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Preview: West Ham vs Manchester United

by jonnyescott

Manchester United travel to Upton Park on Wednesday evening after getting back to winning ways at the Britannia Stadium as they cruised to a 2-0 victory over a depleted Stoke City side.

West Ham, who were promoted back to the Premier League last year, have had a steady season so far claiming 38 points from their 32 games and are looking safe from any relegation threat.

On the injury front, West Ham are set to be without Mark Noble and George McCartney but Jack Collison is set to be recalled to their starting XI, so they will have a strong side on Wednesday.

Andy Carroll will no doubt be the main threat for West Ham up front given how well he has played in recent matches but with United keeping six clean sheets in the last seven Premier League games, the Hammers are going to have to work hard to score.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have no fresh injury worries and after an impressive performance in central midfield on Saturday, Wayne Rooney looks set to retain his place in the middle of the park along with former West Ham wonder-kid Michael Carrick.

With Ashley Young and Darren Fletcher being the only two major injury concerns, Sir Alex Ferguson may look to rotate his team a little with Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs all set for a potential recall.

Van Persie ended his drought with a cool penalty against Stoke and banished his demons with an emphatic celebration and given his recent exploits at Upton Park, he is no doubt going to be the main threat up front again if Ferguson starts him.

Last time we visited Upton Park was in the FA Cup this year where Giggs and van Persie combined to score one of United’s best goals this season.

United go into the game on the front foot with just seven more points needed to claim their 20th league title after dropping just seven points in their last 20 games.

It looks set to be a rigorous battle between the two United’s with West Ham looking to all but guarantee their Premier League status for next season and United edging closer and closer to the title.

But with United coming off the back of a win, morale will be back up after the best overall performance since Madrid and although West Ham will be a daunting physical team, I think United will edge a gritty win.

Prediction: West Ham 0-1 Manchester United

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