Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man United v West Ham

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester United to edge to a 2-1 victory over West Ham United on Saturday afternoon

Ralf Rangnick
Ralf Rangnick (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Manchester United will secure a 2-1 win against West Ham United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Devils recorded their first win of 2022 in the Premier League on Wednesday night thanks to a 3-1 victory over Brentford in greater London.

Anthony Elanga broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 55th minute after David De Gea made a number of crucial saves to keep Brentford at bay.

Mason Greenwood doubled the away side’s lead before Marcus Rashford secured three points for Manchester United with 13 minutes left to play.

West Ham, on the other hand, lost 3-2 to relegation strugglers Leeds United in the Premier League last weekend to undermine their hopes of a top-four challenge.

The Hammers are two points ahead of Manchester United but the fourth-placed side have played one game more than the Old Trafford outfit.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing the Red Devils to hoist themselves above West Ham with a narrow win at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

“The race is on for the Champions League places with only two points separating West Ham in fourth and Manchester United in seventh,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Ralf Rangnick’s side, who have got a game in hand on the Hammers, are still a hotchpotch of a team, but they managed to beat Brentford on Wednesday which was hugely important for their season.

“The Hammers are pretty consistent, but the problem with predicting Manchester United games at the moment is that you don’t know what kind of performance you are going to get from them. Every time they play it seems to be a different story.”

West Ham were 1-0 winners against Manchester United in the League Cup in their last meeting back in September when Manuel Lanzini scored a ninth-minute winner.

Manchester United were 2-1 winners against West Ham in the reverse fixture back in September when Jesse Lingard came off the bench to score a late winner before Mark Noble missed a penalty in added time.

Fernandes has scored two goals and has made two assists in his last two Premier League games to rediscover some of his best form over the past week.

Speaking about the Portuguese midfielder’s best position, Rangnick said at his post-match media conference at Brentford:

“I think most of the top teams in Europe and also in England play in a 4-3-3.

“I think for him, it’s better than being pinned to a no.10 position because he can then make himself available in different areas of the pitch, not only in the centre.

“For me, he’s not a wing player, but I think in this position, he can find the spaces himself, he can sniff the moments in which areas we have to play the ball for him, and this position as an 8 is almost perfect for him.”

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