reuters

It would not be a Manchester United match without David de Gea being forced to bail his side out on one or two occasions, but Ralf Rangnick's side found their goalscoring touch in the second period to ultimately see off Brentford with ease.

Anthony Elanga headed home only his second Premier League goal to break the deadlock before Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford made the net ripple to put the Red Devils 3-0 up on the day, with Ivan Toney's late strike unable to inspire a dramatic comeback for Brentford.

Such a result was a convincing way for Man United to end their two-game winless streak in the top flight, but the Red Devils are still rank outsiders when it comes to the top-four battle, as Rangnick's side lie seventh in the rankings before this weekend's crunch battle.

The Hammers sit just two points above Man United having played a game more, so the hosts could certainly blow the Champions League race wide open with victory here, and not since 1985 have the Red Devils opened the calendar year with back-to-back top-flight defeats at home.

A tally of just one clean sheet from their last 15 Premier League games at Old Trafford will be of some concern to Rangnick, though, and the attacking talent in the visitors' ranks are primed to make their manager's return to the Theatre of Dreams a memorable one.

West Ham United manager David Moyes on January 16, 2022© Reuters

The visit of Leeds to the London Stadium was never going to be an encounter where defences would take centre stage, but unfortunately for the home faithful, West Ham were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller in the capital.

Twice Marcelo Bielsa's side led through Jack Harrison, and twice they were pegged back by Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals, but the former Manchester City man's third of the day ended up settling the contest as Bowen spurned a gilt-edged late chance with his chest.

The Hammers' four-game winning streak across all competitions came to a bitter end on their own turf at the weekend, but Moyes's side are clinging onto that fourth and final Champions League spot by the thinnest of threads, as Man United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all apply the pressure.

West Ham's 3-2 defeat to Leeds represented the fifth Premier League game in a row that Moyes had witnessed his side chalk up at least two goals, and bagging seven goals in their previous two away wins versus Watford and Crystal Palace stands them in good stead before a daunting trip north.

Moyes's side have already got the better of Man United at Old Trafford in this season's EFL Cup, but the Red Devils edged a tightly-fought contest 2-1 in the capital back in September, as former Hammer Jesse Lingard sunk the London club.

Manchester United Premier League form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W

Manchester United form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

West Ham United Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

West Ham United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L



Team News

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay pictured in September 2021© Reuters

Scott McTominay was withdrawn in the dying embers against Brentford with a back issue but is expected to be available for Saturday, which is more than can be said for Paul Pogba and Africa Cup of Nations representative Eric Bailly.

Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani are also likely to miss out once more after suffering issues in training, while Jadon Sancho is still doubtful with personal issues and Aaron Wan-Bissaka's illness is set to keep him sidelined again.

Cristiano Ronaldo was less than pleased with his 71st-minute substitution at Brentford, but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner ought to keep Rashford out of the XI as Rangnick refuses to fix what is not broken.

Harry Maguire ought to earn a recall at the back, though, with Victor Lindelof unavailable after his home was broken into during the Brentford contest.

As for West Ham, Moyes is cautiously optimistic over Tomas Soucek's chances of returning from COVID-19, but Mark Noble's knee injury is set to keep him sidelined once again.

Said Benrahma remains absent at the Africa Cup of Nations, while centre-backs Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma - the latter of whom is close to a return - complete a quintet of possible absentees for the fourth-placed side this weekend.

Alex Kral continues to struggle for opportunities in the middle even with Noble and Soucek absent, but Moyes may be tempted to bring in the defensive-minded 23-year-old if necessary here.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Telles; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Elanga; Ronaldo

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio


SM words green background

We say: Manchester United 2-2 West Ham United

West Ham and low-scoring affairs do not go hand-in-hand, with the hosts' lingering defensive deficiencies there to be exposed by Moyes's relentless crop on Saturday.

However, the Red Devils finally appear to be growing in confidence in the final third again, and we expect an entertaining battle to end with the two sides shaking hands on a point apiece.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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How you voted: Man Utd vs West Ham

Manchester United
57.6%
Draw
20.2%
West Ham United
22.3%
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City37286396247290
2Liverpool37278291256689
3Chelsea362010673314270
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs372151164402468
5Arsenal37213135647966
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd371610115756158
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham371681359481156
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37156163740-351
9Leicester CityLeicester36139145757048
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371115113943-448
11Brentford37137174754-746
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371210154261-1946
13Crystal Palace361015114743445
14Aston Villa36135184950-144
15Southampton37913154263-2140
16Everton36106203959-2036
17Leeds UnitedLeeds37811184078-3835
18Burnley36713163250-1834
RWatford3765263375-4223
RNorwich CityNorwich3757252379-5622

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