Manchester United aim to continue their good run of form with a fourth victory in just ten days as West Ham United travel to Old Trafford where they are favourites to win at 1.3/1 with Bwin.
Victories against Shakhtar Donetsk, Aston Villa and most recently Stoke City have relieved the pressure on Moyes after a difficult period but United’s home record has come under scrutiny in recent weeks following back-to-back home defeats against Everton and Newcastle.
February 1979 was the last time United side lost three successive games at home and Moyes will be looking to avoid equalling an unwanted record against the Hammers and continue to build momentum over the hectic festive period.
Both United and West Ham progressed to the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup in midweek with the Reds overcoming Stoke 2-0 at the Britannia while the Hammers came from behind to eliminate Spurs at White Hart Lane. The victory against Tottenham was a welcome relief for Sam Allardyce, with his side currently languishing in seventeenth position, just a point above the drop.
United are 29/1 on for a repeat of the victory against Stoke City with Ashley Young scoring first in a 2-0 win and given his current form, an offer of 2/1 for Danny Welbeck to score any time is an inviting one.
Moyes will definitely be without Robin van Persie, Nani and Michael Carrick while Wayne Rooney is a doubt with a groin strain. However, Shinji Kagawa and Nemanja Vidic are likely to come back into the side after spells on the side-lines.
West Ham are still without summer signing Andy Carroll who hasn’t played a single minute for the London-based outfit this season. Kevin Nolan serves the final game of his suspension while Modibo Maiga, who scored the winner against Spurs in midweek, could be recalled. United old boy Ravel Morrison, a stand-out performer for the Hammers this term, is likely to be amongst the starters (he is 6.5/1 to score any time).
United were unbeaten in four encounters with West Ham last term, winning and drawing twice. On both meetings at Old Trafford, United were victorious with solitary goals from Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney enough to see off the Hammers in the league and FA Cup respectively. West Ham were no pushovers at home however sharing the spoils with United twice in both games and are certainly a threat when on form.
West Ham have lost four of their last six games in all competitions and have managed to muster only one victory on the road in the league this term. Goalscoring has been a real problem and with Carroll out injured, they have failed to score in five out of eight of their away games this season. United have kept clean sheets in six of their last eight encounters with West Ham, a run they will be understandably keen to continue.
United have struggled to break teams down at Old Trafford this term and have managed a miserly eight goals in eight home games so far. A solid home record has typically been the cornerstone of a successful league campaign but a common criticism levelled at United of late has been the failure to elicit a fear factor on home soil, especially in the final 15 minutes of matches recently which is reflected in a good price of 2/1 for any team to score in the last 15 minutes tomorrow.
Victory may hinge on the availability of in-form Rooney. The England man has been in spectacular form so far this season and his eight league goals have been pivotal. If Rooney is fit, it should be a huge psychological boost for Moyes’ side as the 28-year-old has scored seven in his last six appearances against West Ham.
However, even without Rooney you would hope that United should have enough to beat an out-of-form West Ham side who have not travelled well this campaign.
Prediction: Manchester United 3-0 West Ham (Welbeck to score first and 3-0 United is 23/1)