Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon as the Red Devils look to build confidence following their 4-0 victory against Feyenoord on Thursday night in the Europa League. Jose Mourinho’s men are on the comeback in recent weeks, with the victory against Swansea City (3-1) and the creditable draw with Arsenal (1-1) signalling signs of resurgence for the Old Trafford giants.
West Ham meanwhile go into Sunday’s Premier League clash following more disappointing form under Slaven Bilic, having fell short in a 3-2 thriller away to Spurs last weekend. That was their second loss in their last six league fixtures, with the Hammers accruing eight points in that time. Such erratic form has left West Ham sit 17th in the table, with just one point keeping them above the relegation zone.
Slaven Bilic’s side have a good recent record against United and most notably beat them 3-2 in their last ever game at Upton Park last season. At Old Trafford however it is a different story, with the Hammers often struggling away to the Red Devils – Man Utd are undefeated in their last 10 home matches against West Ham in all competitions.
Manchester United outcast Henirkh Mkitaryan could be in line for start after impressing in Thursday’s Europa League win over Feyenoord. The Armenian’s absence from the Manchester United squad has been an ongoing mystery since he made his full debut in United’s derby defeat to Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho was quizzed on the 27-year-old’s performance in his post-match interview and called on the Armenian to carry his form into the Premier League.
“He needs now to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League,” said Mourinho.
“The Europa League is different, he needs one more step and it gives him the right to believe he can play in the next match and play with more physicality, more aggression. “But he has the quality and that is why we bought him.”
Starting centre-backs Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly remain injured for Manchester United meaning Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are likely to retain their place in the starting line-up. Michael Carrick has been lavished with praise since being re-introduced into Mourinho’s midfield and looks likely to remain in United’s team to meet West Ham.
Slaven Bilic will be forced to manage without his captain and first choice centre-back Winston Reid who was sent off during West Ham’s dramatic 3-2 defeat to Spurs on Saturday evening. Andy Carroll is still missing with a knee injury however summer signing Gokhan Tore could feature after recovering from a thigh strain.
Worryingly for the away side, the Hammers have conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven away matches in the Premier League. Furthermore, West Ham have lost six of their last seven away matches in the league. However all hope should not be lost for Bilic’s men; Man Utd have been drawing at both half time and full time in their last three home matches.
Despite that, given the form of both sides – especially taking into account Man United’s performance on Thursday, it seems highly likely that the Red Devil’s will have more than enough in attack to secure three points. However, Michail Antonio is likely to be a big danger for the Hammers, and could play crucial in getting a goal for Bilic’s side.
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