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August 28, 2010 5:30 PM BST
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ M. Clattenburg‎
Attendance:‬ 75061‎
33′ (PG) Wayne Rooney
50′ Nani

Premier League Preview: Manchester United – West Ham United

By Gill Clark

EPL : Damien Duff - Paul Scholes - John O'Shea, Fulham - Manchester United (Getty Images)
Bouncing back

Having succumbed to a late Fulham equaliser by Brede Hangeland last weekend, Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford aiming to return to winning ways after throwing away “silly points”, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson, at Craven Cottage.

A Paul Scholes strike and a Hangeland own goal looked to have netted the Red Devils all three points last weekend. However, a late penalty miss by Nani followed by an 89th minute Fulham goal meant United had to settle for a draw on a ground where they have struggled in recent seasons.

Yet despite the late disappointment in the capital which Nemanja Vidic has admitted was “hard to take”, the Red Devils will look forward to Saturday’s game with confidence having won their last five games on the trot against the Hammers.

Last season Ferguson’s men did the double over the East Londoners winning 4-0 at Upton Park in December and also taking all the spoils at Old Trafford with a 3-0 win in February. The Scot will undoubtedly demand something similar from his team before the Premier League pauses for an international break.

Under no illusions

West Ham, meanwhile, having lost their first two games to Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers, now face the daunting prospect of Manchester United followed by Chelsea and the very real prospect of being pointless after four games.

Indeed talisman Scott Parker has this week admitted he is “dreading” the trip to Manchester and has warned fans the club faces a “difficult season” ahead.

Yet fans were rewarded with some cheer in the League Cup in midweek when a late goal from Parker allowed the Irons see off the challenge of League Two Oxford United and breathe a big sigh of relief at avoiding an early cup upset.

While that may only provide scant consolation manager Avram Grant must be hoping that victory can kickstart his side’s season and, having not won at Old Trafford since a Carlos Tevez inspired win in 2007, any kind of result at Old Trafford would be warmly welcomed.


Manchester United

Wayne Rooney is expected to return to the side whilst Ryan Giggs, Ji-Sung Park and Nani may battle it out for a place in midfield. Anderson, Hargreaves and Rio Ferdinand remain on the injured list.

Possible starting XI: Van der Sar; O’Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Giggs; Berbatov, Rooney.

West Ham United

Thomas Hitzlsperger is ruled out with a thigh problem but Matthew Upson should be fit after recovering from a kick in the face last weekend. Tal Ben Haim, Benni McCarthy and Manuel da Costa are also in contention to start.

Possible starting XI: Green, Reid, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga; Faubert, Parker, Noble, Boa Morte; Piquionne, Cole.  

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Edwin van der Sar Goalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
16John O'SheaDefender
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
9Dimitar BerbatovStriker
10Wayne RooneyStriker
29Tomasz KuszczakGoalkeeper
14Javier HernándezStriker
12Chris SmallingDefender
10Michael OwenStriker
21Rafael SilvaMidfielder
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
1Robert GreenGoalkeeper
19Danny GabbidonDefender
23H. IlungaDefender
23Jonathan SpectorMidfielder
20Matthew UpsonDefender
18Julien FaubertMidfielder
34Boa MorteMidfielder
8Kieron DyerMidfielder
28Scott ParkerMidfielder
16Mark NobleMidfielder
9Carlton ColeStriker
34Marek StechGoalkeeper
22Manuel Da Costa TrindadeDefender
15Radoslav KovacDefender
17Benni McCarthyStriker
17Pablo Edson BarreraStriker
9Frédéric PiquionneStriker
46Junior StanislasStriker
Players to Watch
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
27 15 8 0
Wayne Rooney should return after missing last weekend’s trip to Fulham and, having bagged three goals against the Hammers last season, will hope to end his goal drought on Saturday.

In his absence last weekend, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernandez and Michael Owen all featured, at some point, but with none of them managing to register Ferguson will surely be itching for his key man to return, particularly against struggling opposition.
Scott Parker
Scott Parker
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 28
Games Goals YC RC
25 2 5 0
Scott Parker’s future at the club remains unclear, with the midfielder yet to sign an improved contract, yet his late goal in midweek provided more evidence of his key role in the team.

Manager Avram Grant and Mark Noble have both spoken out his week emphasising how vital it is for the club to keep the 29-year-old and the midfielder will surely relish taking on the likes of Paul Scholes and co. on Saturday.
Probable Lineups
Edwin van der Sar 1
Patrice Evra 3
Jonny Evans 6
Nemanja Vidic 15
John O'Shea 16
Ryan Giggs 11
Darren Fletcher 24
Paul Scholes 18
Nani 17
Dimitar Berbatov 9
Wayne Rooney 10
Robert Green 1
Danny Gabbidon 19
H. Ilunga 23
Jonathan Spector 23
Matthew Upson 20
Julien Faubert 18
Boa Morte 34
Kieron Dyer 8
Scott Parker 28
Mark Noble 16
Carlton Cole 9
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
15 0