Preview: United v West Ham

The Magic of the Cup™ – reloaded. Uniteds of Manchester and visitors West Ham replay in the third round at Old Trafford on Wednesday ten days after a vibrant 2-2 draw in East London. The carrot: a home tie with Fulham on 26 January – and another step towards a Wembley date in May.

Still, with United having laboured for much of the previous match at Upton Park, Sam Allardyce’s men head north with some confidence. After all, the Reds continue to struggle with the defensive side of the game this season, while Sir Alex Ferguson’s side spent much of the second half of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool on the back foot.

The Premier League stands to one side on Wednesday, however, with Sir Alex’ men seeking a 12th FA Cup victory next May. Indeed, the passion with which the Scot celebrated United’s last-minute equaliser in the East End provides ample evidence for Ferguson’s desire to end a nine-year barren run in the Cup.

Good news, then, that Ferguson’s side is likely to be strong for the replay, with Wayne Rooney and Nani set to return for the 125th meeting between the two sides. Rooney hasn’t featured since United’s draw with Swansea City last month, while the Portuguese winger Nani has been out since October.

“Both will play, both are fit,” confirmed Ferguson on Tuesday, who is likely to deploy a many of his senior men at Old Trafford.

“Wayne coming back is good news. He’s been training for a week and looking good. As for Nani, he came back from his spell abroad  and is really looking very good. So I’m fine and will play a strong team.

“Of course, we’ve got a big squad but it’s also an important tie tomorrow for the club. We want to try and have a go at this FA Cup. We haven’t had a run for a long time. We’re at home and we have got to take advantage of that. If we get through, we have got another home tie so there’s a big incentive for the club to make sure we get through.”

Manchester United v West Ham United - FA Cup, Old Trafford - Wednesday 16 December 8.05pmMeanwhile, Ferguson is unlikely to risk either central defensive duo Nemanja Vidić or Jonny Evans – not with United set to face Tottenham Hotspur in London at the weekend in what could be a pivotal clash.

Nor will winger Ashley Young feature after the former Aston Villa winger picked up a knock during the weekend’s victory over Liverpool. Still, with Anderson, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernández all in the need of minutes United will not be short of firepower – on the pitch, or bench.

Yet, whatever his offensive options Ferguson will be looking for a far better defensive performance at Old Trafford, with his side having secured just six clean sheets all season.

Goalkeeper David de Gea and likely central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling will have to deal with the visitors’ crossing far better than at Upton Park when the Reds conceded twice from Joe Cole deliveries.

“We conceded two goals from headers in the first game and it’s a type of play that you come across in this league quite a bit,” said Spanish youngster de Gea.

“But we have players at the back who are perfectly capable of dealing with the threat of big powerful strikers who like the ball in the air. We have enough nous to cope with that. It’s something we work on and try to come up with solutions in training.”

Meanwhile, West Ham travel north without key defensive trio James Collins, George McCartney and Joey O’Brien, leaving the Hammers manager with just three fully fit senior defenders. Guy Demel, James Tomkins and Winston Reid will start, while Allardyce could also deploy youngsters Jordan Spence and Danny Potts.

Moreover, the Hammers boss may be tempted to rest key players, with his side facing a crucial relegation fixtures against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend.

Still, Allardyce may still be temped to deploy Joe Cole after the midfielder laid on a brace of goals in the first fixture. Cole also featured in West Ham’s last FA cup victory over United – the 1-0 win at Old Trafford more than a decade ago.

It is also a special occasion for defender Ferdinand, who relishes another tie with West Ham – one which recalls his time in the Londoners’ academy alongside Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard and Cole. Ferdinand is yet to win the FA Cup with any of his clubs.

“The era we had there will be part of West Ham’s history forever now, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs,” said Ferdinand.

“It is unfortunate for West Ham those players did not stay there and their presence get built upon. That is all history now I suppose. But Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months. It would be good to see him do something positive, but not this week. We want to get through this round.”

And should United emerge victorious another alumni – this time from United – will return to Old Trafford: Dimitar Berbatov.

Match Details
Manchester United v West Ham United – FA Cup, Old Trafford – Wednesday 16 January 8.05pm

Possible teams
United (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Büttner; Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Nani; Rooney, Hernández. Subs from: Amos, Rafael, Evans, Evra, Cleverley, Kagawa, van Persie, Scholes, Fletcher, Welbeck, Powell, Macheda, Giggs, Hernández.

West Ham (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Potts; Noble, Diarra; J Cole, Nolan, Taylor; C Cole. Subs from: Henderson, Nolan, Jarvis, Maïga, Vaz Tê, Diamé, Maguire, Spence, Chamakh, Tombides, Driver, Paulista.

Officials
Referee: Philip Dowd
Assistant Referees: Simon Long & Gary Beswick
Fourth: Official Lee Probert

Form
United: DWWWDW
West Ham: DLLWDL

Head to Head
Last 10: United 8, West Ham 1, Draw 1
Overall: United 57, West Ham 42, Draw 25

Prediction
3-0

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Comments

  1. marlon says

    What’s happened to Fletcher? Injured, playing for the reserves. Hard to see him having any kind of future at United if he can’t even get minutes at one of the busiest periods of the season when we had injuries in his position.

    • Mongoletsi says

      I’m guessing his road to recovery is longer than expected. He missed a lot of game time innit. Fitness won’t be what it was, esp given the nature of his illness.

      Fingers crossed for the lad…

  2. Violent Banana says

    Can’t help but feel Nani’s trip abroad was similar to Rooney’s stint in the US. Hopefully he’s sorted himself out, he’s a match winner when he wants to be.

  3. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    valencia and nani will probaby both play,

    play valencia out of position at fullback so nani can play in his best position

  4. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    There are no “doubters” of Nani… we all “know”, he’s got serious talent.

    … and we also “know”, that he’s a fuckin idiot.

  5. han says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    i will watch this in the gym

    aye
    go pump up your biceps for your boyfriends
    10 changes doesn’t bode well and it’s freezing too
    an early goal or 3 would be nice to settle any nerves

  6. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    sidney said:
    Kick off is at 5 past 8 ffs
    Turned on ITV and got a face full of Gail Platt, no warning, nothing

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  7. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    All too many reminders why I hate watching games on ITV. I used to like Adrian Childs when he was presenting The Apprentice: You’re Fired, but since he left the BBC there’s just something about him that really irritates me. Also, 2 minutes into their coverage and they’re already on a commercial break. Even Sky don’t take the piss to that extent.

  8. Sidsidney says

    Anderson is quick to move forward from a flat, standing position

    That’s what starts that move, the way he moves around his marker

  9. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Well..it’s officially true

    We have less ideas than a stillborn spastic

    Embarrassment…no value in our midfield

  10. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    No, I’m big enough (fuck off alf) and daft enough to admit young is the footballing equivalent of an helicopter crashing into a crane in central London and is a massive let down

    For let down, see shit..I got that one wrong..massively (again, fuck off be dosa you yank cunt)

    Now I know how my parents feel.

  11. AnantaxAnantax says

    Dont get me wrong..I love Rooney. But he had only THREE good touches in the whole half…one of which was a goal thankfuly. His first touch is just awfull

    Nani still missing a football brain I see….

    Ah well there is still the 2nd half to hope for….

  12. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Adrian Chiles..vanilla in human form..boring bastard that makes my long standing herpes problem seem refreshingly vital..what a bastard

  13. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    FFS… 2 minutes into half time, and some fat cunt has allready eaten all the pies… first time that’s happened in months…

  14. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    FFS… 2 minutes into half time, and some fat cunt has allready eaten all the pies… first time that’s happened in months…

    Step away from the fridge then Barry

  15. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Anantax said:
    Bloody hell….

    What kind of cross is that from Nani??

    What kind of shot is that from Hernandez?

    You do realise we are shit don’t you

  16. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    What the fuck……. it’s time like this where our lack of a real hard ass, vocal leader shows.

    Keane would be handing out one slap after another…

  17. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    That was justice in my opinion… if ours wasn’t a pen, then neither was theirs.

    Still… Wayne… what the fuck!

  18. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Giggs rolling back the years, still a great sight!

    Rooney WTF!!

    Not as great as you rolling back the duvet when I come in the bedroom

  19. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    i came up with that tbf

    Well at least someone was keeping the fame alight whilst I’ve been gone

    Good work

  20. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    I’m starting to think Ferguson might shift Rooney come summer…

    Lewindowski will be the catalyst

    And I don’t rate him either

  21. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    captainhormone said:
    Well at least someone was keeping the fame alight whilst I’ve been gone

    Good work

    never noticed that you left.

  22. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    captainhormone said:
    Judging by some of the shit I’ve read..wish I’d never come back

    it is a bit lifeless on here, these days.

  23. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    madredmonkey said:
    it is a bit lifeless on here, these days.

    I’ve seen more life, zest and verve rin Barbara cartlands vibrator

  24. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    of course he wont

    fucking fat twat

    Now that Hormone’s about, you feel like showin off?

    Don’t let your lust for Hormone get you into something you can’t handle…

    You pig-eyed, fuck head.

  25. AnantaxAnantax says

    Pea Rooney Ando was shit after first 10 mins…

    Nani Valencia poor throughout

    Back four was decent I thought..albeit bit nervous at times

    Giggs my goodness….best player on the pitch by miles tonight…

  26. han says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Now that Hormone’s about, you feel like showin off?

    Don’t let your lust for Hormone get you into something you can’t handle…

    You pig-eyed, fuck head.

    he just wants to get into his anus

  27. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Now that Hormone’s about, you feel like showin off?

    Don’t let your lust for Hormone get you into something you can’t handle…

    You pig-eyed, fuck head.

    Lol

    That’s so L.A

  28. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Now that Hormone’s about, you feel like showin off?

    Don’t let your lust for Hormone get you into something you can’t handle…

    You pig-eyed, fuck head.

    but ive been calling u a fat cunt for years

    its a factual statement

  29. Dean Jackson says

    I have to comment on Jones at CB… solid as f**k. Was that the first time Smalling and Jones played as CB pair?

  30. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Fuckin hell… apparently that’s the 10th pen Rooney has missed for United.

    yes missed 40% of them that’s shit.

  31. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    captainhormone said:
    Tbf, the comment was about as funny as a burning orphanage

    Tbf

    i love to see burning orphanages, iam a fire starter.

  32. han says

    captainhormone said:
    Tbf, the comment was about as funny as a burning orphanage

    Tbf

    we can’t all be such highly rated comediennes like u and fuckhead

  33. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    but ive been calling u a fat cunt for years

    its a factual statement

    Family Guy starts in 20 minutes, shouldn’t you be getting into character? Meg?

  34. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    captainhormone said:
    Drop me off next stop mate, ta.

    sorry full up, just me and Han, unc is in the boot, he is the entertainment later.

  35. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    jones and smalling are fucking great

    Bruce/Pallister… Stam/Johnson… Ferdinand/Vidic…

    Jones/Smalling could be the best… for years… with Rafa on the right… just need a lefty…

  36. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    is that it

    ffs

    Sorry… I didn’t know we were trying to be clever… how about this then… “you fat twat”?

  37. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Sorry… I didn’t know we were trying to be clever… how about this then… “you fat twat”?

    3ft spastic dwarf…it’s not big and it’s not clever.

  38. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    This is more like the old rant…threads going off topic, loads of slagging off, and a high level of cuntishness

    #retrorant

  39. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    captainhormone said:
    3ft spastic dwarf…it’s not big and it’s not clever.

    Why are you here?

    The Jimmy Saville situation attracting too much attention on your typical night outs?

  40. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Why are you here?

    The Jimmy Saville situation attracting too much attention on your typical night outs?

    Ha…I’m surprised you haven’t campaigned for Him to get a pardon

    Tbf

  41. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    jones and smalling are fucking great

    Hopefully that means Evans can now join Sunderland this summer instead of prolonging it like we did with O’Shea.

  42. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    tbf we’ve had our right shower of cunts on here over the years. How long have you been a member of Rant (in all it’s forms) I know I was here before Cap showed his hairy ass, 2005??

  43. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    I was member number 20 i think…you were member number 7, but had had a dozen or so members in you first week

    lolololomglololomg

  44. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    captainhormone said:
    I was member number 20 i think…you were member number 7, but had had a dozen or so members in you first week

    lolololomglololomg

    Can’t even remember how the fuck I stumbled across Rant. BUT within a few weeks I knew it was my spiritual home. A place where a few perverted, deprived, sick, cunt loving came together and created magic. Was it around 2005?

    I’ve only ever been a member of this forum and fuckbuddies.com.

  45. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Can’t even remember how the fuck I stumbled across Rant. BUT within a few weeks I knew it was my spiritual home. A place where a few perverted, deprived, sick, cunt loving came together and created magic. Was it around 2005?

    I’ve only ever been a member of this forum and fuckbuddies.com.

    yes 2005…a few months before you were blowing me off on blackpools north pier

    we’ll always have Blackpool Bri..always have Blackpool

  46. Sidsidney says

    Well that’s a relief

    Fergie did well resisting the urge to play him over the packed christmas schedule, especially with Ando out

    It’s up there with some of his greatest achievements

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