By Dave Marshal
Manchester United face West Ham tonight knowing that any thing short of victory will mean more pressure on them. The Red Devils are currently on their worst start to a league season in 27 years. The team has won only once in their last eight league matches, but turn attention to the EFl Cup tie against West Ham on Wednesday. Both teams played out a very entertaining 1-1 draw on Sunday, a game that saw Jose Mourinho sent to the stands for the second time already this season. Diafra Sakho gave the Hammers the lead before Zlatan netted the equalizer on 21 minutes. Both teams are looking to progress to the semifinals of the league cup, as cup glory offers some consolation for what has been dreadful campaign for both sides in the league this season. We take a look at United’s probable lineup for the clash against Slaven Bilic’s men.
Sergio Romero still has to keep his place on the bench, as David de Gea is expected to remain in goal for the crucial clash. De Gea, it has to be said has not been his usual astounding self in recent weeks, but is still no 1 and could remind everyone of his quality with an assured display tonight.
Antonio Valencia should start at right back. The Ecuadorian is an automatic first choice pick for Jose Mourinho this season, and has been dependable. Smalling played a cameo role in the weekend game against The Hammers, but Phil Jones should continue in the centre of the defence alongside Marcos Rojo. Matteo Darmian would continue at left back, ahead of Daley Blind, with Luke Shaw still out due to injury.
Paul Pogba’s suspension for this game means there is a place for Fellain to come in to shore up the midfield. Herrera would play alongside the Belgian to orchestrate things from deep. Fellaini has fully recovered from his injury. Anthony Martial will get another chance to impress as he has been below par all season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan would have been dissapointed after being dropped to the bench despite playing well in the 4-0 thumping of Feyenoord and should get another opportunity. Juan Mata is unstoppable at the moment, and would be tasked with the responsibility of creating chances for his teammates.
Only one choice for this. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been resurgent in recent weeks scoring thrice in his last two matches and scored against today’s opponents on Sunday and could have scored more If not for some inspirational goal keeping by Darren Randolph.
Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Darmian, Rojo, Jones, Valencia, Fellaini, Herrera, Martial, Mkhitaryan, Mata, Ibrahimovic