West Ham strikers can punish Manchester United's dodgy defence

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West Ham have the firepower to hurt injury-hit United. (©GettyImages)

West Ham can claim another major scalp at the weekend when they visit Old Trafford and look to put Manchester United’s dodgy defence to the test.

The Hammers superb 3-1 victory at home to Liverpool last Saturday was not only a brilliant result, but a brilliant performance.

If they can muster up something similar at the Theatre of Dreams this weekend then Sam Allardyce’s side can be confident of claiming the points, and it is not often that has been said prior to a West Ham v Manchester United fixture.

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Expose weaknesses

With United’s defensive woes having worsened in the last week – Jonny Evans and Tyler Blackett are now also ruled out alongside Phil Jones – Allardyce will be thrilled at the prospect of securing potential back-to-back wins against the two northern giants of English football.

It is understood that the returning Michael Carrick could be called upon to fill in at centre-back alongside summer recruit Marcos Rojo, which could be good news for the Irons and their new strikeforce.

Carrick has had mixed fortunes playing in that position in the past and has been exposed when faced with genuine pace and power.

Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho lack neither of those qualities and if started, Carrick and United could be in for another torrid afternoon.

The energy, movement and desire of the Hammers' strike partnership could punish an unorganised and uncertain defence that has already shipped eight goals in five league games, albeit five of those came against Leicester City.

Need to be solid

West Ham will be sure to get chances in the game, they just need to ensure they take them and remain solid when defending against the formidable attack that United possesses.

Angel di Maria has been the bright spark for Louis van Gaal’s outfit of late and if they can stifle the Argentine they will be well on their way to recording another shock result.

Allardyce will just be hoping that the side continue to cut out the sloppy mistakes - such as the ones that cost them the win against Hull City - and don’t give away anything cheap.

However, Van Gaal will be wanting the same from his side after the debacle of last weekend, but West Ham and their new attacking style of play will have other ideas.

It has all the ingredients to be a thrilling clash with plenty of goals as at the moment United’s only hope is to try and outscore their opponents, but the Hammers are having no problems in finding the back of the net themselves.

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