West Ham United vs Manchester United
Barclays Premier League – Wednesday 17th April, 2013 (19:45 KO) – The Boleyn Ground (35,016)
Hammers manager Sam Allardyce: “We’ll need to be on our best form, as always, if we are to get anything. We’ve run them close three times this season, so we hope that’s the same again on Wednesday night.”
Allardyce has injury concerns in defence, with James Tomkins, Winston Reid (thigh) and George McCartney (knee) all facing late fitness tests. If one or more of them do not make it, Emanuel Pogatetz (yes, him) will come into the side. Mark Noble is also touch-and-go but could feature. Joe Cole will be a continued absentee with a hamstring injury. A boost does come, however, with the form of on-loan Liverpool striker, Andy Carroll, who has netted three goals in two Premier League starts. Come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at Southampton, and undefeated in three games.
Predicted West Ham line-up: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Collins, Pogatetz, Demel, Jarvis, Diame, Nolan, O’Neil, Carroll, Vaz Te
Home record: P15 W7 D4 L4 F26 A18 Pts25
Home form: L W D W L W
Sir Alex Ferguson on the trip south: “We have a good, strong squad. We took 20 players with us to Stoke on Sunday and those 20 players will go with us again on Wednesday night.”
With that in mind, do not expect to see massive changes. Ashley Young (ankle) will remain ruled out, as will Paul Scholes. Jonny Evans may come in for Nemanja Vidic, who may find two games in four days too much. Elsewhere, freshness could come in the shapes of Danny Welbeck – the only forward not to start against Stoke – Ryan Giggs (on the wing, please) and Tom Cleverley. Wayne Rooney’s decent performance in centre-midfield at Stoke could see him start there again. If so, Robin van Persie will likely be partnered up front by Javier Hernandez, who performed well in the 2-0 win at the Britannia. United travel to West Ham having drawn there 2-2 in the FA Cup, van Persie scoring a sumptuous injury-time equalizer.
Predicted United line-up: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Kagawa, van Persie, Rooney
Away record: P16 W12 D2 L2 F33 A16 Pts38
Away form: W D W W W W
Record at the Boleyn Ground: P60 W14 D19 L27 F84 A100
Recent meetings at the Boleyn Ground
West Ham 2-2 United (05-01-13), West Ham 2-4 United (02-04-11), West Ham 4-0 United (30-11-10), West Ham 0-4 United (05-12-09), West Ham 0-1 United (08-02-09)
Lee Probert. The 40-year-old official has taken charge of 19 Premier League matches this season, dishing out 63 yellow cards and 3 reds. He has awarded 5 penalties this term, including one to West Ham in a 3-2 home defeat. Probert has been seen by United fans once this season: November’s 3-1 home win over QPR.
Goals: (West Ham) 36 – (United) 73
Conceded: 45 – 33
Top scorer: Andy Carroll (6) – Robin van Persie (20)
Assists: Ricardo Vaz Te (4) – Wayne Rooney (9)
Most shots:Kevin Nolan (66) – Robin van Persie (119)
Most appearances: Jussi Jääskeläinen (32)– Robin van Persie (29/3)
Completed passes: Mark Noble (1058)– Michael Carrick (2006)
Disciplinary: 62 yellows, 1 red – 48 yellows, 0 reds
Average possession: 44.5% – 56.3%
Pass success rate: 74.0% – 85.5%
An appearance for Ryan Giggs will be his 29th vs West Ham for the club, drawing him level with the great Sir Bobby Charlton.
George Best is United’s all-time record scorer vs West Ham with 11 goals in 16 starts. Wayne Rooney is closing fast – he has 9 goals in 11 games.
23.3% – United’s win percentage at the Boleyn Ground.
United have won the last 8 league meetings with West Ham, scoring 22 goals and conceding 3.
Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal in the Premier League this season after 33 seconds when the two sides met at Old Trafford in November.
Sam Allardyce has won just 2 of his 17 Premier League matches as a manager against Manchester United – he has failed to win any of the last 14.
United have conceded just 1 first-half goal in the last 13 Premier League games (vs Southampton).
United have scored a league-high 14 goals from corners in 2013-14. (Still) truly remarkable.
Score prediction: West Ham 1-2 United