Manchester United go into Wednesday night’s showdown game with the Premier League’s surprise package West Ham on the back of a hard fought victory against QPR on Saturday. After going behind once again, the ninth time already this season, three second half goals from Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez were just about enough for a rather lackluster first half performance from the Reds who were bought to life by the introduction of Anderson early in the second half. And after a 0-0 down at Stamford Bridge in Oil Classico, the reds are now top of the table with Manchester City trailing by one point in second.
Meanwhile, West Ham have got off to a solid start to the season under the guidance of ex-Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce who has led them to 8th place in the Premier League just above last season’s newcomers Swansea City. Having bought well in the summer with additions like ex-Wigan main man Mohamed Diame and Bamako born superstar Modibo Maiga, West Ham are shining in all departments of the pitch at the moment. The London outfit are however without midfielders Mark Noble and Alou Diarra as they look to claim their third away win of the season at Old Trafford
Manchester United have no new injury concerns although Paul Scholes is suspended, so Anderson is set to replace him in the centre of midfield. With an exposed vulnerability to conceding first being one of the big factors in United’s relatively poor form heading into the busy Christmas period, they will be looking to get back to old ways and claim a big win against a West ham team who will certainly be no push over. After a poor first half showing at QPR, it would be good to see United take the initiative from the first whistle and attacking and trying to exploit West Ham’s defence early on to get that vital first goal in a match which is a massive one for both clubs.
Predicted United XI (4-3-2-1): De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Cleverley, Carrick, Anderson, Valencia, Rooney, Van Persie
Score Prediction: 2-1 (Anderson and Rooney)