Manchester United vs West Ham: Premier League preview

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West Ham make the trip north to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon for a match that is almost certain to provide goals and entertainment.

After five Premier League games the Hammers are two points better off and four places ahead of Manchester United.

Form factor

Their performances and results last weekend were polar opposites; United, having held a two-goal advantage, capitulated away at promoted Leicester City and ended up losing 5-3. This was in direct contrast to Sam Allardyce’s men, who recorded their first home points of the campaign with a sterling 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

The moods within the two camps could be pivotal to the outcome of the match. Louis van Gaal has led United to their worst ever start to a Premier League season and considering they are yet to face a team who finished higher than 12th last season, that is quite astonishing.

The Red Devils are desperate for a win and a West Ham side brimming with confidence is perhaps not the ideal opponent for them at the moment.

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Goals guaranteed

The Hammers have scored five goals in their last two away fixtures, more than they managed in their previous six on the road.

They are (at times) playing football that owners David Sullivan and David Gold would have only dreamt of seeing in the summer, with an abundance of new talent and a potent strike force at their disposal they are looking a real threat this term.
 However Allardyce's side have kept just one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League matches and claimed only two wins so far this season.

United aren’t too bad in the attacking department, either, with their summer spending going on some of the biggest names in Europe, which could spell trouble for the Hammers' defence.

That being said, none of those big name signings were proven centre-backs, leaving the United side very unbalanced.

Injury crisis

Marcos Rojo is the only fit central defender, with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans injured and Tyler Blackett suspended.

This could mean a debut for one of the academy youngsters, Tom Thorpe or Paddy McNair, along with summer signing Luke Shaw at left-back. Other options could include Michael Carrick or Daley Blind dropping back into defence.

Either way, the 20 time Premier League champions are having to shuffle the pack once again and, having already conceded eight goals in five league games – plus four at MK Dons in the Capital One cup – this does not bode well.

Attacking emphasis

The Hammers will hope to capitalise on this defensive crisis and add more misery on the red half of Manchester.

The Irons have won just two matches in their last 21 visits to Old Trafford in the top flight – the other 19 were defeats.

But United have lost ten of their last 25 home games in the league and despite West Ham’s poor record there, they can go into the game relatively confident of taking something back to east London.

With both teams seemingly finding it easier to attack than defend this season, we could be in for a classic tie with plenty of goals and drama.

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England Football
Manchester United
West Ham United
Premier League

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