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Preview: Manchester United vs West Ham (FA Cup Third round replay)

by jonnyescott

The battle of the United’s comes to Old Trafford this Wednesday with Manchester United entertaining West Ham United in the FA Cup Third Round Replay after the two teams could not be separated in a 2-2 thriller at Upton Park ten days ago.

Manchester United go into the game off the back of a well fought 2-1 victory over arch rivals Liverpool at the weekend, whereas the Hammers enter the match after a 3-0 loss to Sunderland on Saturday at the Stadium Of Light. West Ham will be looking to claim their first win at Old Trafford since May 2007.

Manchester United welcome back Wayne Rooney and Nani to the squad after injuries ruled them out over the hectic Christmas period. Rooney has been out since he picked up a knee injury on Christmas day and Nani finally makes his long awaited return after being sidelined for 15 games.

However, Nemanja Vidic hobbled off late on in the Liverpool game and is set to miss out which paves the way for a potential Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling centre-back partnership. Ashley Young has also been ruled out after being substituted at half time for the reds and he is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks with a re-occurrence of a knee injury.

West Ham have been dealt some massive injury blows with boss Sam Allardyce confirming that he only has three fully fit defenders available for the game at Old Trafford. Joey O’Brien and George McCartney are definitely out although utility player Mohamed Diame is once again available. New signing Wellington Paulista is set to get the nod to lead the West Ham front line with Andy Carroll still struggling with a knee injury and Modibo Maiga on international duty at the African Cup Of Nations.

United have only exited the competition once at this stage under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson and United will be looking to keep their 150th clean sheet in the FA Cup.  Although West Ham have not got past the Third Round stage in three of the last five seasons, they will hoping for a change in fortunes at the Theatre Of Dreams as the battle of the United’s commences for the second time in two weeks.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 West Ham

What’s your prediction? 

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