Down The Wings

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Match Preview: Manchester United vs West Ham

Manchester United drew 1-1 against AC Milan in midweek, thanks to a last-minute equaliser from the Rossoneri, and must once against look to come back from a setback in this turbulent, unpredictable season.

The Reds play host to David Moyes’ high-flying West Ham United on Sunday evening, who have been the surprise package of the season, finding themselves fifth in the Premier League and within touching distance of a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Depending on Leicester City’s result against Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side may find themselves in third place by the time kick-off arrives, meaning a win is a must for United.

How do Manchester United look?

Once again, Paul Pogba will miss the visit of West Ham United, due to the injury he picked up against Everton over a month ago.

There were initially hopes that he would be back for the Chelsea and Manchester City matches that took place last week, but he is now expected to be out until after the international break, which will be a huge concern for Solskjaer, who is missing the extra level of creativity that Pogba brings to his team.

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Donny Van de Beek and Juan Mata have all missed United’s last few matches too with a number of injury issues and will also be out for the West Ham clash.

Speaking about the missing midfield trio, Solskjaer said “It is taking a little bit longer than we expected but we have three games now and then the international break and after that they will all be available for us.”

Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford both missed the Europa League match against AC Milan through injury, and Anthony Martial came off with an issue at half-time, so there will be somewhat of a selection issue for United’s backroom staff at the weekend.

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The only recognised forwards available for United are Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Amad Diallo, so a trio of youth can be expected to start in this one, with Diallo making his first start for United.

David de Gea is back in England following the birth of his child, so may be available again, depending on the quarantine regulations in place.

Opposition: West Ham

West Ham’s success this season has come as a surprise to many, with David Moyes’ side looking like true contenders to finish in the top four in the Premier League.

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Their loan signing of Jesse Lingard in January was an excellent piece of business; he has been on top form since arriving.

Of course, Lingard will not be able to play against Manchester United this weekend, as they are the side he is on loan from.

The Irons will also likely be without Arthur Masuaku, Ryan Fredericks, Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Key Stats

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West Ham United enter this match in similar form to Manchester United, having picked up 10 points in their last five games, compared to the hosts’ 9 points.

Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United.

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