West Ham welcome Man Utd to Upton Park on Sunday looking to bounce back from the defeat to Liverpool last week left them with one win in the last six games. The visitors have only lost once in the last ten games without showing their true potency as a team so continuing the impressive run will keep them in line for a return to Champions League football next season.
The Hammers endured a brilliant start to the season but have suffered a dip in form and have dropped to eighth in the league. Sam Allardyce and his men will be more than happy with the position they are in but will want to pick up their form, especially with other teams around them picking up momentum such as the likes of Swansea and Stoke with Newcastle and Everton vying for top table positions.
United will be happy with the way the situation has panned out so far considering the influx of injuries at the start of the season, hampering any sort of consistency in team line-ups and relationships on the pitch. That being said, United look to improve in their overall displays from now until the end of the season and start winning games in a manner which they have been famous for for so many years now. West Ham will be tough opposition but they go into the game in third on the back of some good results.
West Ham’s defeat away to Liverpool was compounded by the news of several players picking up knocks during the match. Defenders Winston Reid and James Collins both picked up hamstring injuries in the game and are more than likely to miss out this weekend. Carl Jenkinson (calf) and James Tomkins (hamstring) also picked up knocks and are rated as 50/50 for the contest. Andy Carroll could be the most important played missing after he picked up a knee injury at his former club and is also a major doubt whilst Cheikhou Kouyaté is missing with a back injury.
United have only Michael Carrick missing with calf strain which is far cry to the length list at the start of the season and will be happy with the players that have recovered from various injuries. Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini will be vying for the starting berths but Louis Van Gaal is unlikely to tinker with his team too much.
- Wayne Rooney has scored 10 goals against West Ham in his last nine appearances in the Premier League.
- West Ham have scored the most headed goals this season with 14 in total.
- West ham have only lost one of their last 10 home games in the Premier League.
- Man Utd are unbeaten in their last six away matches in the Premier League.
- Chelsea are the only team to have scored more goals from corners (8) than West Ham this season (7).
- Manchester United have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League games away in London.
Recent League Head to Heads
2014/2015 Sat 27 Sep Man. Utd 2 – 1 West Ham
2013/2014 Sat 22 Mar West Ham 0 – 2 Man. Utd
2013/2014 Sat 21 Dec Man. Utd 3 – 1 West Ham
2012/2013 Wed 17 Apr West Ham 2 – 2 Man. Utd
2012/2013 Wed 28 Nov Man. Utd 1 – 0 West Ham
2010/2011 Sat 02 Apr West Ham 2 – 4 Man. Utd
2010/2011 Sat 28 Aug Man. Utd 3 – 0 West Ham
West Ham: Stewart Downing
There have been a few standout players so far in this impressive season for the Hammers, with one of the most influential players being that of former Liverpool and Aston Villa midfielder Stewart Downing. The winger has shown that he is still capable of producing effective attacking qualities even after his somewhat unsuccessful spell in Merseyside. Many people felt that Downing really needed to improve on his goal scoring which to his credit, he has done this season with five goals to his name already, more than the total goals in his last two seasons combined. He also adds creativity to a West ham team full of forwards ready to take chances and has been by far West Ham’s most creative player this season with 61 chances created and a notable seven assists to his name.
Manchester United: Robin Van Persie
Robin Van Persie has been under the spotlight this season with his form not being up to the standard of which is expected from the Dutchman. He stated that it does tend to take some time for him to get back to his best after international tournaments such as the World Cup but injuries have also played a part this season. That being said, he has still managed to pick up nine goals and is Man Utd’s top scorer this season proving some critics wrong. His recent record against West Ham has been exceptional with six goals in his last five appearances. With United’s group of attacking superstars, Robin Van Persie must maintain a consistent level of performance, with the likes of Mata, Di Maria, Falcao and Rooney all vying for those forward roles.
West Ham have been impressive at home against the big teams this season, beating the likes of Liverpool and Man City. That being said, I think a draw would be a good bet for this one.
My Prediction – West Ham 1-1 Man Utd