Manchester United will be aiming to advance to the next phase of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup when they take on West Ham United in the third round this midweek.

The third round fixtures of the 2021/22 Carabao Cup are underway this week and trophy-hopefuls Manchester United will be in action on Wednesday night as they take on fellow Premier League club, West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have made a fairly solid start to the new season, winning four of their six games in all competitions (D1 L1), all of which have come in the Premier League which has put them joint-top of the table. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & co. will be aiming to carry forward that momentum in the cup competition as the Norwegian searches for his first trophy with the club.

West Ham United, meanwhile, have seen their form somewhat dwindle after a fine start to the season. The Hammers have won just one of their last four games in all competitions (D2 L1), which came in the UEFA Europa League against Dinamo Zagreb. Manager David Moyes, though, will be aiming to break that run and progress further in the Carabao Cup on his return to Old Trafford.

Manchester United and West Ham faced each other in their most latest Premier League encounter this past weekend, with the Red Devils picking up a narrow 2-1 victory. Ahead of their upcoming meeting, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Manchester United have been boosted by the return of Alex Telles, with the Brazilian set to be involved in the game. Another player that will be making a comeback to the first-team fold is forgotten man Phil Jones, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming that the defender will be in the squad for the match – for the first time in 20 months.

Marcus Rashford, Amad Diallo remain sidelined though, but Edinson Cavani could be set for a return after having missed the last game with a minor injury. Solskjaer will make a host of changes to the side that took the field against the Hammers at the weekend, with Dean Henderson in line to return in goal ahead of last game’s hero, David de Gea.

The entire backline will be in for a shakeup as Diogo Dalot and the fit-again Telles line up as the full-backs while Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof slot in as the centre-backs ahead of Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire. It will be a risky move, considering that none of these players have had regular minutes so far, but with games coming thick and fast, rotation becomes important.

Given that Scott McTominay has only recently returned from an injury, he is likely to be given a breather on Wednesday, meaning Nemanja Matic and Fred could form the double pivot in the middle of the park. With Bruno Fernandes also set to be rested, Donny van de Beek should get a rare starting opportunity as the No. 10, hoping to make the most of his chance.

Jadon Sancho, who has made a slow start to life back in England, should get a chance to come good while Jesse Lingard takes up the other flank, with Solskjaer already confirming that the 28-year-old will start. Anthony Martial should be in line to spearhead the attack, with Mason Greenwood, Cristiano Ronaldo and academy ace Anthony Elanga being options from the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Dalot, Bailly, Lindelof, Telles; Fred, Matic; Lingard, van de Beek, Sancho; Martial

West Ham United

West Ham will be boosted by the return of Michail Antonio who will be available for selection after serving out his suspension. David Moyes does not have any pressing injury concerns for the game, with some of the lesser-seen players likely to get some much-needed game-time.

Summer signing Alphonse Areola, who arrived on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, should make his debut for the Hammers in goal on Wednesday. Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku ought to come in at full-back while Craig Dawson ought to come in for Angelo Ogbonna to partner Issa Diop at the heart of the Hammers’ defence.

Captain Mark Noble, who had his penalty saved in the last minute at the weekend against Manchester United, will be on the lookout for redemption when he starts at Old Trafford. He will likely be partnered by new signing Alex Kral in the middle of the park with Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek getting a breather.

Andriy Yarmolenko should come into the side at the expense of Jarrod Bowen while Nikola Vlasic and Said Benrahma, who scored at the weekend, should keep hold of their places in the lineup. The returning Michail Antonio should get the nod at the tip of the attack, with his pace and physicality likely to pose a problem for the United defenders.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Fredericks, Dawson, Diop, Masuaku; Noble, Kral; Yarmolenko, Vlasic, Benrahma; Antonio

Key Stats

  • This will be the fourth Carabao Cup meeting between Manchester United and West Ham, with the home side progressing in each of the previous three – the Red Devils winning 1-0 in the 1985-86 third round and 4-1 in the 2016-17 quarter-final, and West Ham winning 4-0 at Upton Park in the 2010-11 quarter-final.
  • Manchester United have lost their last two League Cup matches at Old Trafford – though both have come at the semi-final stage against Manchester City. They have only been eliminated in the third round on two of the previous 16 occasions at Old Trafford however, losing on penalties to Derby in 2018-19 and 2-0 against Coventry in 2007-08.
  • West Ham have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup on six of the last eight occasions when paired with fellow Premier League sides, including on each of the last three in 2017-18 (v Arsenal), 2018-19 (Spurs) and 2020-21 (Everton).
  • Since Carlos Tevez’s famous winner for West Ham at Old Trafford back in May 2007 that kept the Hammers in the Premier League, West Ham have not managed to win on any of their last 17 visits to Manchester United in all competitions (D4 L13).
  • David Moyes has progressed from 10 of his 15 League Cup ties at the third round stage, including each of the last three in charge of three different clubs – Manchester United in 2013-14, Sunderland in 2016-17 and current club West Ham last season.

Player to Watch

Jesse Lingard

The 28-year-old has had an eventful last week. From costing Manchester United the win against Young Boys in the Champions League, Lingard went to clinch the victory for his side at the weekend against West Ham. It was a special strike from the Englishman and it served as a reminder to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he still has plenty left to offer as he pushes for more regular involvement.

Set to start at Old Trafford in midweek, the Manchester United academy graduate will be hoping to carry on from where he left off, leading the Red Devils to an important victory, making his case stronger for a starting role.

Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United

West Ham will be boosted by the return of Michail Antonio, who will fancy his chances against the Manchester United centre-back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. However, despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making a host of changes, there is plenty of depth and quality in this Red Devils side, which should help them get over the line, with Jesse Lingard and Jadon Sancho likely to play prominent roles in the victory.

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