Match Previews

Preview: West Ham United vs. Manchester United

As the hosts can sit back and relax, the visitors need to put in a showing as this reverse opening day fixture is the final of the mammoth gameweek.

Despite sharing many faces in this encounter, managers David Moyes and José Mourinho will not share the same pressure going into this one.

It’s the penultimate match of the season.

Kick-off: 19:45 [BST]

Venue: London Stadium

Referee: Jon Moss

The Hammers

Position: 15th

Current run: WLLDD

Top scorer: Marko Arnautović [10]

Most assists: Aaron Cresswell [7]

One to watch: Manuel Lanzini

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Michael Antonio; hamstring (next season)
  • Marko Arnautović; knock (doubtful)
  • Sam Byram; ankle (next season)
  • James Collins; hamstring (day to day)
  • Winston Reid; medial collateral ligament (next season)

Team breakdown

Lead by former United boss Moyes since early winter, the Irons changed formation to a 3-4-2-1 soon after his appointment and he made Arnautović an unorthodox focal point which has proved dividends as the Austrian (who had trouble with Mourinho at Inter Milan when the enigmatic forward was a team) has smashed in the goals and contributed with assists too.

Backed-up by the fit & firing Lanzini and versatile engine Mário either side, the front trio have found fluidity.

Their quality has kept out of the team former United fan-favourite forward Javier Hernández as well as Andy Carroll who recently fell out with Moyes but the pair have since made up.

A solid midfield paring of Cheikhou Kouyaté & Mark Noble keeps things tight whist wing-backs Pablo Zabaleta & Arthur Masuaku cover the flanks. A true hero at Old Trafford in his time, Patrice Evra usually warms the bench but could made an appearance and will face his old club for the first time since leaving for Juventus following Louis van Gaal taking over.

The back trio has been depleted this campaign as local lad Declan Dice and dead-ball specialist Aaron Creswell sit either side of Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of the defence.

Just as Joe Hart has regained his place, he was dropped for Adrián to return between the sticks. Both stoppers are capable of outstanding saves but lack enough consistency so either could feature in this one.

What the manager said:

“I always felt that the team was good enough to be looking up the league, rather than down, but there were some games we’d really have like to have done a lot better”

Reverse fixture: 4-0 (Lukaku (2), Martial, Pogba)

The Red Devils

Talking points

The shocking defeat last Friday night at Brighton has left United in need of some confident before what will likely be an FA Cup Final audition at weekend in the final Premier League game of the season.

In far more serious matters, club legend Sir Alex Ferguson is now our of intensive care following his serious operation at the weekend.

Mourinho revealed in his Press Conference that Romelu Lukaku will miss these next couple of matches but should be fit for the Final if things go to plan.

As mentioned prior, plenty of familiar faces are set to be given a decent reception from the travelling red army.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Romelu Lukaku; ankle (FA Cup Final)

Team news

Sergio Romero is once again fit.

Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young look all set to return to the starting line-up.

Michael Carrick will be on the bench once again but with the coaches as he will captain the side on Sunday in his final Old Trafford outing.

Jesse Lingard looks surely set to return along with Alexis Sánchez as they were sorely missed last time out.

The striker spot is up for grabs and it could be a straight battle between Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford if a 4-3-3 is opted for with Scott McTominay coming into the side.

What the manager said:

“We need a point to finish second, we need a point to say that only one team was better than us, we need a point to say that 18 teams were not as good as us. We need a point to prove that”

Possible key battles

– Arnautović vs. Smalling

– Mário vs. Matić

– Lingard vs. Kouyaté

– Sánchez vs. Rice

Match facts

  • West Ham have lost 13 of their last 18 Premier League games against Man Utd [W1 D4] including their only previous meeting at London Stadium last season
  • United have only failed to score in one of their last 15 Premier League visits to West Ham – losing 1-0 in December 2006
  • The Hammers haven’t recorded back-to-back Premier League victories since January 2017
  • The Red Devils have not won away in May in the Premier League since a 0-1 victory against Norwich City in 2016 under van Gaal [D1 L4]
  • Mourinho has never lost a Premier League meeting with Moyes [W7 D3] and has only faced Sam Allardyce [12] more without losing
  • Hernández could become the 23rd player to score a Premier League goal both for and against United – 3 of the previous 22 have done so this season [Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan]

UK television channel: Sky Sports Main Event/Premier League

Enjoy the match!

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