Manchester United predicted XI against West Ham: Can Mourinho's men pick up where they left off?

Manchester United predicted XI against West Ham: Can Mourinho's men pick up where they left off?

The Red Devils made it three out of three home wins in the Europa League against Feyenoord last time out, but can they translate that form to the Premier League?

Matthew Brown

Manchester United will be hoping for a first home win in the Premier League in over a month when they welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Devils have recorded three Europa League victories and an EFL Cup triumph over Manchester City since their 4-1 drubbing of Leicester City in mid-September.

Two defensive changes for Mourinho’s men

But Jose Mourinho’s side have drawn – perhaps unfortunately – against Stoke City, Burnley and most recently Arsenal since then, and the Red Devils will be sure to start with a strong side to bring that run to an end against the Hammers.

David de Gea is, therefore, certain to start in goal, while Antonio Valencia is likely to keep his place at right-back despite featuring in the midweek win over Feyenoord.

Mourinho has often rotated his full-backs for Europa League and cup games thus far this term, but Valencia had been the clear first choice on the right side of defence before suffering an injury last month. However, Luke Shaw – who also played against Feyenoord at left-back – hasn’t been favoured to the same extent as Valencia, and could be replaced by Matteo Darmian.

In central defence, any two of Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo seem most likely to start. Jones is perhaps most likely to feature as the only right-footed player of the trio, with Rojo potentially set to regain his place after an upturn in form at centre-back in recent times.

Mkhitaryan to be involved once more?

Ander Herrera will probably replace Michael Carrick in midfield – the former didn’t play against Feyenoord, while the 35-year-old Englishman featured for the full 90 minutes in midweek and perhaps won’t be in the best condition to start this game.

Paul Pogba should partner Herrera in midfield, and that duo should have at least one of the creative talents of Juan Mata or Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of them. Mata should be involved – whether centrally or on the right side – and Mourinho has even hinted that the Armenian could start the match, too.

However, Mourinho could yet play it safe by bringing Jesse Lingard back into the XI. He could be lining up alongside Mata on the right side, with Wayne Rooney retaining his place on the opposite flank after a run of decent displays on the left of late.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead United’s attack to complete the XI, and the Swede will be looking for his first Old Trafford goal since September's win against Zorya Luhansk.

Predicted XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Darmian; Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Mata, Rooney; Ibrahimovic.