Paul Higham says Manchester United could not have asked for a better fixture to end a tough week than a travel sick West Ham side.
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Manchester United v West Ham
- Old Trafford, 1730 BST on BT Sport 1
It's been a troubled little run for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with four defeats in the last five for Man United seeing them lose ground in the top four race, go out of the FA Cup and lose against Barcelona without mustering a shot on target at Old Trafford.
A visit of West Ham, then, offers perhaps the perfect fixture for United to get back on track, given that the Hammers look to already be on their holidays with them being safe in mid-table and hardly looking desperate to climb higher up the table.
It's now just one point and one goal in seven away games for West Ham and if United can get anywhere near the intensity they showed against Barca then they should have far too much for Manuel Pellegrini's side to handle.
Only Crystal Palace and Liverpool have failed to score at Old Trafford so that leaky defence gives West Ham a decent chance to grab a rare away goal, but they've been so poor of late even United are capable of keeping them out.
There's a slight danger that the hosts will be on the jaded side after their efforts in mid-week, but if there's one team they'd like to face after a hard week it's West Ham.
Prediction: Man Utd 2-0 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 7/1)
In short, the need is greater for the Red Devils, while the east Londoners have shown no urgency at all of late so it's so hard to see them offering up enough resistance at Old Trafford to get a result.
Best bet: Man Utd to win & under 3.5 goals at 29/20
The thinking here is that the Red Devils have expended a lot of energy this week so will want to get the job done but not much more, and West Ham may have plenty of energy to start with but once United get ahead then that could be that.
Goals: Paul Pogba to score anytime at 7/5
These are the types of games Pogba should be bossing and if he shows up at his attacking best then he can cause West Ham real problems - also in the air.
- After winning 11 out of 12 top-flight matches against West Ham between May 2008 and September 2014, Manchester United have only emerged victorious in two of their last eight such meetings (P8 W2 D4 L2).
- Following their 3-1 victory at the London Stadium in September, West Ham are looking to complete the league double over Manchester United for the first time since 2006-07, under manager Alan Curbishley.
- Only against Fulham (11), Leeds and Arsenal (both 12) are Manchester United on a longer unbeaten run at Old Trafford in the Premier League than against West Ham (10 – W8 D2).
- Manchester United have lost two of their last three Premier League games (W1), as many as they had in their previous 22 in the competition (W14 D6 L2).
- Manchester United are winless in their last four Premier League games immediately following a European fixture, losing at Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal and drawing at Southampton.
- West Ham United have lost six of their last seven Premier League away games (D1), failing to score in each defeat. The Hammers were unbeaten in five away games prior to this run (W3 D2).
- After winning away against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City at the start of the 2015-16 season, West Ham are winless 19 away league games against ‘big six’ opposition (D6 L13), losing all four this season by an aggregate score of 1-10.
- Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has scored in his last five home games against West Ham in the Premier League (six goals); only four other players in the competition have netted in more successive home matches against a single opponent (Alan Shearer v Everton (6), Thierry Henry v Aston Villa (6), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink v West Ham (6) and Sergio Aguero v Liverpool (7)).
- Of managers to have faced Man Utd at least five times in the Premier League, only Pep Guardiola (60%) has a higher winning ratio against the Red Devils than current West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini (4/7 – 57.1%).
- Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has 11 goals and nine assists in the Premier League this season. One more assist will see him become the first Frenchman to record double figures for both in a single Premier League campaign since Thierry Henry in 2004-05.
Odds correct at 1500 BST on 12/04/19