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Manchester United vs West Ham Preview – Team News, Lineups, Key Duels And Prediction

Manchester United vs West Ham Preview

Manchester United will want to improve after their shock defeat at the hands of Leicester last week and prove that they are top-4 contenders. An atmosphere of unhappiness is bubbling at the club, and one can expect United to make a comeback with all guns blazing. West Ham were the bookies choice for the drop, but have surpassed expectations as of now, as their new acquisitions have delivered in their short time at the club. Big Sam has scripted a turnaround in the club’s fortunes, so far.

Both sides will not believe their respective standings in the Premier League table at this stage. While Manchester United are at a lowly 13th by their standards, West Ham fans will not be disappointed at their current 8th place in the standings. On one hand, United have won just one of their last five games, while on the other hand, West Ham have won two of their last five games. Both sides have each drawn two of their last five games. United need a win in what looks like their last relatively easy fixture, as they will be facing strong teams from the next gameweek. West Ham are coming fresh after a win against Liverpool last weekend, and will look to carry that fine run of form into this fixture.

United’s attack is packed with big names who have not delivered too much. Except Angel Di Maria who has made a visible difference, no one has taken the onus upon himself to stand up and be counted. West Ham’s attack is packed with power, and good heading and physical ability has enabled them to have done well, so far.

United are going into this game with defensive frailties, as most of their central defenders (Evans, Smalling, Jones, Blackett) are out of contention for today’s game, meaning that Rojo will get to play at the heart of United’s defence and Luke Shaw will finally get a look-in. Ashley Young, Maroune Fellaini and Jesse Lombard are all injured and will miss out.  For West Ham, Andy Carroll (as usual), Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis and Cheikhou Kouyate will miss out due to injuries.

Manchester United and West Ham have played some delightful games in the past, but United have emerged victorious in nine of their last ten fixtures. Now, this trend could reverse, as United have been choking in encounters that they should seal before the end of the game. Wayne Rooney is the highest goalscorer in games between United and West Ham since 2006-07, and he will look to improve on that after some indifferent performances, as the captain of United.

Will van Gaal be tempted to go back to a 3-5-2 formation after last week’s implosion? How will West Ham set themselves up? Where will Blind play?

Manchester United vs West Ham Preview Lineups (Predicted)

Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea – Rafael, Carrick/Smalling, Rojo, Shaw – Blind, Herrera, di Maria, Rooney – Falcao, van Persie

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Adrian – Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell – Noble, Song – Downing, Zarate, Vaz Te – Diafra Sakho

Manchester United vs West Ham Preview Key duel

Di Maria v. Song – If both these players end up playing against each other, fighting for the ball in the same territory, expect there to be fireworks. Di Maria beats opposition players for fun, and Song has not been averse to taking players down. (Yes, we remember your duel with Sanchez at the World Cup.) Di Maria has been at the heart of most of United’s attacks since his arrival and one can expect him to be the one making the difference here, as well.

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