Man Utd host West Ham at Old Trafford in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday. The hosts have just knocked Barcelona out of the Europa League and lifted the first trophy in six seasons in the Carabao Cup. The Hammers are playing decently with four wins and two draws in their last six. United have beaten West Ham 1-0 on the last four occasions they’ve hosted them.
Man Utd Form
Not much more can be said about Man Utd’s form and the job being done by Erik Ten Hag. The side have played 19 matches in two months since the World Cup and the only defeat was 3-2 at Arsenal, having won seven in a row after the resumption. At home, it’s 15 wins and two draws in 17.
Since the loss to Arsenal, it’s eight wins and two draws – both 2-2 results, at home to Leeds and away to Barcelona – with two or more goals scored in each of the last 11 fixtures. After the 2-2 draw in Spain, they beat Leicester 3-0 after a fine second half. A 2-1 home win against Barcelona followed and then ended their trophy drought on Sunday with a straightforward 2-0 win at Wembley against Newcastle.
Man Utd Team News
The major absentees for Man Utd are Anthony Martial and Christian Eriksen. The former should be quite close to returning but this one comes too soon. Erik Ten Hag will surely rotate a bit having had two games in the preceding seven days. Aaron Wan-Bissaka could start in preference to Diego Dalot at right back.
In midfield, Marcel Sabitzer may partner Casemiro with Fred getting a breather. Scott McTominay is another option in that department. Two very likely starters are Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho and the likes of Tyrell Malacia and Victor Lindelof will also be hopeful of a place in the XI.
Man Utd Motivation
The team selection will give a big indication of how seriously Ten Hag is taking the FA Cup. They have had a busy fixture list and travel to Anfield on Sunday so motivation maybe just be a bit below 100%.
The Red Devils will attack at home and try to put this tie to bed in regulation time, with extra time going to prove a real drain on some already tired legs.
West Ham Form
The Hammers have been near the bottom three all season despite retaining a pretty high level of performance this season. Their last eight matches in all competitions have seen four wins, starting with a 1-0 win at Brentford in the FA Cup third round. They then strung together successive victories, 2-0 at home to Everton in the league and 2-0 at Derby County in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Hard-earned 1-1 draws followed at high-flying Newcastle and then at home to Chelsea, having trailed 1-0. Two second-half goals condemned them to a 2-0 loss at Tottenham. Over the weekend, they scored four goals in 15 second-half minutes to beat Nottingham Forest 4-0 at home.
West Ham Team News
David Moyes could use either a back five or a back four in this match. He went for the latter against Nottingham Forest but could revert to three centre-backs. He will be without Lukasz Fabianski in goal due to a broken cheekbone so Alphonse Areola will deputise.
Vladimir Coufal has a heel injury so Ben Johnson will play down the right. Max Cornet is out but Kurt Zouma should return to the bench at least. Danny Ings is cup-tied so Michail Antonio will return to the XI. Lucas Paqueta should continue to play through a shoulder injury.
West Ham Motivation
The Hammers are just two points above the drop zone in the Premier League and safety in that competition is key. They are expected to give everything in this match and not be too distracted by Brighton away over the weekend.
They will want to avoid extra time in this match with no replay from this round. A win or a defeat in 90 minutes would be preferable so as not to fatigue the side for their relegation battle.
Man Utd’s last 17 home matches have seen 15 wins and 2 draws
Man Utd’s Rashford has scored 16 goals in his 18 matches since the World Cup
Man Utd have scored 2+ goals in their last 11 matches (all competitions)
West Ham have lost 1-0 on their last 4 trips to Old Trafford
West Ham have lost 3 of their last 7 away matches in all competitions
WHU have seen Both Teams Not Scoring in 4 of their last 5 away fixtures
This is a match to check the line-ups before betting perhaps. If Ten Hag goes with his big guns like Rashford and Fernandes, then the hosts should continue their incredible home form. A low-scoring win or even a fifth successive 1-0 win against West Ham looks like the way to go.