Manchester United - West Ham Preview: Sir Alex Ferguson looks to cement top spot against high-flying Hammers
The Red Devils made yet another comeback against QPR to go a point clear of rivals Manchester City this weekend, but will face a tough challenge from Sam Allardyce's in-form team
By Tom J Doyle
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Anderson, Carrick, Cleverley
Valencia, Van Persie, Rooney
O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney
Taylor, O'Neil, Diame, Jarvis
Shinji Kagawa (knee) could be available for Manchester United, although the Japanese playmaker may feature from the bench if he is fit enough for a place in the squad.
Captain Nemanja Vidic (knee) and Nani (hamstring) have no set return dates, and are unlikely to feature for the Red Devils.
Darren Fletcher made his first Premier League start for over 12 months in his goal-scoring performance against QPR on Saturday, and with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones back on the bench, the majority of United's long-term absentees are now fit again.
Smalling may be preferred to Rafael at right-back due to the aerial threat West Ham will pose, with Sir Alex Ferguson using that tactic a number of times last season.
Yossi Benayoun (knee) should be in contention for a midfield role at Old Trafford for West Ham, although Jack Collison (knee) has no return date yet and will miss out.
Alou Diarra (thigh) will be out until December, and Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) will definitely be unavailable until January while Mark Noble is suspended.
Barring those five players, Sam Allardyce will have the rest of his squad free to choose from for the visit to Manchester.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester United have not draw any of their opening 13 Premier League games - they have 10 wins and three defeats.
- The Red Devils have gone 10 games without a clean sheet, their worst run since 2004.
United are 6/1 with Bet365 to come from behind to win this game.
- Jonny Evans needed 119 games to score his first United goal, but now has three in his last seven matches.
- United have won their last two league games against West Ham at Old Trafford by a 3-0 margin - the first Premier League tie between the sides in 1993 also ended 3-0.
- Robin van Persie (pictured) has scored four goals in his last four league starts against the Hammers.
- The last time West Ham beat United at Old Trafford was in 2007, with a final-day 1-0 victory securing their top-flight survival courtesy of a Carlos Tevez finish.
- The first ever league match between the sides ended in a 2-1 away win for the Hammers in 1922.
- There have been four penalties in the last two games between the sides, with three coming in their last meeting, which the Red Devils won 4-2 in April 2011.
- Sam Allardyce won two of his first three matches against Sir Alex Ferguson, but has not won any of the past 10.
Top 3 Predictions
Manchester United 3-1 West Ham
- 18.46 %
Manchester United 3-0 West Ham
- 17.27 %
Manchester United 4-0 West Ham
- 16.16 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||18-Apr-2013||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 2|
|FA Cup (FA)||17-Jan-2013||Manchester United 1 - West Ham 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||05-Jan-2013||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 2|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||29-Nov-2012||Manchester United 1 - West Ham 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||02-Apr-2011||West Ham 2 - Manchester United 4|
|19-May-2013||West Bromwich 5 - Manchester United 5||EPL|
|12-May-2013||Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 1||EPL|
|05-May-2013||Manchester United 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|28-Apr-2013||Arsenal 1 - Manchester United 1||EPL|
|23-Apr-2013||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|-||Sebastian Francisco Lletget||Midfielder|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed