How Manchester United should line up vs West Ham in Premier League fixture


Manchester United welcome West Ham to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

United comfortably beat FC Sheriff 3-0 in the Europa League group stage on Thursday thanks to goals from Diogo Dalot, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo, who marked his return to the first-team following peace talks with a goal.

Erik ten Hag’s side will now turn their attention back to the Premier League, with United set to play West Ham this weekend. United are undefeated since the Manchester City debacle and they most recently drew 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Regarding team news, although the match has come too soon for Anthony Martial, who returned to light training earlier this week, Aaron Wan-Bissaka could return to the squad, just like Harry Maguire and Donny van de Beek did against FC Sheriff.

Ronaldo’s bullish body language was as encouraging as his goal in midweek and the decision to pair him with Marcus Rashford for a half was possibly a dress rehearsal for West Ham – only Rashford should be on the left.

If Ronaldo is as urgent and eager on Sunday then it is logical to select him. Jadon Sancho cannot start, it would be hasty to retain Alejandro Garnacho and Anthony Elanga reduces United’s goal threat.

At the back, Victor Lindelof should stay next to Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw has to be recalled.

United are undefeated in seven matches and it will be impressive if they can extend that record all the way to the World Cup. That will be the challenge for the players and Martinez and Lindelof should start here, to give the best chance of a clean sheet.

Maguire returned from the sidelines against Sheriff but Lindelof does not deserve to lose his place. The midfield three of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes should remain unchanged, while Antony should also start on the right again.

Garnacho was confident and dangerous throughout his full debut against Sheriff and he should get the opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League. Sancho has offered very little in recent weeks and his poor performances have left the door open, which Garnacho might be able to take advantage of after being substituted off with 10 minutes to play in midweek.

Jadon Sancho began the season well but looks bereft of confidence now and Alejandro Garnacho grabbed his chance in the Europa League with both hands. It would send the wrong message to restore Sancho, and seeing an 18-year-old start a Premier League match ahead of him might act as a rocket to the England winger.

Fred produced his best performance in a United shirt against Tottenham last week but has been left out of the starting XI in the two games since. Christian Eriksen vindicated his return to the team at Stamford Bridge, though, and against lesser teams like West Ham, craft might be the order of the day.

Cristiano Ronaldo may have scored against FC Sheriff but he did not do enough to warrant a return to United’s starting Premier League team.


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