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Manchester United welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Tuesday evening with a place in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup at stake. The Red Devils have had a disappointing couple of weeks in the Premier League, with defeat to bottom side Sheffield United a real shock a couple of weeks ago.
Their defensive frailties showed up once again against Everton at the weekend, as with United 2-0 up at half-time they quickly surrendered that lead that the start of the second half. Then having regained the lead at 3-2, conceded deep into injury time as Dominic Calvert-Lewin levelled for The Toffees.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have found their mojo going forward however, scoring nine (yes, nine) against Southampton and their looks to be a real balance to the side in attacking positions.
I expect plenty of goals once again when West Ham come to town.
Tuesday 19:30 – Man Utd v West Ham United
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Paul Pogba is a fitness concern ahead of the game and is likely to be rested even if he passes a late fitness test. Dean Henderson will likely start in goal and on the back of David De Gea’s shoddy performance against Everton, it could be his position for the rest of the season if he puts up a good showing. United have injury concerns in defence, so the same leaky back four is likely to start as did against Everton. It means David Moyes’ side will no doubt get opportunities to score here.
I expect Anthony Martial to start having been left out in recent matches. With the balance of the side going forward looking good against Everton, it could be a straight swap for Edinson Cavani – which will mean Martial gets a shot at playing in his favoured position.
Martial might have a bit more edge to his game in this one, given his position in the first XI going forward under serious threat. He will be anxious to get on the score sheet here and remind the manager that he is still around.
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West Ham come into the game on the back of an incredible season. They sit comfortably in sixth place in the Premier League table on 39 points. European football is of high importance for David Moyes and The Hammers, and he could rest some players for the trip to Old Trafford.
West Ham played out a goalless draw against Fulham at Craven Cottage last time out. The main man Michail Antonio is likely to be held in reserve though, as they are facing Sheffield United in the Premier League next .
Manchester United are now five points off the summit in the league, but Pep Guardiola’s Man City outfit have a game in hand on them. The Premier League now looks out of reach for Solskjaer, and he will see the FA Cup as potentially their best chance of silverware.
This game seems to be of much more important for the hosts than West Ham, and I expect them to come out on top on Tuesday.
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