How Manchester United Will Line Up Against West Ham United

Scott RomFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2014

How Manchester United Will Line Up Against West Ham United

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    Manchester United have little to play for domestically this season, other than the possibility of Europa League football, but will want to restore some pride after last weekend's embarrassment against Liverpool.

    West Ham have a poor record at home, whilst United have thrived on the road. Fans of the champions will be hoping that Wednesday's result against Olympiakos in the Champions League has boosted the players' confidence, but there have been so many false dawns this season that supporters won't be holding their breath.

    With David Moyes seemingly unsure of what his best line-up is, who will get the nod on Sunday?

De Gea in Goal

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    David de Gea made some fantastic saves against Olympiakos to ensure that United are still in the Champions League.

    Whilst so many of the players have let themselves down this season, de Gea has been very reliable at the back, and there's no doubt he will start at the weekend.

Same Back Four

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    United have little choice but to go with the same back four as they started in the Champions League, thanks to the injuries to Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling.

    Moyes would probably have preferred to play Nemanja Vidic, suspended for this weekend's game, against Olympiakos. However, ahead of the game, Moyes revealed that United's captain had picked up a groin strain, meaning that Rio Ferdinand was required to start. Ferdinand has hardly played this season and rarely has played two consecutive games but will be required to do exactly that this week.

    Patrice Evra adds a lot to United's attacks, but defensively, he was so poor against Olympiakos. Unless Alexander Buttner is given a rare start, Evra should expect to play again, with Rafael da Silva on the opposite flank.

Usual Midfield

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    Marouane Fellaini and Darren Fletcher would be the preferred two in midfield, giving Michael Carrick a much-needed break, but this is unlikely to be Moyes' choice.

    Fellaini did a good job when he was thrown on late against Olympiakos and has definitely enjoyed better form since the turn of the year. 

    Carrick has been fairly quiet in recent games, which would surely suggest that it is time for a change. However, Moyes has come to rely on Carrick, as Ferguson did, meaning he is likely to start.

    Ryan Giggs gives both of them a run for their money, though, after an impressive display on Wednesday night, but surely won't play in two games in a matter of days.

Danny Welbeck Deserves Another Go

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    Danny Welbeck showed Moyes what he had been missing in the defeat against Liverpool when he stretched the Olympiakos defence time and again.

    Whilst he still has plenty of developing to do, he adds so much pace to United's attack and draws so much attention from opposition defenders. 

    Adnan Januzaj has been preferred to Welbeck in recent weeks, but he doesn't offer as much defensively as the Mancunian striker. Welbeck regularly pinches the ball from the opposition and may be the safer option for West Ham, with Januzaj a great option to have from the bench.

Mata to Be Reunited with Rooney and van Persie

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    Robin van Persie bagged a hat-trick for himself this week and has chosen a good time to start hitting some good scoring form. He will lead the line against West Ham, but the players around him should have the freedom to roam.

    Juan Mata has been wasted out wide in most of the games he's played, but there's no reason for him to be given such a rigid position. He should be interchangeable with Wayne Rooney and whoever starts on the left, whether that be Welbeck or Januzaj. 

    Rooney and van Persie linked up nicely for the second goal on Wednesday and will be looking for a repeat performance against West Ham.