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    Manchester United vs West Ham United Match Preview - The reds looking to build on recent good performances against the inconsistent hammers.

    Manchester United go into this fixture off the back of three great performances and looking to gain a some consistency coming into the Christmas period against the equally inconsistent West Ham.

    The red devils go into this game full of confidence after Thursday's convincing 4-0 victory over Dutch side Feyenoord in the Europa League which has continued there recent good performances in their win against Swansea and the draw last week to Arsenal, where United were unfortunate not claim all three points after dominating most of the game but not finishing off the Gunners and Olivier Giroud's late equaliser proved this.

    Meanwhile West Ham go into this fixture after what should of been a fantastic result away at Tottenham but the stoppage time capitulation that occurred at White Hart Lane resulting in a 3-2 defeat compounded by the red card to defender Winston Reid. The Hammers currently sit 17th in the Premier League and are in desperate need to quickly change there fortunes and Sunday at Old Trafford would be a perfect result heading into the busy Christmas Period.

    Manchester United's home form has been inconsistent all season with draws against Stoke, Burnley and Arsenal and a defeat in September to neighbours Manchester City have shown Old Trafford is not the fortress that it has been in previous years. 

    West Ham's away form has been very poor this season with the hammers only claiming three points out of a possible eighteen and there only victory on there travels was last month against Crystal Palace through a Manuel Lanzini goal.

    Slaven Bilic is a man under pressure after a poor start to the season

    Tactical Analysis

    Manchester United

    Manchester United started the season with Jose Mourinho's favoured formation 4-2-3-1 but after a string of poor results earlier in the season this formation has been scrapped now with Mourinho now preferring a 4-1-4-1 which has allowed Michael Carrick to come back into the team and has also allowed Paul Pogba the freedom to roam around the pitch and creating chances in the final third.

    The red devils are unbeaten this season when Michael Carrick has started

    West Ham

    Like Sundays opponents Manchester United, the hammers started the season with 4-2-3-1, the same formation which served them so well last season but after struggling defensively in defeats at West Brom and at home to Watford Slaven Bilic has changed his formation to a 3-4-3 which allowed play-makers Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini the freedom to roam and create chances in dangerous areas. This resulted in there first away victory of the season at Selhurst Park but since then flaws in this have been exploited and that has resulted in more defensive errors.

    Team News

    Manchester United

    Manchester United are going to be boosted by the return of the Swedish hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he served his suspension for five yellow cards by missing the home game against Arsenal. Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling are still missing in defence which should mean Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo continue at the heart of the back four and after Thursday's impressive performances Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Wayne Rooney could be pushing for a start.

    Predicted Line up - De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.

    West Ham

    West Ham are without New Zealand international Winston Reid due to last weeks red card against Tottenham Hotspur which should mean James Collins replacing him at the back. Captain Mark Noble returns after suspension and Andy Carroll is also in contention after being out since August.

    Predicted Line up - Randolph, Kouyate, Collins, Ogbonna, Antonio, Cresswell, Noble, Obiang, Payet, Lanzini, Sakho.

     Winston Reid will  miss the trip to Old Trafford due to Suspension

    Key Man to Watch

    Manchester United - Juan Mata

    The Spanish playmaker has been at the forefront of Manchester united's recent upturn in the level of performances and this was evident with a fantastic performance against Arsenal in which he also gave the red devils the lead with a classy left foot finish. If Mata carries on this form it wont be to long before hes back in the Spanish national team on a regular basis.

    Juan Mata is back to his best under Jose Mourinho's management

    West Ham - Manuel Lanzini

    Normally when you talk about key men for the hammers the classy Dimitri Payet is normally the one spoken about and deservedly so but Lanzini is a classy operater as well with eye for a through ball and the ability to pop up and score goals himself as proved against Crystal Palace and Tottenham. The Argentinian has proved a great foil to take the pressure off Payet and is crucial to this West Ham side.

    Kick Off : 4:00 (UK)
    Venue : Old Trafford, Manchester

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    Item Reviewed: Manchester United vs West Ham United Match Preview - The reds looking to build on recent good performances against the inconsistent hammers. Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Mark Taylor
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