Preview - Manchester United


In brief

West Ham United travel to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Saturday as Sam Allardyce's men look to extend their good run of form. The Hammers beat Liverpool 3-1 at the Boleyn Ground last Saturday through goals from Winston Reid, Diafra Sakho and Morgan Amalfitano.

West Ham have made a bright start to the campaign, securing seven points from five games. Yet there is a feeling around the club that the level of performances deserve even more.

Manchester United, however, suffered a humiliating 5-3 loss to Leicester City last Sunday as they collapsed having been 3-1 ahead. The new Red Devils manager, Louis van Gaal, has had a turbulent start to his reign at Old Trafford, taking only five points from as many games.

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Who are they?

Formed in 1878, Manchester United are one of the most successful clubs in English football. Having won the record amount of league titles - a staggering 20 times - they have also won eleven FA Cups, four League Cups and three European Cups.

However, since the retirement of manager Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the 2012/13 season they have struggled. David Moyes' tenure lasted less than a season as the Red Devils finished seventh in a poor season.

Former Barcelona, Ajax and Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has since taken the reigns. The Dutchman has spent over £150m on new players including the likes of Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw, yet the Manchester club are yet to hit their stride.

Team news

West Ham United

The Hammers will be without midfield engine Cheikhou Kouyate who picked up a groin injury against Liverpool. He is expected to be out for around six weeks.

Also on the sidelines are Andy Carroll (ankle) and Joey O'Brien (knee). The good news for Hammers' fans is that captain Kevin Nolan is back in full training. Both Nolan and Jarvis could feature in an U21 match on Monday night in an attempt to regain match fitness.

Manchester United

The Red Devils' defensive problems have been worsened by the injury to Jonny Evans (foot). England internationals Phil Jones (hamstring) and Chris Smalling (thigh) are both a few weeks away from fitness. Luke Shaw is expected to make his first league start at left-back.

United will also be without ex-West Ham midfielder Michael Carrick (ankle), Ashley Young (groin) and Marouane Fellaini (ankle).


Lee Mason will take charge of proceedings on Saturday. The experienced referee has overseen Liverpool's defeat to Aston Villa and Manchester City's loss against Stoke City - two of the surprise results of the season. In his three games so far he has given seven yellow cards and is yet to show anyone a red card.

Last season, West Ham won only one of the four league games Mason refereed, which included red cards for James Tomkins and Mark Noble.

The assistant referees are Andrew Garratt and Ian Hussin, Mike Dean is the fourth official.

One to watch

West Ham United

was the last of nine signings to join the club in a busy summer. The French midfielder scored four goals on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season including a fantastic solo effort against Manchester United.

Amalfitano is a versatile player who can play on either wing, as a No10 and in a central position. He could play in place of the injured Cheikhou Kouyate as Sam Allardyce looks to continue his team's good run of form.

Manchester United



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Tram/Metrolink: The nearest tram station to Old Trafford is located next to Lancashire County Cricket Club on Warwick Road, which leads straight up to Sir Matt Busby Way and takes about a ten-minute walk.

To plan your tram journey use:


Cloudy, with brief sunny spells. The temperature is forecast to be around 17C (63F).

Last Old Trafford meeting

Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
21 December 2013

The hosts won comfortably as Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj scored to put Man United 2-0 up at half-time. Ashley Young's goal sealed the points as Carlton Cole netted a consolation late on. The away defeat left West Ham a point off the relegation zone before a revival in the second half of the season.

Manchester United: de Gea; Rafael, Evra (Buttner 80), Smalling, Evans; Valencia, Jones, Cleverley, Januzaj (Young 69); Welbeck (Hernandez 54), Rooney
Subs: Johnstone, Giggs, Fletcher, Kagawa
Goals: Welbeck 26, Januzaj 36, Young 72

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, McCartney, Collins (Rat 75), Tomkins; Taylor (Collison 62), Diame, Noble, Morrison, Jarvis (C Cole 71); Maiga
Subs: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Diarra, J Cole
Goal: Cole 81