Manchester United will be hoping to bag three points when they travel south to London to take on West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester United will be aiming to make it three wins in three matches across all competitions, when they face off against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Matchday 6 of the 2019-20 Premier League.

After three league games without a win, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side returned to winning ways last weekend, beating Leicester City 1-0. They followed it up with another 1-0 win against Astana in their UEFA Europa League opener. While the performances haven’t been all too convincing, Manchester United will want to build on the victories and move up the table with a win on Sunday.

West Ham United, like their opponents this weekend, have collected eight points from their five games so far. The Hammers are unbeaten since their opening day loss against Manchester City. But, manager Manuel Pellegrini will have been disappointed with the 0-0 draw against Aston Villa last Monday and will want his team to bounce back strongly with a victory against the Red Devils.

Both Manchester United and West Ham picked up a victory apiece in their league meetings last season. And ahead of their latest meeting on Sunday, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.

Team News & Tactics

West Ham United

Lanzini is a doubt for Sunday (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Lanzini is a doubt for Sunday (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

West Ham United will be without the services of left-back Arthur Masuaku, who is suspended after getting sent off against Aston Villa. Manager Manuel Pellegrini will also be unable to call upon defender Winston Reid and winger Michail Antonio, who is easing back into training after undergoing a hamstring surgery.

Manuel Lanzini has a minor injury issue and will be assessed on the morning of the game. Even if he is passed fit, the Argentinean playmaker might not be part of the starting XI. Pellegrini is likely to stick with the 4-1-4-1 formation that he has used in recent matches.

There is no looking past former Arsenal man Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks for the Hammers, while there will be just the one change in defence, with Aaron Cresswell replacing the suspended Masuaku at left-back. Ryan Fredericks should start at right-back, with Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna being the two centre-halves.

Declan Rice, who has been on the radars of Manchester United, will start as the holding midfielder and look to break play up effectively and start attacks for his team. The youngster will be assisted by captain Mark Noble, while Jack Wilshere is likely to start ahead of Lanzini and take up the creative mantle.

Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko are pretty much guaranteed to start out on the flanks for the hosts, with Pablo Fornals providing an option from the bench. Spearheading the attack for West Ham will be marquee summer signing Sebastien Haller.

Probable Lineup (4-1-4-1): Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Wilshere, Anderson; Haller

Manchester United

Daniel James could return for Manchester United (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Daniel James could return for Manchester United (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United will once again be without the services of injured French duo of Anthony Martial (thigh) and Paul Pogba (ankle), while Luke Shaw (thigh) is also set to miss out for the Red Devils. There is a boost though, as winger Daniel James, who missed the midweek game due to injury, is in contention to start, having travelled with the squad.

Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah remain long-term absentees for Manchester United. Solskjaer will rotate his troops heavily, having left out a number of first-team regulars in the European encounter against Astana. That would mean star man David de Gea, who signed a new contract with the club, will return between the sticks on Sunday.

There will be wholesale changes in defence as well, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka replacing Diogo Dalot at right-back, while captain Ashley Young is likely to get the nod at left-back ahead of Marcos Rojo, despite Rojo’s impressive performance on Thursday. Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire will return to form the central defensive partnership.

Scott McTominay should return to the starting lineup on Sunday and is likely to partner Fred, who seemingly has worked his way back into reckoning after impressing in the midweek. Jesse Lingard, who looked bright in his cameo against Astana, could slot in as the No. 10 for Manchester United with Angel Gomes making way.

With James back in contention, the Welsh winger should return to the lineup on the left side, while Marcus Rashford should spearhead the attack once again for United. Mason Greenwood was the Red Devils’ saviour on Thursday night, but wasn’t spotted travelling to London with the squad and may not start, with Andreas Pereira returning on the right.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Fred, McTominay; Pereira, Lingard, James; Rashford

Betting Odds

Probables:

1. Manchester United Draw No Bet @ 1.61

2. Marcus Rashford to score anytime @ 2.10

Outside Chance:

1. Full Time Result – Draw @ 3.60

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have lost only twice in their last 21 Premier League games against West Ham United (W14 D5), failing to score on only two occasions.
  • West Ham United have won two of their last four home Premier League games against Manchester United (D1 L1), as many as in their first 19 home matches in the competition (W2 D9 L8 ).
  • Manchester United have scored more goals in the Premier League against West Ham (94) than against any other team in the competition.
  • West Ham have won just three of their last 20 Premier League games against the ‘Big Six’ opposition (D6 L11); one of these three victories came against Manchester United at the London Stadium in September last year (3-1).
  • Since the start of last season, Manchester United have taken (16), scored (11) and missed (5) more penalties in the Premier League than any other team.

Player to Watch

Marcus Rashford

Time for Rashford to step up (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

Time for Rashford to step up (Photo by Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

It hasn’t been the best of the starts to the 2019-20 season for Manchester United No. 10. Rashford began with a bang, scoring a brace against Chelsea in the opening game, but has seen his form spiral downwards since. The Englishman may have scored the only goal in the win against Leicester City, but he once again lacked the clinical edge against Astana on Thursday night.

The 21-year-old doesn’t have the best of records against West Ham, having scored just twice in ten matches against the East Londoners in all competitions. And considering that they have not conceded in their last three matches, Rashford will have to step up in a big way if Manchester United are to come out on top on Sunday.

Prediction

West Ham United 1-1 Manchester United

West Ham United have not lost even once in their last five matches in all competitions (W3 D2) and have not shipped in a single goal in their last three. They may have been thoroughly dismantled by Manchester City at home on the opening day, but the Hammers are a formidable side especially on their own turf.

Manchester United have shown some semblance of form, winning back-to-back games. But, their performances have left a lot to be desired. The problems in the final third do not seem to be going away anytime soon though, with goals not coming as fluently as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have liked.

The Red Devils were defeated the last time they visited to the London Stadium and will have their task cut out on Sunday afternoon. But, the lack of creativity and clinical edge is likely to hamper them once more against a solid West Ham side. We, at The Hard Tackle, are predicting this one to end in a tightly-contested 1-1 draw.

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