Search

Manchester United’s defensive problems could play in West Ham’s hands

PUBLISHED: 12:29 01 April 2011

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v WEST HAM UTD - PREMIER LEAGUE - 19/03/2011 - PICTURE BY STEVE BACON

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v WEST HAM UTD - PREMIER LEAGUE - 19/03/2011 - PICTURE BY STEVE BACON

STEVE BACON

Injuries give Hammers excellent chance at Upton Park

Manchester United are five points clear at the top of the Premier League, but second place Arsenal do have a game in hand.

United have terrible injury problems and although Nemanja Vidic is set to have recovered from a calf injury which has seen him miss two matches.

The powerful defender trained with Serbia ahead of their match with Northern Ireland, but did not play and it remains to be seen if manager Sir Alex Ferguson risks him.

Even with Vidic fit, the Scot only has Chris Smalling, Patrice Evra and Fabio da Silva to call upon..

Former Hammers Academy Graducate Michael Carrick could play at centre half a position he took up last season when the two squared off at Upton Park.

United head into the contest in decent form after dispatching Bolton, Marseille and Arsenal in recent weeks, but consecutive league reverses against Liverpool and Chelsea led renewed hope for those chasing Ferguson’s men.

United may have issues defensively but going forward there are still plenty of mouth-watering options.

Nani has been superb out wide for United this season and leads the Premier League assists table with 16, five more than his nearest rival, while 10 goals have also helped push his side towards the top of the table.

Berbatov is the leading Premier League scorer with 20, with his link up play just as important as the hatful of goals he has produced.

Wayne Rooney may not be the goal machine he was last term, but his work rate is as impressive as ever and although he may havescored just seven times in the league, he does have 11 assists to his name.

Many of which have helped provide fellow striker Javier Hernandez, who has shown the predatory instinct to rival that of fellow countryman and Mexican legend Hugo Sanchez.

His movement and finishing has been sublime for United and a 16-goal return in his first season in English football is an excellent effort.

Preventing service to either Berbatov or Hernandez will be essential and with both Nani and Antonio Valencia set to play, United will feel playing with width will give them their best chance of victory.

Wayne Bridge was tremendous against Spurs at left back and will need to be again to prevent Valencia, whose crossing was a key factor in Rooney scoring 35 goals last season.

If selected West Ham must close down Paul Scholes who was outstanding when the two met at Upton Park last season and will no doubt be again this time around if the Hammers allow him time and space when in possession.

West Ham’s best chance will be to attack United due to their injury-ravaged back line and with Avram Grant having all striking options available to him, it should make for an intriguing affair.

Prediction: West Ham 2 Manchester United 2


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Latest East London Sports News

13:00

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has backed English Football League chairman Rick Parry’s combative letter to the Government and revealed the toll on players caused by the continued absence of fans from matches.

Yesterday, 16:00

London Lions have added Great Britain centre Fahro Alihodzic to their roster as they approach the start of the domestic season and look to January’s FIBA Eurocup campaign.

Yesterday, 15:00

A programme to get more youngsters involved in outdoor sport is being started at Mile End stadium in the search for “the hockey stars of tomorrow”.

Yesterday, 13:00

West Ham United fan and budding journalist Kwame Boakye is feeling optimistic under manager David Moyes.

Yesterday, 10:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton was ‘disappointed’ that his side failed to push on after early lead as they drew 1-1 with Exeter City.

Tue, 20:55

League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Exeter City 1

Tue, 14:00

Lukasz Fabianski 7: Huge save to deny Raheem Sterling late on. Went right way and almost stopped Phil Foden’s goal.

Mon, 13:00

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton knows they’re not the finished article yet but is way more pleased with progress after their 2-0 victory over Stevenage.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Did you know? UCAS gets almost 3 million university applications from around 700,000 people each year. That’s a lot of competition. So how can your son or daughter stand out? 

With winter fast approaching, it is now more important than ever for us all to carry on following COVID-19 precautions to help stop the spread of the virus by always observing the three-tier local restrictions and remembering three key words – Hands, Face, Space.

The NHS COVID-19 app can make a real difference to how we all tackle the pandemic, protecting our loved ones and those most at risk from coronavirus. Everyone aged 16 and over across England and Wales can download the app for free and play their part in combating the pandemic.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Latest from the East London Advertiser