Premier League:Manchester United vs West Ham LIVE Football Score 22 Jan 2022
In a potentially pivotal game for both sides’ top-four hopes, Manchester United and West Ham United prepare for battle at Old Trafford in Saturday’s Premier League clash.
The Red Devils prevailed 3-1 at Brentford in midweek, while David Moyes’s men went down 3-2 at home to Leeds United
It would not be a Manchester United match without David de Gea being forced to bail his side out on one or two occasions, but Ralf Rangnick’s side found their goalscoring touch in the second period to ultimately see off Brentford with ease.
Anthony Elanga headed home only his second Premier League goal to break the deadlock before Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford made the net ripple to put the Red Devils 3-0 up on the day, with Ivan Toney’s late strike unable to inspire a dramatic comeback for Brentford.
Such a result was a convincing way for Man United to end their two-game winless streak in the top flight, but the Red Devils are still rank outsiders when it comes to the top-four battle, as Rangnick’s side lie seventh in the rankings before this weekend’s crunch battle.
The Hammers sit just two points above Man United having played a game more, so the hosts could certainly blow the Champions League race wide open with victory here, and not since 1985 have the Red Devils opened the calendar year with back-to-back top-flight defeats at home.
A tally of just one clean sheet from their last 15 Premier League games at Old Trafford will be of some concern to Rangnick, though, and the attacking talent in the visitors’ ranks are primed to make their manager’s return to the Theatre of Dreams a memorable one
The visit of Leeds to the London Stadium was never going to be an encounter where defences would take centre stage, but unfortunately for the home faithful, West Ham were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller in the capital.
Twice Marcelo Bielsa’s side led through Jack Harrison, and twice they were pegged back by Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals, but the former Manchester City man’s third of the day ended up settling the contest as Bowen spurned a gilt-edged late chance with his chest
The Hammers’ four-game winning streak across all competitions came to a bitter end on their own turf at the weekend, but Moyes’s side are clinging onto that fourth and final Champions League spot by the thinnest of threads, as Man United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all apply the pressure.
West Ham’s 3-2 defeat to Leeds represented the fifth Premier League game in a row that Moyes had witnessed his side chalk up at least two goals, and bagging seven goals in their previous two away wins versus Watford and Crystal Palace stands them in good stead before a daunting trip north.
Moyes’s side have already got the better of Man United at Old Trafford in this season’s EFL Cup, but the Red Devils edged a tightly-fought contest 2-1 in the capital back in September, as former Hammer Jesse Lingard sunk the London club.
Scott McTominay was withdrawn in the dying embers against Brentford with a back issue but is expected to be available for Saturday, which is more than can be said for Paul Pogba and Africa Cup of Nations representative Eric Bailly.
Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani are also likely to miss out once more after suffering issues in training, while Jadon Sancho is still doubtful with personal issues and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s illness is set to keep him sidelined again.
Cristiano Ronaldo was less than pleased with his 71st-minute substitution at Brentford, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner ought to keep Rashford out of the XI as Rangnick refuses to fix what is not broken.
Harry Maguire ought to earn a recall at the back, though, with Victor Lindelof unavailable after his home was broken into during the Brentford contest.
As for West Ham, Moyes is cautiously optimistic over Tomas Soucek’s chances of returning from COVID-19, but Mark Noble’s knee injury is set to keep him sidelined once again.
Said Benrahma remains absent at the Africa Cup of Nations, while centre-backs Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma – the latter of whom is close to a return – complete a quintet of possible absentees for the fourth-placed side this weekend.
Alex Kral continues to struggle for opportunities in the middle even with Noble and Soucek absent, but Moyes may be tempted to bring in the defensive-minded 23-year-old if necessary here.