The recovery from the disaster at Cambridge has been a convincing yet hardly groundbreaking one from Louis van Gaal’s men. Home games against Leicester and Cambridge were seen to be no more than mere confidence boosters – an opportunity for Manchester United to rediscover their goalscoring pomp after a nasty dry spell.
6 goals and 2 wins later, it seems that this opportunity has been duly taken and the platform is well and truly set for Manchester United to embark on another good run of results with their potency and confidence beginning to creep back into some aspects of their game. During Manchester United’s unbeaten run of 11 games they failed to look impressive on several occasions, being outplayed by the likes of Southampto and Arsenal yet still emerging victorious.
A performance and result reminiscent of that game against Southampton at Upton Park this Sunday would be typical of Louis van Gaal and his players – it seems that playing poorly away from home can still result in victories under the Dutchman – question the methods all you want, he does get results. Regardless of how terrible the performance may be.
The upcoming fixture against West Ham is set to be one of the more bruising encounters for Manchester United. Sam Allardyce’s team has already triumphed over Manchester City and Liverpool at home this season and don’t look as if they fear anyone at the moment. The Hammers are 17 points better off than they were last year having replaced their accident prone, flappy spine with an imposing, stoic feel to their teams’ core.
Moyes’ men breezed this encounter last year – but this time around it’s going to be a really toxic affair. Expect Marouane Fellaini elbows flying everywhere.
Despite having only managed 1 win in their last 6 Premier League games, West Ham have proven hard to topple at home – only losing once in their last 10 home games – however, Manchester United haven’t lost on the road since early November and haven’t lost at Upton Park since 2007, where Ronaldo missed a penalty in a 2-1 loss. It’s a nicely poised fixture indeed.
Louis van Gaal will travel to Upton Park for the first time without the services of Michael Carrick. But the home side suffers more from injuries than the Dutchman with James Collins and Winston Reid being unavailable and Andy Carroll and James Tompkins also being doubts.
Am I looking forward to seeing Manchester United be totally outplayed by a faster, stronger looking team? No.
Am I looking forward to somehow nicking a totally undeserved win having only had 3 shots in the entire game? Yes.
Prediction: West Ham United 1-2 Manchester United