West Ham host Manchester United this weekend in a Premier League clash on Sunday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brings his Man United team to The London Stadium and West Ham could leapfrog them with a win.
The Hammers are on a run of five games unbeaten – including the cup win over Newport. With three wins and two draws in the last five games, Manuel Pellegrini will want West Ham to keep the momentum going into this tough fixture.
Ahead of the game, there are reasons for West Ham fans to be optimistic and there are some reasons to be pessimistic. Hammers News takes a look at arguments on both sides of the coin.
Concern: Man United’s lethal attack
Man United are quite leaky at the back but there has been no problems at the other end. The Red Devils have been scoring for fun and have found the net in every single game they’ve played.
Marcus Rashford is leading the line after Romelu Lukaku departed and he has three goals this season. Dan James also has three goals and Man United’s 4-0 win over Chelsea shows exactly how ruthless they can be going forward.
Optimism: Sorry Solskjaer stat
Since Solskjaer took over as Man United’s manager on a full-time basis, he has failed to win a single game away from home. This is a remarkably poor statistic for a team harbouring Champions League ambitions.
West Ham will hope to extend Solskjaer’s wait for an away victory. But you never know what the Hammers are like when it comes to breaking curses.
Concern: Masuaku missing
Last Monday, during West Ham’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, Arthur Masuaku was sent off for two bookable offences. The second yellow card was contentious but it cannot be overturned and Masuaku will miss this weekend’s game.
This means that either Aaron Cresswell or Pablo Zabaleta is likely to face up to Man United’s speedy attack. If James is declared fit, he could have a field day against two slower players.
Optimism: Man United’s injury crisis
It’s usually West Ham bemoaning a number of injuries but Man United have it bad at the moment. For the Europa League clash with FC Astana, Solskajer was without four important players.
James, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw are all missing. With those players out, West Ham need to target areas like left-back where Ashley Young is likely to fill in.