After a chaotic week both on and off the field, Manchester United travel to east London on Saturday for a vital Premier League fixture against Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United.
With the Hammers’ form having improved in recent weeks and the Paul Pogba vs Jose Mourinho soap opera rumbling on, the Red Devils are likely to be made to work hard to get their season back at the London stadium.
The midweek cup exit to Derby County and the 1-1 home draw with Wolves which preceded it have heaped further pressure on Mourinho and it is vital that United don’t drop further behind the leading pack if they are to steer attention away from the goings-on behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
Man Utd Injuries
Marcos Rojo was the only player unavailable through injury in midweek following his curtailed comeback in the reserves against Reading on September 14.
Having undergone surgery after the World Cup it was hoped that he would be back pushing for a first-team spot by now, but the Argentine only managed 54 minutes in the under-23s fixture at Old Trafford and has yet to return to duty as the United medical staff asess the correct next step.
Phil Jones came through his first game after hamstring trouble with no ill effects against Derby in midweek so may feature in the 18, while Ander Herrera played 63 minutes in his return from injury after three weeks out.
Man Utd Suspensions
Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic both return to league action after serving suspensions, with Rashford making his first domestic appearance since his red card at Burnley for a headbutt on Phil Bardsley.
Matic played the full game against Derby in midweek and scored in the penalty shoot-out having sat out the draw with Wolves as a result of his sending off at Watford the previous week.
However, United will not be able to call upon Sergio Romero after the Argentine became the third player in five games to be sent off against Derby when deliberately handling outside his area.
Man Utd Starting Line-Up
The big news, suprisingly, is not Pogba’s inclusion in the starting XI but rather Alexis Sanchez’s omission from the squad altogether.
The chosen starters are interesting, however, with Martial starting in what could be a 3-5-1 formation, with McTominay at the back and Shaw and Young as wing-backs.
Man Utd starting XI: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Fellaini, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Martial; Lukaku
West Ham Team News
Manuel Pellegrini has begun to get West Ham firing following a start to the campaign which saw them lose their first four games and occupying the bottom spot going into the first international break.
That quartet of losses to Liverpool, Bournemouth, Arsenal and Wolves had many Hammers fans worried, but they were much improved in the away win at Everton and latterly posted a creditable 0-0 draw against the previously-unblemished Chelsea. And they were further boosted in midweek by their convincing 8-0 home win over Macclesfield Town in the Carabao Cup.
With the likes of Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Arnautovic to call upon, Pellegrini is hardly short of options in the attacking half of the field and they could become one of the more watchable teams in the Premier League if they really begin to hit their stride.
United may fancy themselves against an apparently weaker back line though, with the Hammers having already conceded 11 goals this term even taking into account their clean sheet against Chelsea last weekend.
TV Channel & Kick-off time
The match at London Stadium kicks off at 12:30pm BST on Saturday, with live coverage available in the UK on BT Sport 1 from midday. In the U.S. the game will be shown on NBCSN at 7:30am ET.
Best Opta Match facts
West Ham have won only one of their last 19 Premier League matches against Manchester United (D5 L13), winning 3-2 at Upton Park in May 2016.
Manchester Utd have kept a clean sheet in both of their Premier League visits to the London Stadium, winning 2-0 in January 2017 and drawing 0-0 in May this year.
Manchester United have scored exactly twice in all three of their Premier League away games this season, winning the last two (L1).
Romelu Lukaku has scored in all three of Man Utd’s away league games this season. Only three players have ever scored in their sides first four on the road in a single Premier League campaign – Thierry Henry 2001-02, Daniel Sturridge 2013-14 and Sergio Aguero 2014-15.
Man Utd’s Romelu Lukaku has netted 11 goals in his last 11 games in all competitions against West Ham, while also providing three assists in this run.
Man Utd winger Anthony Martial has been directly involved in eight goals in his last five appearances against West Ham in all competitions (six goals, two assists), netting five
goals in his last three games.
While at Manchester City, West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini became the second ever manager to win each of his first three Premier League games against Man Utd (after Carlo Ancelotti). Since then, the Chilean is winless in three against the Red Devils (D1 L2).