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Sam Allardyce's men have consistently emphasised defence over attack this season, and Al Hain-Cole expects their tactics to lead to a tight game at Old Trafford

After booking their places in the Capital One Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, Manchester United and West Ham must return their attentions to the Premier League when they meet at Old Trafford on Saturday.

David Moyes’ men clinched a third consecutive win by overcoming Stoke 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium in midweek and are clear 1/3 (1.33) favourites with Paddy Power to make it four in a row in this one.

Meanwhile, the Hammers added to Tottenham’s woes by coming from behind to secure a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane, but are 17/2 (9.50) outsiders to pull off their first win at this stadium in six years.

The visitors ended a run of eight consecutive Premier League defeats against these opponents with a 2-2 draw at Upton Park the last time they met, and you can get odds of 4/1 (5.00) on them earning a share of the spoils once again this time out.

Despite slipping precariously close to the relegation zone recently, Sam Allardyce has been bullish about his side’s performances, highlighting after last weekend’s goalless draw against fellow strugglers Sunderland that the defence have now kept eight clean sheets this season - a record matched only by Everton.

However, this defensive mindset has undoubtedly come at the expense of his team’s attack, which has scored just 13 goals in 16 league games this campaign and has looked toothless at times without the injured Andy Carroll.

With this in mind, the visitors are sure set their stall out defensively at Old Trafford and hope to play on the counterattack, meaning a free-flowing game is unlikely against a United team that have frequently struggled to find their attacking rhythm this season.

A bet against both teams finding the net would have paid out in 12 of West Ham’s 16 league games this season, as well as each of the Red Devils’ last five fixtures, so looks to be where the smart money lies at 8/11 (1.73) when they go head-to-head.

Nevertheless, having picked up their form since losing two consecutive home games against Everton and Newcastle, Manchester United should have the edge in a tight encounter, and odds of 13/5 (3.60) are well worth backing on them running out 1-0 winners at Old Trafford for the third time in a row against these opponents.
 
BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
'No' on both teams to score for a 2pt stake at 8/11 (1.73) with Paddy Power
Man United to win 1-0 for a 1pt stake at 13/5 (3.60) with Paddy Power

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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