Man Utd host high-flying West Ham in the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. David Moyes is doing a fine job with West Ham in the league and will fancy a good cup run whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to be the first Man Utd coach to win the FA Cup since Louis Van Gaal. Having said that, there is no doubt that both teams are prioritising the league over the cup.
Man Utd Form
Man Utd are struggling for consistency in recent weeks. The side’s defensive troubles came to the fore in losing 2-1 at home to Sheffield United before a 0-0 draw at Arsenal. They then found themselves leading ten men Southampton 6-0 before three more late goals when Saints had nine men to take a 9-0 victory.
In their last match, Man Utd dominated against Everton but conceded twice in three minutes in the second half and then a 95th minute equaliser to draw 3-3. David de Gea arguably made two errors for those goals.
Prior to these three results, Man Utd had won ten and drawn three in their previous 13 Premier League matches. In the FA Cup, they beat Liverpool 2-1 in the last round.
Man Utd Team News
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to be without Paul Pogba for this match after he went off with a thigh injury against Everton. Fred should come into the XI with Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek other options. The latter will hope for a start in the cup.
In attack, Edinson Cavani may not start again so soon after the last match so Anthony Martial could be set for recall as the number nine. The side looked poor at the back against Everton and Solskjaer may be tempted to give Dean Henderson a start in goal after De Gea’s errors against Everton. The fact that this is the FA Cup may make that decision easier to justify for the coach.
Man Utd Motivation
Solskjaer will want to try to win the FA Cup this season and will take match seriously but some rotation is possible in all departments. The coach will want to avoid extra time and try to win in 90 minutes to avoid fatigue. Therefore, an attacking approach is expected from the start.
If trailing, the coach will throw on extra attackers to try to get back into the match. At no point will the coach settle for a draw and extra time if the scores are level.
West Ham Form
The Toffees have been in very good form since December, besides two notable off days, and are just four points off the fourth Champions League place. They beat Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal and Sheffield United in December.
Everton have been quite inconsistent in the five matches that have followed. A shock 1-0 loss at home to West Ham after an 86th minute goal was a blow but Everton responded by winning 2-1 at Wolves. A somewhat fortunate 1-1 home draw against Leicester was next before two goals in the final 17 minutes to loss 2-0 at home to Newcastle.
In their last match, Everton won 2-1 at Leeds in a disciplined performance to control the attacking threat of Marcelo Bielsa’s team.
West Ham Team News
Everton have two major injuries to deal with as Allan is still out, though is nearing a return in the defensive midfield role. Jordan Pickford missed the last match with a rib injury but he has been making constant howlers and is no loss in his current form. Robin Olsen plays in goal.
Josh King made his debut in the last match from the bench and James Rodriguez was an unused substitute in a tough away game. Carlo Ancelotti may again go with Alex Iwobi in preference to him for the game at Old Trafford.
West Ham Motivation
David Moyes has had West Ham playing well all season but a recent streak of excellent results has seen the side enter the race for the Champions League places where the league is concerned. A run of four wins in a row – 1-0 vs at Everton, 1-0 against Burnley, 2-1 against West Brom and 3-2 at Crystal Palace – was followed by a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
West Ham responded very well by winning 3-1 away at Aston Villa with Tomas Soucek and a Jesse Lingard brace on debut sealing the win. In their last Premier League match, West Ham drew 0-0 away at Fulham. In the last round of the FA Cup, West Ham beat Doncaster Rovers 4-0.
Man Utd have lost 1 of their last 17 PL matches (W11, D5)
Man Utd have lost 4 of their 12 home PL matches
Man Utd have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 7 PL matches
United have seen over 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 home PL matches
West Ham have lost 1 of their last 9 PL matches
West Ham have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 8 PL matches
4 of the last 5 meetings between these sides has seen Both Teams Scoring
Man Utd are favourites for this match and will want a reaction to their poor result this weekend. West Ham are in great form but their expected rotation may hurt them and therefore a home win is the best bet.