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This is a meeting of two sides who had contrasting fortunes in European action in midweek. West Ham scored an ultra-impressive away victory in the Europa League over a Dinamo Zagreb side who knocked Tottenham out of the same competition last season. Things weren’t so nice for Man United though, as they suffered a shock late defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the first half.
Sunday promises to be a quite a contest at the London Stadium and we’ve Paddy Power football ambassador Phil Thompson to take a look at the best bets for the game. Oh, and our football trader Jason Murphy is along for the ride as well….
Sunday 14:00 – West Ham v Man United
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Premier League
The effect of Michail Antonio’s absence for this game is utterly massive. I just believe he gives West Ham so much pace and power up front. He has had a wonderful start to this season, and he scored against on Thursday night against Dinamo Zagreb. Jarrod Bowen, who is likely to replace him in the striking role, has disappointed me and it has to be said – despite some contributions from Said Benrahma – Antonio has been carrying this West Ham attack.
The Hammers have scored 10 goals in this campaign, only Man City and Man United have scored more. However, most of them came from Antonio. Meanwhile, Man United have grabbed 10 points from four games – their joint-best start in 10 years – and they are the division’s joint-top scorers too on 11 goals. I am expecting – with no Antonio available – Manchester United to win this game at the London Stadium. But, they will only have just enough to beat this impressive West Ham outfit.
On the goalscorer front, you have to mention Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba, of course. But, I fancy Bruno Fernandes to grab one on Sunday, especially with his dead-ball prowess. He scored an absolute worldie last week against Newcastle, and he could well repeat the trick here.
This looks like a brilliant game in store on paper. If you look at West Ham’s price to win, you’d be forgiven for letting it catch your eye given the form they’re in. But, you need to take into account that Michail Antonio will not be playing for them on Sunday because of the red card he received against Southampton last weekend.
Since Antonio made his debut for The Hammers, when he starts West Ham have won 40 per cent of their games. However, when he is absent, West Ham only succeeded less than 30 per cent of the time. He is undoubtedly a massive loss for David Moyes’ men and I’d suspect Jarrod Bowen will take his place up to. Bowen didn’t play in the Europa League on Thursday night – neither did Craig Dawson or Said Benrahma – so West Ham might not be as tired as people think on Sunday, even though Man United have had two extra days of rest.
West Ham have it in them to take the game to Man United, but I’m reluctant to get involved with them without Antonio. Also, David Moyes has been in charge of seven games against Man United since he left them, and he has won none of them. If Man United have title ambitions this term this is a game they have to win.
One bet that I believe is flying under the radar if you are looking at the Goalscorer markets revolves around a West Ham centre back. Have a look at Craig Dawson to score anytime, even from his centre half slot he’s had seven shots already this term. He also should have scored against Man United when these sides played last season too. David De Gea always comes under the microscope at set-pieces and Dawson carries a massive aerial threat for The Hammers.
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