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FA Cup: Moyes’ Hammers Out to Crush United’s Cup Dreams


FA Cup: Moyes’ Hammers Out to Crush United’s Cup Dreams

Manchester United vs West Ham United

With Manchester United’s dreams of reclaiming the Premier League crown quickly fading away, they must now turn their attention to the FA Cup for a chance at domestic silverware this season.

The Red Devils will face a tricky fifth-round test as they host former manager David Moyes and his overachieving West Ham side.

Moyes has done a magnificent job in his second spell with West Ham. However, the FA Cup 2021 betting odds won’t be in the Hammers’ favour, as they could be without two of their top goalscorers for their trip to Old Trafford.

Talking Points

United possess plenty of options

It has been a roller-coaster last two weeks for Manchester United. After a shock loss to bottom side Sheffield United and a goalless draw at Arsenal, the Red Devils produced a record 9-0 win against Southampton and were seconds away from a second-straight victory against Everton.

But Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck at the death to hold United to a 3-3 draw, which dented their title hopes even more, especially after Manchester City comfortably beat Liverpool, 4-1.

The good news for United is that both Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani are in fine form after scoring in back-to-back games, while Marcus Rashford is also capable of producing FA Cup 2021 highlights.

With only West Brom coming up in the league, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could choose to play most of his stars against the Hammers before giving them a rest on the weekend.

However, United will likely be without midfielder Paul Pogba, who came off in the first half against Everton after picking up a muscle injury.

Donny van de Beek has made five starts in domestic cup competitions this season, including each of their first two FA Cup rounds, so he is likely to get another run out against West Ham with Pogba ailing.

Likewise, Dean Henderson looks set to take over from David de Gea in goal, and Anthony Martial could also get a start over Mason Greenwood.

West Ham have question marks in attack

West Ham United were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by Fulham over the weekend. The Hammers, who had looked so impressive in attack in recent games, were outshot 20-8 and had only one shot on target.

To make matters worse, Tomas Soucek was controversially sent off deep into stoppage time for an elbow on Aleksandar Mitrovic. The Czech midfielder now faces a three-match ban which would see him miss out on the trip to Old Trafford, although West Ham are hoping the red card decision gets overturned on appeal.

Soucek has been one of the surprise players in the Premier League this season and leads West Ham with eight league goals.

Meanwhile, striker Michail Antonio – the Hammers’ second-leading scorer with five goals – did not make much of an impact and came off with 20 minutes left, leading to some speculation that he had picked up another hamstring issue. Although, Moyes claims he took off Antonio due to fatigue.

West Ham are short on strikers after selling and not replacing Sebastien Haller during the transfer window, so Andriy Yarmolenko will have to fill in for Antonio in case he can’t play.

Yarmolenko started in the previous FA Cup round against Doncaster and scored in a 4-0 West Ham win. He has three goals in five domestic cup appearances this season.

West Ham will also be without Jesse Lingard, who scored two goals in his debut against Aston Villa, since he is on-loan from Manchester United.

History

Man United and West Ham have been drawn together twice in the FA Cup over the last decade. West Ham forced United to replays on both occasions, but the Red Devils subsequently won them both.

The Hammers have also been quite competitive in recent Premier League encounters with United. Over their last six meetings, Man United and West Ham each have two wins, with two draws.

Although, United got the upper hand in their first matchup this season in December. Soucek had put West Ham in front, but United fought back with second-half goals from Pogba, Greenwood, and Rashford to record a 3-1 win at London Stadium.

Betting Tip

Under 3.00 @ 2.04

SBOTOP odds have Manchester United as massive 1.55 favourites over West Ham, who are only 5.20 to knock the Red Devils out. Meanwhile, a draw is 4.10.

Obviously, the Hammers stand a much better chance at Old Trafford if Soucek’s red card is overturned. But even with Soucek available, I don’t expect this match to have all that many goals.

With a place in the quarter-finals on the line, I anticipate a cagey match at Old Trafford, with the odd goal likely to decide the tie.

 

 


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