In the penultimate game of the Premier League season, Manchester United will face West Ham United at the London Stadium. This fixture is going to be more special, for it would see the former United manager David Moyes facing his old club in a crucial encounter.
The home side will be relaxed before this game as they have already avoided relegation following their convincing 2-0 win against Leicester City. Meanwhile, United will be aiming for a win to secure a second place finish this season.
West Ham returned to winning ways against Leicester City after going winless in four matches. Mark Noble and Joao Mario got the goals for the Hammers while a resilient defense managed to hold off Jamie Vardy and co.
Last five games for West Ham (latest first): W-L-L-D-D
Manchester United, however, had a different outcome last weekend. Minnows Brighton & Hove Albion got the better of Jose Mourinho’s men, thanks to a solitary goal from Pascal Gross. With that victory, Brighton saved their Premier League season. Moyes will surely be hoping for a similar upset on Thursday night.
Last five games for Manchester United (latest first): L-W-W-L-W
Team news and probable lineups:
West Ham have a lengthy list of injuries. Defenders James Collins (hamstring), Sam Byram (ankle) and Winston Reid (knee) are unfit, while midfielders Michail Antonio (hamstring) and Pedro Obiang (knee-ligament damage) are going to be absent as well. Former United striker Javier Hernandez will also miss this fixture with a knee problem. Moreoever, on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and the club’s Player of the Year Marko Arnautovic are doubtful with illness and a knock, respectively. However, reports suggest that they might be back on the bench, at least.
Moyes might choose former Red Devil Patrice Evra to start again. The left back was in the first eleven against Manchester City, but he failed to impress. However, given his experience, he might be favoured ahead of Arthur Masuaku. Andy Carroll should also start in Arnautovic’s role up front. Here is how West Ham may lineup on Thursday:
Manchester United, on the other hand, will miss Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini. The former is being given some rest to get him all fit for the FA Cup Final next week, while the midfielder got an unexpected injury against Brighton. He might miss the actions for some time. However, Mourinho will be happy to get Phil Jones and Alexis Sanchez back, and chances are high the latter will start against West Ham.
The first eleven should see some other changes in the defense and midfield as well. Victor Lindelof and Antonio Valencia are expected to replace Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian, while Ander Herrera should be reinstated in Fellaini’s position. Following is the probable eleven for the away side:
Kick-off: 7:45pm local time
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistant Referees: Eddie Smart and Harry Lennard
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
West Ham win: 7/2
Manchester United win: 4/5
The kickoff will take place on Thursday at 7:45pm local time (1:45pm CDT, Friday 12:15am IST). It will be telecast live on Sky Sports 1 (UK), NBCSN (USA) and Star Sports Select HD1 (India). For live streaming links, please send a message to our official Facebook page.
Do you think West Ham can stage an upset in this match? Share your thoughts in the comments below!