An exhausted Manchester United side face West Ham United at Old Trafford tonight knowing that a convincing win could effectively seal a top four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League.
United are level on points and on goal difference with Leicester City, who have played one game more. United meet Leicester in the next and final match, so whatever score they beat West Ham by, they can afford to lose to Leicester by one less and still qualify.
For example, if United win by three clear goals tonight they can afford to lose to Leicester by two goals on Sunday and still qualify.
If United only manage a draw, they will have to take a point off Leicester on Sunday and if they lose they will have to win at the King Power due to an inferior goal difference.
Eric Bailly will probably not be available due to Premier League rules concerning suspected concussion which require a player to be rested for at least six days. Luke Shaw, who has missed the last two games, is still a doubt.
The Hammers could be without Robert Snodgrass but Felipe Anderson is fit again, having recovered from injury.
The referee will be Paul Tierney.
Here are the Peoples Person team’s predictions for the match:
Sam Peoples: Manchester United 2-1 West Ham
I’m fully expecting it to be a horrible game against Moyes’ Boys on Wednesday night. We’re under real pressure now to perform because if we don’t then the final game of the season will be our version of a play-off final. Also, I’m hoping the rest for Pogba, Martial and Greenwood will make a difference for them because if it doesn’t then Solskjaer’s decision to rest them against Chelsea will have been pointless.
Marwan Harraz: Man United 1-0 West Ham
Fatigue is still clearly an issue and I can’t see Solskjaer turning to our bench for help so I think we’ll just about scrape past West Ham. They have been in good form of late but United will want to respond after the Chelsea disaster and that will include keeping a clean-sheet. At this point of the season it doesn’t matter how you pick up the points, just that you do and so Solskjaer has to throw the kitchen sink at this one.
Red Billy: Man United 3-0 West Ham
I’m not normally the optimist around here but I just have a good feeling about this one. West Ham have just discovered they are safe from relegation (not mathematically certain, but 99.99%) so they may not be as determined and focussed as they would have been. United have a point to prove after the FA Cup debacle on Sunday and everything to play for with the Champions League beckoning.
There has been some suggestions that Solskjaer is going to drop David de Gea and I think that will actually bolster the defence. Sergio Romero has only conceded three goals in 15 starts this season (other than the penalty shoot out against Rochdale), which should give the team confidence. There are goals galore in the front five so if we get off to a good start, I think it will be comfortable for the Reds.
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