Manchester United have been the busiest team in England over the past seven days and there’s still more to come.
Last Monday we were held 2-2 at home by Southampton before winning 2-0 away to Crystal Palace. We were then beaten 3-0 in the FA Cup by Chelsea on Sunday, with the Blues having an additional 48 hours’ rest.
This Wednesday, we’re at home to West Ham United, who have played just once in the time we have played the three aforementioned games. The Hammers will have had more than 24 hours’ additional rest since our last game too.
It’s no time for excuses though, we need just two more positive results to get into next season’s Champions League. Two draws will do it.
The bookmakers believe we can do much better than a draw midweek too, as the highest price you’ll find on us beating West Ham is currently 1/4, according to OddsGurus.
West Ham all but secured their Premier League status on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Watford, leaving them six points and 14 goals above the drop zone with two games left to play.
Our team were clearly tired at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Hardly surprising with the number of games we’ve played and the lack of rotation prior. Champions League qualification was obviously more important than reaching the FA Cup final. And so far Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the players have done a fantastic job in getting back in contention, now on level points with Leicester City for fourth spot and with a game in hand. We were eight points behind them when the Premier League restarted.
So how should Ole play it against West Ham?
There’s very little difference in a draw and a win on Wednesday. Unless we win by a substantial amount. But realistically, we’re going to need to go to Leicester on the final day and get a result. This only needs to be a draw if we avoid defeat midweek.
Therefore, I think the boss needs to rest as many players as he possibly can against West Ham with the intention of getting a draw at the very least. Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Aaron Wan-Bissaka are all in need of a rest. Harry Maguire looks like he could do with one too.
Worst comes to worst and we lose with a weakened side, then we have to go to the King Power Stadium and win. Leicester are not playing midweek so will be fresh, but their recent form includes a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Bournemouth, and a heavy 0-3 loss at Tottenham Hotspur this past weekend. A fresh Manchester United side can beat these.