West Ham’s second game against Manchester United in the space of four days sees Slaven Bilic’s side again travel to Old Trafford to take on the Red Devils in a League Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday evening.
The Hammers drew 1-1 with Man Utd on Saturday- the first time since 1980 that the Red Devils have drawn four straight games at home.
The visitors took the lead through Diafra Sakho, who became the first specialist West Ham striker to score in the league this season. Some poor defending from James Collins allowed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to head in United’s equaliser, but the Red Devils, despite enjoying more possession and chances, were unable to find a way past Darren Randolph, who deservedly received the Man of the Match award.
Video- Man Utd cannot find a way past Darren Randolph
United manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands by referee Jonathan Moss after he kicked a bottle in frustration on the sidelines and the Portuguese gaffer’s evening could have become worse had young Hammers forward Ashley Fletcher not missed his late chance.
Jon Moss sends Jose to the stands
The result now means United are a whopping eleven points behind league leaders Chelsea and even worse, eight behind fourth place Arsenal. While Mourinho hasn’t conceded defeat yet, the punters don’t seem to have United as serious contenders, and it is reflected in their current odds to win the title– a huge drop down from the favourites tag they had at the beginning of the season.
United are having big problems in their attack- their chance conversion rate of 9.1 (18 goals in 164 chances) is the third worst in the league, only ahead of West Ham (no surprise there :() and Southampton.
Mourinho has some selection headaches in midfield for Wednesday. Michael Carrick is injured and Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are both suspended. That could mean a surprise start for snubbed veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was also a shock inclusion on the bench for Saturday.
Diafra Sakho is almost certain to miss this game after injuring his hamstring. There is a doubt over Andy Carroll, with David Gold indicating the lanky forward would be given another week of training, which means one of Fletcher, Zaza or Ayew will start in place of Sakho.
West Ham will certainly fancy their chances, given United’s toothlessness in attack and the air of frustration surrounding Old Trafford. It won’t be easy, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Man Utd v West Ham
EFL Cup Quarterfinal 30 November, 2016 at Old Trafford, Manchester