West Ham vs Man Utd: Preview, team news, key players and prediction

by Sam Peoples

West Ham play hosts to Manchester United tomorrow in what is expected to be a tough encounter for Louis van Gaal‘s side.

Man United haven’t been convincing on their travels this season and have picked a majority of their points at Old Trafford and although West Ham United are in the midst of a slight injury crisis, they still remain a formidable unit at home.

The match will be tight and United are going to have to play well in order to get three points. They will have to keep possession and more importantly, be useful with it. One of the biggest problems with Man United this season has been the end product.

The team has recorded an average of 59% possession in all their games but simply haven’t done enough with it in front of goal. The strikers have started firing slowly with Radamel Falcao and Van Persie both getting on the score-sheet in their respective starts for the club.

That being said, Sam Allardyce’s men have recorded just one win in their previous six fixtures and their performance against Liverpool was poor. They enjoyed a brief stint in the top four but with the Premier League slowly coming in to the latter stages of the season, West Ham are on their way another mid-table finish. The injuries haven’t really helped Big Sam’s cause either.

Team news

Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj missed the FA Cup replay against Cambridge after picking up slight knocks but the both of them should be fit for the game tomorrow, which leaves Man United with just the one injury in Michael Carrick. Daley Blind has done fantastically well deputising for Carrick and he will have to play a major role if Man United are to win.

West Ham United are without striker Andy Carroll, Diego Poyet, Doneil Henry, Guy Demel, Winston Reid and James Collins. Sam Allardyce didn’t look too happy about the injury list in his previous press conference, and it makes it all the more harder for West Ham to get a result against the Red Devils.

It presents a great opportunity for Man United to strengthen their grip on the 3rd position in the league and pile pressure on Manchester City.

Key players

Maroune Fellaini is likely to start against West Ham given how physical they are. He will be a very important player for Man United as his presence could be of great use to Juan Mata who will be keen to replicate his performance against Cambridge. Fellaini winning aerial duals in the middle of the park could really help Mata drop into the pockets of spaces in the final third and play some through balls. Marcos Rojo is slowly establishing himself as the leader in the backline and he too remains a key player for United.

Alex Song will have a massive role to play in the middle of the park for West Ham. He has been very solid this season and has been a consistent presence for the Hammers. Enner Valencia will have to be very lively tomorrow and his link up play with Stewart Downing will be very important going forward.


West Ham are currently on a tiny bit of a decline and injuries aren’t helping them either, so I am going with a fairly comfortable victory for Man United given Van Gaal persists with a back four.

West Ham 0-2 Manchester United

You may also like