West Ham host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, with the visitors looking to bounce back from their midweek European disappointment.
Here’s all you need to know about that clash at the London Stadium:
West Ham: WWDDL
The Hammers preparations for this high profile encounter have taken a hit due to the enforced absence of Michail Antonio, with the versatile forward picking up a stoppage-time red card last time out against Southampton for two bookable offences, meaning he will have to serve his one-match suspension this weekend.
The 31-year-old had enjoyed a fine start to the campaign with four goals and three assists in the Premier League in the opening three games, with that tally unsurprisingly seeing him scoop the division’s player of the month award.
His absence will then hand David Moyes a real selection headache for the visit of his former employers, with there being a distinct lack of suitable striking replacements among the Scotsman’s squad, following the departure of club-record flop Sebastian Haller – who recently netted four times on his Champions League debut – to Ajax in January.
West Ham do have a recent history of getting a result in this fixture, having won two of the last three meetings with Manchester United at the London Stadium.
While not able to feature this weekend, Antonio did play his part in securing the win for Hammers in their opening Europa League game against Dinamo Zagreb, the striker netting early on before Declan Rice added a second after the break following a surging run and finish.
That impressive 2-0 win against potentially their biggest rivals in the group saw Kurt Zouma handed his debut at centre-back, while deadline day arrival Nikola Vlasic was also included for his first start.
Man United: WDWWL
The build-up to United’s last league fixture against Newcastle United was dominated by talk of the long-awaited homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo and, almost inevitably, the Portuguese icon didn’t disappoint on his second Red Devils debut, netting twice to help steer his new side to a 4-1 victory.
It may have been a far from perfect display from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men in front of a raucous home support, yet the eventual result was a marker of the improving mood among the Old Trafford faithful, who had been buoyed by their returning hero and his brilliant brace.
While Jesse Lingard and Bruno Fernandes, in particular, also netted in fine fashion, the headlines unsurprisingly went to the former Juventus man, the 36-year-old putting United ahead just before half-time with a simple tap-in, before restoring that lead midway through the second-half with an expertly taken finish, after Javier Manquillo had pulled the visitors level.
The sight of Ronaldo bursting through to score may have stoked memories of his first spell at the club, yet 12 years on from his first departure, the prolific forward is more of a lethal penalty-box poacher than a marauding winger, as illustrated by his third goal of the week in the eventual 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League.
His first-half close-range effort looked to have given his side a good platform to go on and secure a comfortable victory against the Swiss side on Tuesday evening, before Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s straight card and Lingard’s stoppage-time blunder handed victory to the hosts and ensured a less than ideal start to the group stage for Solskjaer’s men.
As for this weekend, the trip to London is likely to come too soon for Edinson Cavani, with the Uruguayan set to return to training next week.
Manchester United 1-0 West Ham, 14 March 2021
The two sides met three times last season in league and cup, with Manchester United securing victory on each occasion, including in their most recent meeting back in March.
The Red Devils had run out 1-0 winners in a less than eventful FA Cup tie at Old Trafford a month earlier between the two sides and it was a similar story in the Premier League, with Solskjaer’s men sealing a narrow, but ultimately deserved win against the Hammers.
In what was a fairly dull encounter, it was the hosts who dominated proceedings with their opponents failing to offer any real threat in attack, the away side ending the match having failed to register a single shot on target.
With Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood both going close, the game’s solitary goal then eventually came courtesy of West Ham’s Craig Dawson, the then on-loan defender turning Bruno Fernandes’ corner into his own net.
West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen; Vlasic.
Man United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Fernandes; Lingard, Greenwood, Ronaldo.
Who is the referee?
What channel is West Ham v Man Utd on?
UK and Irish readers can watch and stream the match on Sky Sports Premier League.
What time is kick off?
Sunday 19 September, 14:00 BST
West Ham – 10/3
Man United – 3/4
Draw – 3/1
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Author: Robbie Walls