Both Manchester United and West Ham know they have plenty of ground to make up if they are to force their way into the top-four picture in the Premier League, so there will be lots to play for when they clash at Old Trafford on Sunday.
United grabbed a much-needed 4-3 success at Wolves on Thursday, even though they required an injury-time winner from Kobbie Mainoo, having allowed a two-goal lead to slip late on.
And they will need to be at their best back on home turf - where they have had a few scrapes this season - when the Hammers come to town after David Moyes’ team beat them in the reverse fixture just before Christmas.
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Premier League in the UK.
The game will be played at Old Trafford with a kick-off time of 14:00 GMT on Sunday 4th February.
There would have been massive relief in the Manchester United ranks that they got out of jail at Molineux on Thursday after they saw their 85th-minute 3-1 lead evaporate before Mainoo’s late winner, and they have lived on their wits more than once this season.
That was the Red Devils’ second win in their last seven league outings and they were made to work hard for the other victory, which came after they were 2-0 down to Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
Thursday's game was the sixth time in their last seven league matches that they have conceded more than once, a run that includes a 2-0 reverse against Sunday’s opponents West Ham when they met in London on 23rd December.
The Hammers have lost just one of their last 11 league matches and have already won at Arsenal and Tottenham this season, so getting a positive result from their Old Trafford visit is well within their compass.
Luke Shaw has had a stop-start season for Manchester United but the England left-back has been no stranger to referee’s notebooks and he could get his name taken again in Sunday’s game.
Shaw has been cautioned in four of his last five league appearances, including in the 2-0 defeat at the London Stadium, where he committed four fouls, so odds of 12/5 that he ends up with his sixth league yellow card of the campaign appear quite generous.
There looks a strong chance that Manchester United will force a few corners as they go in search of their seventh home win of the Premier League season.
No top-flight team can top their average number of flag-kicks when they are playing at home and their figure of 8.64 per match on their own patch is impressive.
With West Ham conceding the fourth-highest number of away corners - an average of 7.64 - there looks a strong chance that their hosts can force at least seven.
Anthony Martial is out with a groin injury while Tyrell Malacia and Mason Mount are also ruled out.
Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are doutful, Lisandro Martinez appeared to be struggling late on on his return to the line-up against Wolves, while Sofyan Amrabat may not feature despite Morocco’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Michail Antonio and Lucas Paqueta are missing for the Hammers.
Vladimir Coufal returns from a one-match ban following his red card at Sheffield United although Nayef Aguerd faces a late fitness test.
Manchester United have won just two of their last seven Premier League matches.
West Ham have lost just one of their last 11 league games.
Four of the Hammers’ last five league games have featured fewer than three goals.
Both teams have scored in Manchester United’s last four Premier League outings.
|Manchester United wins
|West Ham wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.