A run of three consecutive losses threatens to drag West Ham back into the Premier League (PL) relegation scrap, with just four points separating the Hammers from the drop zone ahead of this round. Their latest defeat was no massive surprise as they went down 3-0 at Manchester City, a result which frustrated boss David Moyes as he thought his West Ham side “defended very well” in spite of such a hefty defeat.
It’s the other half of the city and his former employers Manchester United that Moyes now concerns himself with, as the Scotsman tries to arrest a three-game winless run of league games at the London Stadium (D1, L2). Facing the Red Devils isn’t usually something to look forward to for Moyes who’s won just five of his 36 personal H2Hs (D7, L24), bookended by a run of seven defeats from eight in charge of West Ham, with the sole exception being a 1-0 EFL Cup victory at Old Trafford in September 2021.
Winners of that competition this year, United are hunting a return to the UEFA Champions League, but their grip on a top-four spot was loosened after a 1-0 defeat to Brighton on Thursday, with Erik ten Hag’s men beaten by a 99th minute penalty – the latest goal they’ve conceded in PL history! Ten Hag called on his players to be more clinical in the wake of that defeat, and that’s an issue that has plagued them all season long, as his side have scored the fewest goals of any side starting the round in the top-seven (49).
That defeat continued a long-term issue this campaign on the road, with United earning just 24 of their 63 PL points away from Old Trafford, and the Red Devils collecting just one win from their last five away assignments in the league (D1, L3). A leaky defence which has conceded 80% of their PL goals on the road is probably to blame, but facing West Ham should inspire confidence given United’s dominant overall H2H record in the PL era (W33, D13, L7).
Players to watch: Michail Antonio getting on the scoresheet is usually a promise of entertainment, as ten of his 11 goalscoring appearances this term have seen West Ham net at least twice. Man Utd midfielder Christian Eriksen created the winning goal in this season’s reverse fixture (1-0), while his nine victories against West Ham is his joint-third best total in his career (D2, L6).
Hot stat: West Ham have seen 15 of the 23 PL goals they’ve conceded at home this season arrive before half-time.