Manchester United and West Ham locked horns only last Sunday, when the two sides shared points from the Premier League encounter at Old Trafford. And now, they will face each other once again, this time in the League Cup quarter finals.
Jose Mourinho would have wanted to grind out three points from the last Sunday’s fixture. But, much to his dismay, Manchester United failed to find a winner even though they played really well, enjoyed about 68% of ball possession and took as many as 17 shots, compared to only 5 taken by the visitors. The Portuguese boss will be looking forward to change the results tonight, and will be happy to ensure a place in the semifinal of the domestic cup.
The Hammers, on the other hand, have waved off the initial heat of the season, and are slowly finding their feet. The last match was a sign that they can still challenge big teams on their days. West Ham got the better of in form Chelsea in the last round of the League Cup and this quarter final will be another clash to prove their worth. In fact, they can boast of an impressive record in the tournament. West Ham have reached the semifinal of the EFL Cup 10 times so far, the last one being in 2013/14 season. Slaven Bilic would surely field his strongest eleven to snatch a victory from this clash.
Team news, injury updates and possible lineups:
Along with long term absentees Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, Manchester United will miss the services of their midfielder duo Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba. Both will have to serve a suspension following their fifth yellow card of the season. Juan Mata may also get some rest and Wayne Rooney can lead the side. The Englishman also has a nice record against the Hammers and that would go in favour of his inclusion. Between the sticks, Sergio Romero started in the last Europa League fixture against Feyenoord and played very well. So, Mourinho might include him in the first eleven, to give some relaxation time for David De Gea. Let us take a look at the possible lineup for United.
So far as the visitors are concerned, striker Diafra Sakho was substituted during last Sunday’s fixture, and he has serious injuries that will keep him out of the quarter final. With Andy Carroll still not fully fit, chances are Bilic will hand Simone Zaza a starting berth. Reliable centre back Winston Reid, on the other hand, will be back from his suspension and is expected to lead the defense once again. Following is the expected lineup of West Ham:
Manchester United – 2/5, Draw – 18/5, West Ham – 7/1.
Recent form in all competitions (latest match first):
Manchester United : D-W-D-W-L-D
West Ham : D-L-D-L-W-W
The match will be telecast live in the UK on Sky Sports 1 with coverage starting at 7.30pm. For live streaming links, send us a message to our Facebook page.
Let us know your predictions for the Manchester United vs West Ham fixture, in the comments below!
Photo by Ali F. Al-Saeed