Premier League: Manchester United vs West Ham
Old Trafford – Sunday, August 13 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Man Utd 30/100 – Draw 17/4 – West Ham 9/1
Man Utd vs West Ham: Preview
Manchester United open their Premier League season against West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The two sides have made some strong signings this summer and will be raring to go in the opening weekend’s final fixture.
Man Utd have spent big on bringing in Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic. Jose Mourinho knew he had to strengthen the squad after last year’s fifth-placed finish. The Red Devils did qualify for the Champions League as a result of their Europa League win.
But the aim will be the mount a serious title challenge this season. Mourinho has assembled a strong squad and knows his side need to get off to a winning start here.
United fell 2-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night. They put in a strong display, despite losing, and will be looking to hit the ground running against the Hammers on Sunday.
West Ham’s main summer signing will be a familiar face to the Old Trafford crowd. Former United striker Javier Hernandez has joined the Hammers for around £16m, in what is surely going to be one of the best deals of the window.
Slaven Bilic has also brought in Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Sead Haksabanovic. West Ham will surely improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish.
The Hammers couldn’t have been handed a much tougher opening game. West Ham will have to wait a month until their first home game of the campaign, with away trips to Southampton and Newcastle to come following Sunday’s game at Old Trafford. That’s due to the ongoing athletics World Championships currently taking place at the London Stadium.
These two sides met three times last season. The pair drew 1-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford, before United won 4-1 in the League Cup three days later. The Red Devils then beat the Hammers 2-0 at London Stadium in January.
Man Utd vs West Ham: Team News
Manchester United have no new injury concerns heading into the new season. Jose Mourinho is expected to give debuts to Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku. Though Victor Lindelof might have to start on the bench, with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones available again after being suspended for Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup game. Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are injured.
West Ham could welcome back Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini after recent injuries. But Slaven Bilic will be without Sofiane Feghouli, Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez are expected to make their league debuts for the visitors.
Man Utd vs West Ham: Key Points
Man Utd’s preseason form: W/L/W/W/L
West Ham’s preseason form: W/L/D/D/L
Key Stat: Manchester United are unbeaten in their last nine home Premier League games against West Ham. Their last league defeat to the Hammers at Old Trafford came on the final day of the 2006/07 season.
Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United’s big summer signing loves playing against West Ham. The powerful striker has scored in nine of his last ten games against the Hammers in all competitions.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 10, 2017
Man Utd vs West Ham: Prediction
Manchester United 2-1 West Ham – United struggled for goals against teams like West Ham throughout last season. However, the signing of Lukaku is meant to fix those problems. Things are unlikely to be perfect for either side in the opener, but the hosts look primed to get off to a winning start. West Ham are a stronger side than they were last term. But the hosts have spent big. Expectations are high and they need to prove they can kick on, starting on Sunday.