West Ham United v Manchester United
FA Cup, Third Round (5th January 2013 – 17:15 KO)
West Ham United
Manager: Sam Allardyce
Stadium: Boleyn Ground (capacity 35,016)
Sam Allardyce on the visit of United: “We’re not under the same pressure we are under day-in, day-out in the Barclays Premier League, that’s for sure. We have a responsibility with a full house and being live on TV that we put the best team out that we can at the moment, which we will do.”
New signing, Joe Cole, looks set to start. Allardyce has promised to play as strong a team as possible, and welcomes back both James Collins and Kevin Nolan from suspension. George McCartney, Mo Diame, Yossi Benayoun and Andy Carroll remain sidelined. Nolan is their top scorer with 5 goals, however he hasn’t hit net for almost 2 months.
Predicted West Ham United line-up: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, O’Brien, Noble, Nolan, Jarvis, Cole, Taylor, Cole
Sir Alex Ferguson on the FA Cup clash: “It’s a tough game. I don’t think we’ll make too many changes. We’ll more or less play a strong team… We’ve got plenty of players we can freshen up with.”
Wayne Rooney has been ruled out for at least another week. While Nani is back in training (2 months after picking up a 10 day injury), the game will come too soon for him. Anderson remains out. Phil Jones is fit and available for selection. Darren Fletcher could feature (“heavy” pitch permitting). After playing all of the festive period fixtures, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra will be rested. Robin van Persie could be due an afternoon off, too. Shinji Kagawa is likely to start, continuing his return to fitness after injury, as will Tom Cleverley, who Sir Alex describes as “fresh” and showing “great appetite”.
Predicted United line-up: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Welbeck, Scholes, Cleverley, Valencia, Kagawa, Hernandez
FA Cup record v West Ham: P8 W3 D1 L4 F15 A11
FA Cup record away from home: P172 W78 D44 L50 F290 A244
FA Cup form: W W W L W L
Recent meetings at the Boleyn Ground: 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)
Referee: Martin Atkinson. Has officiated 25 matches (in all competitions) this season, brandishing 99 yellow cards and 1 red, as well as awarding 5 penalties. Refereed United once this season – the 3-2 win at the Etihad in December.
2012/13 head-to-head (PL)
Goals: (West Ham) 24 – (United) 54
Conceded: 24 – 28
Top scorer: Kevin Nolan (5) – Robin van Persie (16)
Assists:Various (2) – Wayne Rooney (7)
Disciplinary: 41 yellows, 1 red – 35 yellows, 0 reds
Shots per game: 12.6 – 15.9
Average possession: 44.6% – 58.4%
Pass success rate: 75.0% – 86.9%
Best passer: Mark Noble (83.1%) – Michael Carrick (88.4%)
Most appearances: Jaaskelainen, Reid (20) – Carrick, Evra (20)
The last FA Cup encounter at the Boleyn Ground finished in a 1-1 draw, Frank Stapleton with the goal. United lost the replay 2-0.
West Ham have scored 19 league goals at home – only Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and United have scored more.
Mark Noble averages 54.5 passes per game (83.1% success) – West Ham’s highest. United’s best passer is Michael Carrick, with 82.5 passes per game (88.4%).
On average, United see 56% of the ball on the road. At home, West Ham have averaged 43%.
39% – At the Boleyn Ground, 39% of West Ham’s play goes down the left-hand side. Away from Old Trafford, United occupy the right-hand side the exact same amount of time. Battleground.
West Ham’s top scorer is Kevin Nolan with 5 goals – only one more than Patrice Evra.
West Ham’s midfield has chipped in with 13 league goals this season – their strikers have 6. United’s midfielders have hit the back of the net 9 times – the defence has scored 10!
28% – Of the 13 league goals West Ham have conceded at home, 28% of them have come in the 5 minutes before and after half-time. Concentration.
Of the current United squad, only Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher have tasted FA Cup success.
Score prediction: West Ham 2-3 United