Monday, November 18
Sep 22, 2019 at 2pm UK
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How Manchester United could line up against West Ham United

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Sports Mole looks at how Manchester United could line up for Sunday's Premier League clash with West Ham United at Old Trafford.
By | 1mo

Manchester United travel to East London to face West Ham United on Sunday as they look to record consecutive victories in the Premier League for the first time this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side responded to three games without a victory prior to the international break by recording a relatively comfortable 1-0 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford.

However, the Red Devils still have not won an away game since beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in March, and lost by the same scoreline on their last visit to the London Stadium almost exactly one year ago.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how United could line up for the game.

Out: Eric Bailly (knee), Luke Shaw (thigh), Anthony Martial (thigh), Paul Pogba (ankle), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (knee),
Doubtful: Daniel James (knock)

> Click here to see United's full injury and suspension list ahead of this fixture.

Diogo Dalot could get the nod at the London Stadium, but you suspect that Solskjaer rested Ashley Young during the 1-0 win over Astana with a view towards using the Englishman in the left-back role, perhaps in order to use his leadership qualities to navigate a game which caused United to implode last season.

At the back, Solskjaer has the luxury of being able to call on fully rested first choice pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, who were both unused against Astana as Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones stepped in.

Having used Dalot at right-back on Thursday - during which Solskjaer expressed a measure of anger at his positioning - the manager can call on Aaron Wan-Bissaka once again and will expect the 21-year-old to provide the same sense of balance and calm as seen during his first five games in a United shirt.

The midfield, more than anywhere else, is what threatens to trip United up, to the extent that this game's outcome could be determined by how well the likes of Felipe Anderson and Declan Rice are negotiated and repelled with faster, more penetrative movements into the final third.

Scott McTominay, who was excellent against Leicester, has the responsibility of putting out fires before they start, working in conjunction with Fred to lay down a platform from which United can move the ball quickly through the lines.

Indeed, the latter must play the Pogba role, passing positively and accurately into the final third whilst Andreas Pereira, deployed slightly further forward, sets the tone for Solskjaer's maxim of pressing from midfield in order to win possession in dangerous areas.

Should United do that, they have a dangerously quick attacking trio to take advantage of a solid but hardly rapid West Ham back four, with Mason Greenwood, having scored his first senior goal against Astana, once again occupying the number nine role.

This may feel slightly harsh on Marcus Rashford, but the striker has not scored from open play since the 4-0 win over Chelsea, while Greenwood has the touch of somebody who knows exactly where the goal is. Perhaps Solskjaer, like he has done before, will use a widish pairing up front, dragging Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop out of their comfort zones and therefore enabling Jesse Lingard to burst forward as a kind of false nine.

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