West Ham vs. Manchester United: Complete Premier League Preview

Max TowleAnalyst IApril 15, 2013

West Ham vs. Manchester United: Complete Premier League Preview

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    Premier League: West Ham vs. Manchester United, The Boleyn Ground (April 17, 2:45 p.m. ET)

    Manchester United travel to London this Wednesday to take on West Ham United.

    The Red Devils claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend thanks to strikes from Michael Carrick and Robin van Persie.

    Unlike the Potters, Sam Allardyce's side sit comfortably in mid-table in the Premier League in 12th place, but will take nothing for granted down the stretch.

    Here's a complete preview for the clash.

Injuries and Suspensions

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    West Ham enter the game without Joe Cole, Winston Reid and possibly James Tomkins.

    Midfield stalwart Mark Noble should also be missing for the Hammers, having picked up a nagging shoulder injury earlier in the year.

    Manchester United welcomed Nemanja Vidic back to the starting lineup at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday.

    Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Paul Scholes are all in contention for a return to Sir Alex's side.


    West Ham

    James Tomkins: knock (probable)

    Mark Noble: shoulder injury (doubtful)

    Winston Reid: thigh injury (doubtful)

    Joe Cole: hamstring injury (doubtful)

    George McCartney: knee injury (unavailable)


    Manchester United

    Chris Smalling: knock (probable)

    Jonny Evans: hamstring injury (probable)

    Paul Scholes: knee injury (doubtful)

    Ashley Young: ankle injury (doubtful)

    (All info via Fantasy Football Scout).

Projected Lineups

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    It's been a heck of a long time since myself, or any United fan in the Bleacher Report community correctly predicted one of Sir Alex Ferguson's starting lineups (feel free to contradict me if I'm wrong).

    The Scotsman has rotated his playing staff with terrific regularity and has also been unafraid to shake up his team's tactics.

    With the team facing its second game in three days, expect several of the players who took on Stoke to be dropped.

    Sam Allardyce isn't likely to make too many changes from the side that drew at Southampton on Saturday.

    A reinvigorated Andy Carroll will lead the Hammers in attack.


    West Ham

    Jussi Jaaskelainen, Joey O'Brien, James Tomkins, James Collins, Guy Demel, Kevin Nolan, Matt Jarvis, Ricardo Vaz Te, Mohamed Diame, Gary O'Neil, Andy Carroll.


    Manchester United

    David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidic, Alex Buttner, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie.

Form Guide

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    West Ham: WLWDD

    Manchester United: WWLLW


    West Ham enter Wednesday's game in reasonable form, having picked up battling points against Liverpool and Southampton in recent weeks.

    In late-March, the Hammers easily disposed of West Bromwich Albion with a 3-1 win thanks to a brace from Andy Carroll and a Gary O'Neil effort.

    Manchester United remain the team to beat in the Premier League, despite their 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City earlier this month.

    The Red Devils have won eight of their last nine league games, conceding only three goals in the process.

Key Players

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    West Ham: Mohamed Diame

    Since making a bargain free transfer from Wigan Athletic in the summer, Mohamed Diame has been a key figure in the West Ham midfield.

    The physical Senegal international has been hailed for his domineering displays this season, playing alongside the attack-minded Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble.

    He currently leads the team in pass-completion percentage (83.8) and successful dribbles per game (2.3) (via WhoScored.com).


    Manchester United: Nemanja Vidic

    Since returning to the Manchester United lineup in December, Nemanja Vidic has been influential in the Red Devils' return to defensive consistency.

    United shipped goals at an alarming rate during the first half of the season and were heavily criticised for regular lapses in concentration.

    But with the Serbian captain back in the side, they have looked a completely different team.

    Vidic is the United player with the most aerial duels won per game (4.1) and clearances per game (10.6).

Match Facts

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    West Ham

    In a run of games between January 13 and February 26, the Hammers lost six of eight games in all competitions, winning only one.

    Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan are tied for the most Premier League goals scored this season with six.

    West Ham are currently second in the league behind Stoke City in aerial duels won per game (22.3).

    The Hammers are one of the least-disciplined teams in Britain's top division, conceding 12.6 fouls per game. United have conceded 10.1.


    Manchester United

    Robin van Persie's converted penalty against Stoke City was his first goal in over six hours of football.

    The Red Devils are the second-best passers in the Premier League, completing a percentage of 85.5 per game.

    United are one of only three teams yet to have a player shown a red card this term. Sunderland and Southampton are the other two.

    Sir Alex's side is the only one yet to concede a penalty this season.


    What do you think will be the outcome of Wednesday's game?