Your complete guide to West Ham United
West Ham United will be the last Premier League side to pay a visit to Old Trafford this season, when they take on Manchester United in Wednesday’s key clash.
The Hammers have all-but secured their place in the division for 2020/21, after consecutive victories over Norwich City and Watford pushed them clear of the relegation zone, in 16th place.
David Moyes’s side have 37 points with two games to play, six more than Aston Villa in 18th, who are handicapped by a significantly worse goal-difference, and a point would be enough to rubber-stamp survival, even if Villa beat Arsenal on Tuesday night.
With the Reds needing a result to boost our own hopes of finishing in the top four, here’s everything you need to know about the capital club…
West Ham’s primary injury concern is attacking midfielder Robert Snodgrass. The Scot hasn’t played since the resumption due to a back problem, and Moyes expressed doubt last week over whether he’d be able to return in time to face United, or Villa on the final day. The fitness of right-back Ryan Fredericks is also being monitored. The 27-year-old missed out on West Ham’s win over Watford on Friday night with a calf strain, and was replaced by rookie Ben Johnson.
After a slow beginning post-restart, the Hammers have come into their own in recent weeks, losing just one of their last five matches to power to probable safety. A thrilling come-from-behind victory over city rivals Chelsea at the London Stadium kickstarted the recovery bid, although a draw at Newcastle and a disappointing home defeat to Burnley left Moyes once again looking over his shoulder. However, a 4-0 win over Norwich (with all four goals being scored by Michail Antonio) consigned the Canaries to the Championship before the Hammers raced into a 3-0 half-time lead to comfortably clinch all three points in last Friday’s winner-takes-all relegation tussle with Watford.
OUR RECORD V THE HAMMERS
Although United have suffered at the London Stadium in recent years, our record against the Hammers at Old Trafford is very good, with the east Londoners winless in their last 14 visits to M16, since Carlos Tevez memorably fired home the only goal to complete a remarkable survival bid for Alan Curbishley’s side in 2007. Aside from a run of three consecutive draws in 2015 and 2016 – one an FA Cup quarter-final tie, in which Anthony Martial equalised late on to send the match to a replay – the Reds have won 11 of those fixtures, with the last victory coming in April 2019, courtesy of two Paul Pogba penalties.
In the Premier League era, United’s record is even more impressive – we’ve clinched the win in 19 of the 23 top-flight meetings, with the Hammers taking home just eight points (two wins, two draws) from their travels north.
WHO’S THE MANAGER?
Of course, Moyes knows what it’s like to sit in the opposite dug-out at Old Trafford, having taken charge of United following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013. Since leaving the Reds in 2014, the Scot has managed Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham – where he is currently in his second spell, after initially guiding the Irons to survival in 2017/18. He returned to the London Stadium in December 2019 after Manuel Pellegrini’s dismissal, and has, so far, recorded a slightly better win-ratio than first time around, with West Ham winning five, drawing three and losing nine of his 17 league games as manager.
ONES TO WATCH
Our own Anthony Martial may be in the midst of a hot streak right now, but the Premier League’s most in-form striker is actually West Ham’s Michail Antonio. The 30-year-old has struck seven goals since the restart, including that four-goal salvo at Carrow Road, which is more than any other top-flight player. Antonio has been aided in inspiring West Ham’s recent purple patch by on-loan Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek. The fair-haired giant contributed goals in the victories over Chelsea and Watford, as well as the draw with Newcastle, and Moyes has hinted that his spell will be made permanent at the end of the season.