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United would have been in a buoyant mood all week after their derby victory at the Etihad to end Man City’s winning run, though a last-minute equaliser from AC Milan at Old Trafford completely changed the complexion of their Europa League tie and they’ll now be slightly less confident heading into a tough game with West Ham.
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani will likely all be out for this game and even if they were 50/50, they’d likely not be risked ahead of their 2nd leg with Milan, and that will certainly play into the Hammers’ hands.
Despite all of the Red Devils’ good work this season to get themselves into second place, they’re still yet to beat a current top eight side on home soil, and considering it’s now the middle of March, that’s certainly not the standards we’ve become used to seeing of United sides over the years.
An argument in their favour here is the fact that only Man City have scored more goals at home than their city rivals this year, though over half of Man United’s goals at Old Trafford have come in their two games against Southampton and Leeds, so the consistency in front of goal certainly isn’t there.
West Ham have been one of the best sides in the league this year and if they were to take home maximum points on Sunday night, they’d be just three points behind Man United with a game in hand. That position is certainly no coincidence and they’ve certainly proven they can mix it with the best this season, especially on the road.
Their only such defeat in 2021 has come away at the Etihad in a narrow 2-1 defeat and while there’s certainly no shame in losing to the Champions elect, they would also likely feel aggrieved not to have taken something away from that game, which just shows the level that they’re currently playing at.
West Ham +1 Handicap
Across the last 10 matches, only Man City have picked up more points than David Moyes’ men, though a lot of that has been down to the form of Jesse Lingard, who will be unable to play against his parent club here, though the Hammers have certainly proven they have enough potency up top to cause this United defence some problems.
While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have conceded just three times in nine games now across all competitions, with that late equaliser against Milan the first they’ve let in in five games now, West Ham are a side that are extremely difficult to keep at bay.
Indeed they’ve scored in a massive 17 of their 18 matches against the current top-13 in the table, with the exception coming against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side, and with Man United’s attacking injury crisis, we can certainly see the Hammers outscoring their hosts on this occasion.
Man United’s record of one defeat in 22 games now has us hesitant on the 1x2 market though, and the handicap looks to be a safer bet for us.