Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Man United v West Ham United

Paul Merson is backing Manchester United to claim a 2-1 victory over West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag (Photo: Oleksandr Prykhodko / depositphotos.com)

Paul Merson is tipping Manchester United to return to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-1 home victory over West Ham United on Sunday.

The Red Devils came from a goal down to earn a dramatic 1-1 draw against Chelsea FC last weekend thanks to Casemiro’s stoppage-time header.

Erik ten Hag’s side then followed that result up by claiming a 3-0 home victory against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo marking his return to the side with his 701st career goal in the win.

Manchester United started the weekend in sixth place in the Premier League table as the Red Devils look to lift themselves back into the Champions League qualification spots.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that the home side will have too much for the Hammers, who began the weekend in 10th place in the top-flight table.

Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “Manchester United are doing well at the moment and I like what the manager has done. They were outstanding in the first half against Chelsea, and they played well against Tottenham. I did say that it would be a big week for United, and they did well.

“Erik ten Hag had to do something about Cristiano Ronaldo. After such a great performance, everyone in the dressing room would’ve been watching the situation. Ronaldo just can’t do what he did. Man’s a legend, but you’ve got to set an example. That was a long walk, and he would’ve known exactly what he was doing.

“Ronaldo missed the game against Chelsea, and Manchester United didn’t have a forward to bring on in the second half to change the game. They didn’t lose that match, and I think Ten Hag got away with it in the end.

“West Ham are a funny team and can be hard to beat, but they haven’t got going yet this season. They can hurt you as they did with Liverpool, and this could be one of those games where the West Ham of last season turns up. On current form, however, I don’t see it. Man United are playing really well – the football’s good, the energy’s good, and I think they’ll win this game.”

Meanwhile, former Chelsea FC star Chris Sutton is also expecting to see Manchester United claim a 2-1 victory in front of their home fans on Sunday.

The ex-striker believes that the Red Devils are showing that they are making progress under Ten Hag and can continue their solid recent form with a victory against the Hammers.

Writing in his own column for BBC Sport, Sutton said: “Losing defender Raphael Varane to injury is a blow for Manchester United but I think they will cope without him here, even though Gianluca Scamacca is a real threat.

“At the other end, it might be a different story. West Ham are a stubborn side, who are in decent form, but I don’t think their backline will be good enough to keep United out.

“United are making progress under Erik ten Hag but he still has to deal with the distraction of being asked questions about Cristiano Ronaldo the whole time, which must be a nightmare for him. It will probably be the same again after this game, whether Ronaldo plays or not.

“Great player that he is, Ronaldo has made it all about himself when really he is just one of the squad. It is quite sad, because he is starting to destroy his legacy at Old Trafford, and he might not be there for much longer.”

Sutton’s column was published before Ronaldo netted in Manchester United’s win over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night. With Ronaldo now seemingly back in Ten Hag’s good books and ready to compete for a spot in the first team, the Manchester United manager had some words of praise for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner after he scored in the Europa League on Thursday night.

“He kept going and the team kept going to put him in the right position,” said Ten Hag on Thursday night. “He kept going to get himself in the right position. He didn’t give up and I think that’s what he’s done his whole career and in the end he got his reward for it.”

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