Three reasons why West Ham can beat Man United
Tom Phillips looks at three reasons why West Ham can beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday
Record against the top five
As it stands, Slaven Bilic’s side have the chance to make history and become the first club in over 20 years to beat Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the same season. Having that sort of statistic could be a distraction considering the challenge in front of the east London club, but when you look at their form this season, it can be achieved on Saturday. Bilic’s opening game of the season spoiled Petr Cech’s Arsenal debut and let the Premier League know of the potential of 16-year-old Reece Oxford, who was man of the match. Later in August, the Irons saw off Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool at Anfield in their first win there since 1963. Then wins against City and Chelsea have left the Irons hungry for history. If their form is anything to go by West Ham look the better side
United’s lack of finishing
United have been rather shy of goals lately. In all competitions, Louis van Gaal’s side drawn six times in nine games – four of those were goalless. Their form in recent has prompted criticism of Wayne Rooney, who is now being played in his favoured position in Van Gaal’s system, the captain is struggling to find his form of late having scored only twice in the league. This could be the perfectly opportunity for Bilic and West Ham to take advantage of. United have not lacked opportunities but have lacked their finishing and if they West Ham can perform well in defence it may curb the pressure on their attack when they hit on the counter.
West Ham have nothing to lose
Despite losing their talisman, Dmitri Payet and seeing their form dive to a five-game winless streak, the pressure is off West Ham for the time being. Their early form and results around them have given the Hammers a bit of comfort ahead of this weekend’s match and all eyes will be on United trying to get themselves top of the league again – with results going their way too. The Hammers come to Manchester with nothing on their minds, knowing they have injury problems but their form overall has helped them to a top-half position and will want to show why they deserve to be there. United meanwhile are lacklustre in their style of pay and finishing, putting more pressure on their attackers to win the match for them.