As the Premier League enters the penultimate round of fixtures, David Moyes welcomes his former side Manchester United to the London Stadium as he attempts to keep West Ham afloat in the top flight for another season.
West Ham United have had a miserable campaign in 2017/18. Parting ways with Slaven Bilic early on in the season, the club went for a conservative appointment in David Moyes who although took his time to settle down, has somehow managed to get his act together in pulling West Ham out of the quagmire that is the relegation scrap in the latter parts of the season. The Hammers have guaranteed themselves safety from their win in the previous outing against Leicester City, but their immediate future under the Scot remains largely unclear and uninspiring, to say the least.
For Manchester United, the goal now is to accrue as many points as possible – that is cross the 80-point mark without hassle, now that second place is virtually sealed in the league. Manager Jose Mourinho has, despite all the criticism and negative attention from sections of the media – some justified and others not, made positive strides with regards to taking his side towards winning a league title.
The Red Devils have now gone five years without a closely fought title challenge, let alone a Premier League title and that needs to change next season to bridge the substantial gap between United and City at the top end of the league table. With the FA Cup final looming large, it’s imperative that United go into what is going to be a hard fixture, with the right mindset and bags of momentum to boot, in order to give themselves the best chance to pick up more silverware in Wembley.
Joe Hart could return in goal, although Adrian may keep his place after a clean sheet at Leicester. Marko Arnautovic is a doubt, as are James Collins and Pedro Obiang. Michail Antonio, Javier Hernandez, Winston Reid and Sam Bryam remain out.
Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez may miss out the duo are recovering from minor knocks ahead of the FA Cup Final, although centre-half Phil Jones is in contention.
West Ham have not recorded back-to-back Premier League victories since January 2017.
Manchester United have not lost successive matches in the competition since May 2017.
Chicharito can become the 23rd player to score a Premier League goal both for and against Manchester United.
Manchester United have not won their final away match of a Premier League campaign since 2011/12 when they beat Sunderland but lost the title to Manchester City.
Marko Arnautovic – West Ham United
With 10 goals and 5 assists in 26 starts in 2017/18, Arnautovic has produced a decent return of goals and assists in a side that was plagued by inconsistency and off-field drama pretty much throughout the campaign. His power and experience in England make him a stand out attacking threat at West Ham with his ability to surprise opponents by good attempts from long range. His movement around the box during set plays and link-up with Hernandez in the final third will be crucial to West Ham’s chances of securing a memorable win at the Olympic Stadium.
David De Gea – Manchester United
De Gea needs no introduction at this point. The best goalkeeper in the county by a mile has established himself as one of the very best and arguably the most sought-after footballer in the world in his position in the last two years. His remarkable consistency has come in handy many a time for Manchester United in the post-Ferguson years and he will be key for the visitors to come away with maximum points at the capital.
In a role reversal, this time it will be Manchester United’s turn to pile misery on David Moyes.
West Ham United 1 – 2 Manchester United