Preview: Manchester United v West Ham

Manchester United will be looking to resurrect their league challenge when they host West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Premier League
Match Day 13
27/28 November 2016
Kick-off 00:30 HKT
Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: J. Moss
Assistants: A. Halliday, S. Bennett
Fourth official: A. Taylor

Head-to-head summary:

Man United 113 54 27 32
West Ham 113 32 27 54

Previous encounter:

West Ham 3-2 Manchester United 10/05/16 (Premier League)

West Ham goalscorers: D. Sakho (10′), M. Antonio (76′), W. Reid (80′)
Man United goalscorers: A. Martial (51′, 72′)

Players to watch:

Wayne Rooney finally made the kind of impact United need from him when he scored one and created one goal for Juan Mata in the victory over Feyenoord this week. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal-shy at the moment, the experience and scoring ability of Rooney is that much more important.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan made only his second start of the season in the Europa League on Thursday and was one of United’s best players on the night, the former Dortmund star showing several glimpses of why so much is expected of him. After a slow start to Mkhitaryan’s time in England, Jose Mourinho will surely want to further build the Armenian’s confidence by entrusting him with another start.

Michail Antonio has proved to a great find for the Hammers and is becoming increasingly influential. The powerful winger has already bagged six goals this season and was on target the last time these two clubs met.

Dimitri Payet has yet to find his sparkling form of last season, but has managed to chip in with four assists. He’ll surely start to find goals more regularly (he as just one in 10) and may just be motivated by playing in front of a full house at Old Trafford.

Team form and manager quotes:

United’s poor run of league form – one win in the last six – has been well-documented and has put Mourinho on the back foot after his side slipped to sixth on the standings.

But United were the better team in the 1-1 draw against Arsenal, and followed that up with a very convincing 4-0 beating of Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday.

Mourinho wants to see his side turning dominance into goals on a more frequent basis.

“Against Stoke the keeper won the man-of-the-match, against Burnley he was man-of-the-match, against Arsenal the keeper was not far from it. We need to put the ball in the back of the net. I think it’s just that [United’s issue], and that has to do with confidence levels.”

The Hammers, who face the Red Devils in a League Cup encounter just three days later (also away from home), are only one place and one point above the relegation zone after picking up just a single point in their last three Premier League matches.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic admits the pressure is mounting and says trying to beat a Mourinho side on home turf is one of the toughest things to do.

“I feel pressure of course as at the moment we are not producing and do not have enough points to feel happy and safe.

“Jose Mourinho is one of the greatest,” he told the BBC. “Statistically at home, there is probably no-one better. But it’s hard to stay at that standard and maybe that has dropped now.
“I’m confident, if we can cut out the mistakes, and with a bit of luck, we can pick up a result on Sunday.”

Team news:

United remain without injured trio Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling, while Andy Carroll is West Ham’s most notable absentee.