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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho

Paul Higham has a 14/5 headline selection for West Ham's clash against Manchester United on Thursday night.

Recommended bets: West Ham v Manchester United

2pts Manchester United to beat West Ham & both teams to score at 14/5

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West Ham v Manchester United (Thursday May 10, 1945 BST, Sky Sports Premier League)

There’s not a lot on the line as West Ham host Manchester United in terms of Premier League places, but FA Cup final spots could be up for grabs for Jose Mourinho’s men.

A dreadful 1-0 defeat at Brighton in their last game saw United’s stand-in forwards come in for heavy criticism from Mourinho, and it remains to be seen who is given a chance to redeem themselves at the London Stadium.

United only need a point to clinch second place but Mourinho will more importantly want to see a response to that Brighton defeat as he turns his attentions to the FA Cup final.

Romelu Lukaku is out of the final two Premier League games with an ankle injury, and although he’s likely to be fit for Wembley Mourinho needs to look at a plan b in case the Belgian doesn’t make it.

Right now that involves the returning Alexis Sanchez playing up front as both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford failed to shine at Brighton.

West Ham are safe after a 2-0 win at Leicester but David Moyes will desperately want to get one over on his former team as he considers whether he’ll be remaining as Hammers boss after his contract expires this summer.

The visitors have enjoyed this fixture of late, winning 13 of the last 18 meetings and scoring in all but one of the last 15 visits to West Ham.

Mourinho also enjoys coming up against Moyes, having never lost to the Scotsman in ten previous Premier League meetings – and all signs point to him making that 11 on Thursday.

The atmosphere should be a lot better at the London Stadium with the pressure of relegation now lifted, but taking on a team fighting for FA Cup places and with no doubt a few stern words still ringing in their ears looks a tough prospect.

Scoring goals hasn't been much of a problem for either side of late, despite the criticism both teams have come in for - Mourinho's men failed to notch at Brighton but have scored twice in seven of their last nine, while also conceding in four of their last five.

Despite the Hammers' struggles, they've found the net in 18 of their last 19 games, with 14 of those seeing both teams score including all five against 'top six' sides.

Their usual form against the big sides sees them score but lose - they've had four 4-1 defeats in nine games against the top six teams and a similar pattern looks on the cards on Thursday.

Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Manchester United (Sky Bet odds: 14/1)

Best bet: Manchester United win & both teams to score at 14/5

Alternative: Jesse Lingard & Alexis Sanchez both to score at 7/1

Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLife

Posted at 1640 BST on 09/05/18.

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