David Moyes will arrive at Old Trafford with arguably the best team he has ever managed. As long as Michail Antonio stays fit, West Ham are a complete team without many weaknesses.
They have a solid goalkeeper in Lukas Fabianski, a decent centre-half pairing led by Craig Dawson and a pair of full-backs to rival any in the Premier League. It’s hard to find many modern full-backs who want to defend, not to mind defend well, but Vladimir Coufal is an exception to that.
His dogged man-marking and tenacity make him stand out and he was incredible value at just over £5m. On the other side, no full-back has more assists this season than Aaron Cresswell and he is one of the primary seasons why the Hammers lead the league in set-piece goals.
Sunday 19:15 – Man United v West Ham
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
In midfield, Declan Rice is making every Ireland fan wince as he has become of the best holding midfielders in the Premier League, and he compliments his midfield partner Czech Tomas Soucek perfectly – who has notched eight goals this term.
In attack, Said Benrahma showed flashes on Monday night why he was the best player in the Championship last season and he adds real unpredictability to West Ham’s attack. Lastly, Moyes has a history of manufacturing centre forwards as we saw with Marouane Fellaini at Everton, Marko Arnautovic in his first spell at West Ham and now with Michail Antonio (more on him later).
United’s performance in the derby last week was more of an outlier as their form has been trending downwards for a while now and Thursday’s performance against AC Milan was of the lifeless variety.
With only three days to recover and West Ham having nearly the full week, I don’t see West Ham being beaten here and West Ham win or draw double chance will be the first leg of my bet builder.
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Antonio has thrived being backed by Moyes as West Ham’s central striker and seven goals in 18 league matches don’t tell the full story. Antonio’s hold-up play and unselfish off the ball running are invaluable to West Ham’s attack and if he can stay fit, West Ham will go close to making the top four this season. Don’t surprised if he rattles the net at Old Trafford on Sunday.
For those of you feeling more a little bit more adventurous, consider this. Man United are struggling to defend set-plays as we saw against Milan in midweek, and only Sheffield United and Leeds have conceded more from dead balls this season. Craig Dawson has scored three goals in 12 league matches and has the highest XG of any Premier League regular starting defender. Given that, the price on him to score anytime is a tempting prospect.
Former Brentford star Said Benrahma had three shots against Leeds on Monday night and is very partial to a shot from distance. Some might even go as far as greedy, but the Algerian looks a reasonable price to find the target at least once in this match.
Harry Maguire has received eight cards in 28 league matches this season and he is playing some of the worst football of his United career. I would expect him to struggle with Michail Antonio’s pace and the price looks appealing for him to get into Chris Kavanagh’s notebook.
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