Manchester United will be aiming to take a significant step towards next season’s Champions League as they take on West Ham United in their final home match of the Premier League season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops currently sit fifth in the table, with just a point against the Hammers enough to take them ahead of Leicester City prior to the sides’ crunch meeting at the King Power Stadium at the weekend. Consequently, the Red Devils are the favourites to claim fourth at odds of 1/7 with Paddy Power. Elsewhere, West Ham have aspirations of their own. Whilst it is still mathematically possible for the Hammers to be relegated, they sit six points clear of the drop zone with a superior goal difference so it would be highly unlikely. They have been in great form as of late so will hope to continue that trend against United.
One omen that counts against the Londoners though is ironically their current manager David Moyes. The ex-United manager has never managed to overcome his former employers at Old Trafford in the Premier League with any of his clubs so it seems a tough task considering that the Red Devils are currently in the midst of a 12-match unbeaten run in the league. Consequently, the Hammers sit at a price of 12/1 with William Hill, with a draw at 11/2. Manchester United are thus overwhelming favourites at 2/9.
Having said that, the Hammers could prove troublesome considering their goalscoring form over recent weeks. Throughout their last five matches, they have averaged 2.4 goals per game which is considerably higher than the 1.1 they were netting prior to that period. Meanwhile, since the restart, the Red Devils have averaged 2.7 goals per match. Over 4.5 goals to be scored in their meeting at Old Trafford is at 14/5 with Betfair.
Should that occur, there are two men who would certainly be fancied to be on the scoresheet. Michail Antonio is in fantastic form for the Hammers, netting seven goals since the restart including four in their last away match against Norwich. The former Nottingham Forest man sits at odds of 12/1 to net the opening goal of the match. Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes remains the inspiration behind the Manchester United side. Since his arrival, the Portuguese has scored nine goals in all competitions including the consolation against Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final defeat last time out. He is available at odds of 4/1 to strike first.
Despite being overwhelming favourites, United do have problems in their defence. Eric Bailly suffered what was a sickening head injury at Wembley at the weekend, eventually being stretchered off. He looks set to be ruled out for the match but should return in time for the concluding game of the season. Meanwhile, skipper Harry Maguire, who collided with Bailly suffered a cut on his head too but should be fine. Left-back Luke Shaw is still a doubt having missed the FA Cup semi-final with an ankle injury and looks like joining long-term absentees Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe on the sidelines.
The Hammers do not actually have too many injury worries as they prepare to travel to Old Trafford. Defender Ryan Fredericks is a slight doubt (calf) and will be monitored ahead of the game. Meanwhile, Robert Snodgrass has returned to training but is unlikely to be fit in time.