Match: Manchester United vs West Ham United
Competition: Premier League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Date & KO Time: Sun 13th Aug 17 – 1600BST
Where can you watch it? – Sky Sports Main Event
The Premier League season starts here in our first match of the 17/18 season. Man Utd host West Ham in the opening weekend and it should be an interesting match as both clubs have strengthened over the summer. This match last season Man Utd drew 1-1 in a match we really should have won; Sakho scored after the first minute and Ibrahimovic scored the equaliser. Expecting a better result this afternoon!
Not much different from the Super Cup in terms of injuries. We have three long term injuries who will continue to be on the side-lines; Rojo, Shaw and Young. Timothy Fosu-Mensah is on a season long loan at Crystal Palace so will be unavailable for the rest of the season; everyone else is available. It just depends on how Mourinho decides to approach the match with West Ham missing some key players.
West Ham United
West Ham have a host of new players to choose from this match, which is just as well as they have just as many injuries. New players consist of Joe Hart, Fonte, Arnautovic and of course, Chicharito! Players the Hammers are missing through injury is long term absentee Andy Carroll with a hip injury. Sakho (Back), Antonio (Hamstring), Lanzini & Kouyate (Knee) and Feghouli likely to be out with a knock, but could start on the bench. However, despite the injuries West Ham have a strong squad that could still cause us problems if we’re not on our game.
Predicted Line Ups
This will be a difficult game, but being at home and with West Ham’s injuries I think Mourinho will go more offensively this match and opt for a 3-5-2.
The Goal Keeper has to be De Gea. I’ve gone with a predicted back three of Blind, Bailly and Smalling. Blind on the left-hand side to give back up to the left wing back, with Bailly and Smalling to accompany Blind for height and strength in the back against players like Arnautovic and Noble.
Left-wing back as Darmian who will be backed up by Blind, and Valencia on as right-wing back to provide width on that flank. Matic on as CDM to provide cover to the back three with Herrera and Pogba playing further up the pitch to link up to the strikers.
Up top has to be Lukaku, his physicality is tailor made for games like this. West Ham are the sort of team Lukaku did well against last season and therefore a must starter.
I’ve predicted it’ll be Martial that’ll be the player to play as the shadow striker, for a few reasons. He’s our most natural left winger and could drift out there to provide width on the left to help Darmian going forward. He’s quick and against Zabaleta and Fonte, Martial’s movement on the ball would be a nightmare for West Ham’s defenders. He’s recently been linked with a move to Spurs, Mourinho could poor cold water on the news by starting him. Martial also didn’t play any of the Super Cup match, so could he have been resting him for the Premier League opener? Let’s see!
West Ham United
The formation I think West Ham will play will be a 4-4-1-1.
In goal I’ve gone with Joe Hart; I can’t see Adrian playing this one, especially with Hart’s ties to Man City. Having said that, could Hart put one over on his old club by letting a few shots slip by? Of course not, he’s more professional than that.
In the back four I’ve gone for new boys Zabaleta and Fonte as the right half of the defence and West Ham’s old guard Cresswell and Reid making up the left side of the defence.
In the Midfield Kouyate and Antonio are injured, and I think both would have started if fit. In the centre of midfield are the club captain Noble paired up with Obiang. They’ll have to be disciplined in staying back as the rest of the players are offensively minded. Right Wing I’ve predicted Snodgrass and on the left Ayew.
In attacking Midfield I think it’ll be new boy Arnautovic, and ahead of him I’ve predicted the only fit striker left at West Ham, Chicharito.
West Ham have a great potential starting eleven, but there won’t be much talent on the bench if West Ham get any more injuries during the game. Mourinho might be a little naughty and get his players to play a little more aggressively than normal knowing this.
I think it’ll be a close fought first half with both teams going offensive and try to take the game. I can’t see many goals in the first half but I do think Man Utd will take the lead. The second half any substitutions West Ham make will weaken the side and if Man Utd have a first half lead I can see a couple more goals as West Ham push for an equaliser. So I’ll go for a 1-0 HT score and a 3-0 FT score. Probably a little optimistic, but I can see it and why not dream big!
Score Prediction – Man Utd 3-0 West Ham Utd (HT score prediction Man Utd 1-0 West Ham Utd)
Enjoy the match guys! See you at The United Stand Wacthalong!