The Manchester United vs West Ham Premier League match will take place this Saturday, December 21, 2013 (7:00 AM Pacific) at Old Trafford. The Red Devils welcome the Hammers on the back of their midweek away fixtures in which both sides successfully booked their respective semi final places in the League Cup.
West Ham will be keen to focus on trying to improve the League form that has seen them take only one win in nine outings since their 3-0 victory at White Hart Lane back at the start of October, when they took apart Tottenham despite not having a recognised striker in the squad. This is a problem that United may be close to facing up to as well, with Van Persie out for a month, Hernandez just about fit enough for the bench in midweek and most notably, the absence of Wayne Rooney due to a groin strain. This was played down by David Moyes in the wake of the victory at The Britannia Stadium, who assured the gathered media that Rooney would be available for selection come Saturday.
Sam Allardyce has witnessed the type of performance given by his team in Wednesdays victory over Tottenham very rarely this year, and despite extended periods on the sidelines for Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole, and a dramatic loss of form for Kevin Nolan, the squad that West Ham have put together really shouldn’t be languishing a place above the relegation positions, but they are and as a result Allardyce is under severe pressure with games against Arsenal, West Brom and Fulham to follow this one.
Moyes seems to be far happier than a few weeks ago and you get the impression that he has started to develop his thoughts in relation to what represents his best starting XI. There is no doubt that there are still a few problems within the squad, not least the fact that someone leaked his team announcement to a tabloid 2 hours before kick off in the LC Quarter Final against Stoke (it was then published on their website), this type of thing would have been unthinkable under Sir Alex, but Moyes is coping, he’s got a few results and seen his side show flashes of football that suggest silverware may be a possibility in his first year in charge.
United should welcome Rooney back into the fold to accompany an in-form Danny Welbeck, with Valencia and Ashley Young expected to start wide. Darren Fletcher is also in contention for a starting place alongside Tom Cleverley in midfield having looked decent in training and in his two cameo appearances in recent weeks from the bench. Vidic and Ferdinand are both fit however Evans and Jones seem to be the preferred choice under the new regime, which has seen 3 successive victories and 3 successive clean sheets.
Allardyce can’t really afford to go to Old Trafford and not look for the win, after a goal each in midweek, Jarvis and Maiga will be pushing for a start, as will Joe Cole who has a personal record against Manchester United that is second to very few. You would certainly expect West Ham to line up in an attacking manner given their current need for points, combined with the confidence of their midweek performance.
Manchester United vs West Ham Prediction
It’s impossible to look beyond Manchester United in this game, they’ve not lost in the league against West Ham since 2007. You wouldn’t say they’ve completely turned the corner but there have certainly been signs that they are finding their form, and this match represents the beginning of a very important run of league matches that could see them get within touching distance of the top four again if focus is retained. Rooney will be the key if fit and, having not scored for a few games, he will be looking to pepper Jääskeläinen’s goal throughout the game. West Ham are in trouble, and with Arsenal to come you worry for Allardyce… Manchester United 3-0 West Ham.
Manchester United vs West Ham TV Schedule
The Manchester United vs West Ham match will be broadcasr this Saturday, December 21, 2013 on NBC Sports Live Extra at 7:00 AM Pacific.