West Ham United - Manchester United Preview: Must win for Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal takes his Manchester United side to Upton Park in an FA Cup quarter-final replay on Wednesday night, kick-off is at 19:00 BST.

West Ham United - Manchester United Preview: Must win for Louis van Gaal
Photo: Harry Robinson/VAVEL UK

Manchester United travel to West Ham United in an FA Cup quarter-final replay, a match Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal must win if he is to regain some much-needed credibility.

The two sides drew the first match at Old Trafford 1-1 and United come into the game following a disappointing loss to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

In the fallout from United’s 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane, there has been mass circulation about van Gaal’s future as United manager, with reports from The Times that he has lost the dressing room because of his somewhat questionable tactics.

It is said the United players are fed up with the ex-Bayern Munich manager after he blamed the squad for the poor results rather than his own managerial decisions.

One thing van Gaal does know, though, is that he must leave Upton Park on Wednesday night with his side's place booked at Wembley to take on Everton in the semi-final on the 23rd April.

United disappointments continue

United have found themselves knocked out of Europe twice, well out of the title race and are hanging on by a thread for a chance of reaching the top four this season. The only glimmer of hope for United fans is that in the FA Cup.

After bowing out of Europe against Liverpool , the Red Devils snapped back into action with an impressive 1-0 win against Manchester City, which was then followed by another victory over Everton.

That good run was swiftly ended by Tottenham as the same cracks that have been there all season saw United outplayed and quite frankly embarrassed.

David De Gea couldn't prevent Erik Lamela from registering Tottenham's third | Photo: Getty Images
David De Gea couldn't prevent Erik Lamela from registering Tottenham's third | Photo: Getty Images

West Ham dangerous

The Hammers come into the game following a 3-3 draw with Arsenal and look a dangerous opposition for United's lacklustre defence. Andy Carroll will be desperate to get back to action following his hat trick over the Gunners, and will fancy his chances of being the hero.

Slaven Bilic’s side have had a magnificent season this campaign and are pushing United all the way for a European place in the Premier League and it very much seems if they can reproduce their good form then van Gaal has a right to be worried.

What the managers say...

Louis van Gaal is hoping his side can put the Tottenham defeat behind them, he said: “It is our last chance to win a trophy so it is very important for the players, for the club, for the manager and for the fans. I hope that we shall recover well.”

Slaven Bilic insists his side are ready for United, he said: “It’s the final FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground, it’s Manchester United and it’s the quarter-finals, so it can’t be any bigger an occasion. We are of course fully motivated and want to go through.

Previous meetings

A good omen for United in this tie is the fact they have not lost at Upton Park since 2010, when they were beaten 4-0 in the League Cup. The last time United visited the Hammers they played out a 1-1 draw with United centre back Daley Blind stealing a point late on.

Team news

After featuring for the United Under 21’s side Wayne Rooney stepped up his return from injury and could be in line for a first-team return as United seek both experience and quality.

The impressive Timothy Fosu-Mensah remains a doubt for the game after he left the field early against Tottenham through injury. Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Adnan Januzaj all continue their rehabilitation from injury.

Diafra Sakho will once again miss out through injury after Bilic confirmed he had removed himself from the squad against Arsenal.