Man U are riding a three-game winning streak as they travel to Upton Park to face their Premier League adversary. West Ham, on the other hand, have won just one of their last five games, and manager Sam Allardyce will have his hands full trying to stop the Premier League juggernaut.
Yet, West Ham held tough the last time these teams faced, matching Manchester United for the final 89 minutes in a bitter 1-0 loss. The underdogs will hope to replicate that effort with a more favorable result this time around.
Where: Upton Park, London, England
When: Saturday, Jan. 30 at 12:15 p.m. ET
What They're Saying
Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has been cycling through his player lately. By the sounds of things, the squad rotations will continue against West Ham.
From Straits Times:
The United manager made five changes from the team that beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 on Saturday and is determined to keep his squad fresh. "Yes, we will make a few changes for the cup tie," he said.
"The likes of Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick, we took them off as soon as we got the third goal. "They deserve a break and they have played in all the games. We'll have a look at the situation. We've got fresh players. "Young Shinji (Kagawa) came in. We've got plenty of players to freshen it up."
"I was wondering if we were going to hold our confidence and performance level at home," said Allardyce, who felt the referee had a "great view" of the penalty and made the "correct decision."
"It has been really good even though we have had two back-to-back defeats but they showed they have the mentality to cope with whatever is thrown at them."
The most recent result is encouraging for West Ham, but now they face a Man U squad that is looking to walk over them. This next bout might not be so pleasant for the Hammers.
West Ham Player to Watch: Kevin Nolan
Kevin Nolan will be looking to redeem his good name when he takes the pitch on Saturday.
The West Ham captain leads his squad with five goals in 2012-13 Premier League play. However, he was not a factor in the bounce-back win against Norwich City, serving a one-game suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
If the Hammers want to compete with Man U on Saturday, they will need all the scoring punch the veteran midfielder can provide.
Manchester United Player to Watch: Robin van Persie
Though his squad was not at its best last time it faced West Ham, Robin van Persie was just fine.
The Dutch forward has been on fire for Manchester United this season. His winning strike against West Ham in their first meeting was just one of his 16 goals on the season, tops in the Premier League by a comfortable margin.
RVP is worth watching in just about every match. But when he is playing at his best, as he is now, it is impossible to look away from him.
A sputtering West Ham squad is no match for Ferguson and his boys.
The hosts will play admirably and will likely get on the board, but Manchester United aren't going to turn in another subpar performance against the Hammers.
Man U will attack early and often on Saturday, and West Ham just isn't going to be able to keep up.
Manchester United 3, West Ham 1
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