West Ham - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils need seven points to regain Premier League title
The Hammers are unbeaten in their last three games as they look to finish the season strongly, while Sir Alex Ferguson's side will want another win to move closer to silverware
By Shane Farrington
Demel, Collins, Tomkins, O'Brien
Jarvis, Diame, Nolan, Collison, Vaz Te
Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani
Rooney, Van Persie
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is unlikely to alter his side too much from the team which drew 1-1 away to Southampton on Saturday. Jack Collison could be recalled to the starting XI if he opts to freshen up midfield.
Carlton Cole is again likely to have to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench. George McCartney (hamstring) and Mark Noble (arm) are set to miss out.
As for the visitors, Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to make a number of changes from the starting XI which beat Stoke City 2-0. Rafael and Jonny Evans could both come into the back line while, further forward Nani, Ryan Giggs and Danny Welbeck are both pushing for recalls.
Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes could return to the squad after overcoming a knee injury but Ashley Young (ankle) remains at least a week away from returning while long-term injury absentee Darren Fletcher (bowel condition) continues to be unavailable.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- On-loan Liverpool striker Andy Carroll (pictured right), has netted five goals in his last seven matches for West Ham.
Carroll is 8/1 with Paddy Power to score the first goal in this match.
- The Hammers have scored 36 goals in the league so far this season - only Norwich City (31), Stoke Cuty (28) and QPR (29) can boast less.
- This season's previous league meeting between the two sides in finished in a narrow 1-0 win to the Red Devils. Robin van Persie scored the only goal after just 33 seconds.
- Manchester United only need seven points from their remaining six matches to win their 20th English league title.
- Van Persie's goal in the Red Devils' 2-0 win over Stoke on Sunday ended a goalless spell of 10 matches.
- United have won 17 of their last 20 league matches - only dropping points in 1-1 draws against Swansea City and Spurs as well as their recent 2-1 loss to Manchester City.
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Top 3 Predictions
West Ham 0-3 Manchester United
- 19.9 %
West Ham 0-2 Manchester United
- 17.51 %
West Ham 1-3 Manchester United
- 15.05 %
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Apr 2013||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 2|
|FA Cup (FA)||16 Jan 2013||Manchester United 1 - West Ham 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||5 Jan 2013||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Nov 2012||Manchester United 1 - West Ham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||2 Apr 2011||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 4|
|7 Dec 2013||Liverpool 4 - West Ham 1||EPL|
|3 Dec 2013||Crystal Palace 1 - West Ham 0||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||West Ham 3 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||West Ham 0 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Norwich City 3 - West Ham 1||EPL|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
The 24-year-old endured a tough start after arriving on a season-long loan from Liverpool. However, since regaining full fitness, the ex-Newcastle man has started to show his quality and bag some vital goals to move the Hammers away from the relegation zone. With his long-term future unclear, he will be hoping to carry on his strong recent displays until the end of the season to impress Liverpool as well as West Ham and other potential suitors.
The England international played in an unfamiliar central midfield role against Stoke City on Sunday and put in a solid display. With the club still searching for a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, it will be interesting to see if Sir Alex Ferguson opts to play Rooney in a similar position as the season reaches its conclusion. His range of passing and eye for goal suggest that he could succeed there although reverting back to his striking berth remains the most likeliest option.
West Ham go into the match in solid form, while Manchester United bounced back from losing to local rivals Manchester City by beating Stoke City. The Red Devils have been superb away from home so far this season and could edge another narrow win to move closer to their 20th championship.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed