Manchester United v West Ham United: Five Key Battles

Inside Old Trafford

Manchester United will be confident ahead of their home game against West Ham United.

Here are some key battles for you to look out for in this match.

Rio Ferdinand v Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll is one of the biggest threats in the West Ham team. Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to ask his most experienced defender to use every bit of his knowledge to keep the big striker quiet. Carroll will get a lot of verbal abuse as he is still officially a Liverpool player, this will make him even more determined to succeed so Ferdinand has to be at his very best.

Jonny Evans v Kevin Nolan

Nolan has played a big role in the West Ham team this season in terms of getting forward from the midfield and supporting Carroll. Evans will have to spot Nolan’s forward runs early which will give him the best chance to get into a decent position and stop the Hammers captain from having any success inside the Manchester United final third. Nolan has scored five goals in 13 games this season.

Darren Fletcher v Mohamed Diame

It would be very harsh of Sir Alex Ferguson not to include Darren Fletcher in the starting line up considering his performance in the 3-1 win over QPR. He will be up against Mohamed Diame in the West Ham midfield who is one of the supporting creative players for the Hammers. Fletcher will have to try and outmanoeuvre his opposite number, find more space and more time which will give the home team an advantage in this area.

Wayne Rooney v James Tomkins

Rooney will fancy his chances of bullying Tomkins throughout the match and giving the West Ham defender a nightmare of a game. Rooney hasn’t been at his best this season but he will see this as an opportunity to get himself on the score sheet against a vulnerable defender to his movement and strength. All Tomkins has to do is defend using the basics and give himself the best chance and the most time to deal with the runs that Rooney makes.

Robin Van Persie v Winston Reid

Van Persie will try to be all over Reid like a rash but the Hammers defend has the pace and the fitness to keep up with the Dutch striker for the whole game if he maintains his concentration throughout the 90 minutes. If Reid switches off for a second then Van Persie is good enough to take a half chance and stick it in the back of the net before Reid will be able to react.

image: © crystiancruz

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