After dropping late points at Fulham last week, United will be looking to respond with a home win against the Hammers...
Despite seeing an improvement on United's last two results at Craven Cottage, Sir Alex was irked by the way his side squandered the three points in the dying seconds, and will be expecting a response against a West Ham side who have failed to muster a single goal in their last four outings against the Reds. The Hammers have endured a disastrous start to the new campaign – a 3-0 battering at the hands of Aston Villa was followed up by an equally dismal 3-1 defeat at home to Bolton. Tuesday's Carling Cup victory over Oxford United may have lightened the mood at Upton Park, though the last-minute 1-0 triumph will have done little to lessen new boss Avram Grant's worries.
Ins and outs
West Ham have doubts over two players heading into the evening kick-off at Old Trafford. Captain Matthew Upson was substituted against Bolton with a facial injury and a return date has not yet been specified, while new signing Thomas Hitzlsperger is yet to make his debut because of a thigh injury. The Hammers are still without long-term absentee James Collison. United have no fresh injury worries to report: Owen Hargreaves is still sidelined but Rio Ferdinand is back in training. Anderson made his long-awaited return from a knee injury in Tuesday's Reserves Manchester derby and the Brazillian midfielder is in line for a first-team comeback in September.
Fans' favourite Scott Parker ticks the box for this one. Hailed for his never-say-die attitude, he has been named West Ham's player of the year for the past two seasons. Not famed for a large supply of goals, but his driving runs from midfield will be crucial if West Ham are to avoid the drop.
Grant returned to London to take charge of the Hammers in June this year. Sir Alex has enjoyed a successful record against Grant, whom he most notably defeated in the 2008 Champions League final when Grant was managing Chelsea. Since that famous night in Moscow, United have