West Ham United vs Manchester United Preview: Irons looking
to hammer home more misery on Mourinho’s men 
Photo via Joe.co.uk

West Ham United vs Manchester United Preview: Irons looking to hammer home more misery on Mourinho’s men 

The Hammers will host the Red Devils in the Premier League’s opening game this weekend, here is everything you need to know ahead of the game.

Josh Slinger

West Ham United and Manchester United are two clubs experiencing very different fortunes at the moment, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side starting to thrive under their new boss, whilst Jose Mourinho’s men look to be on the ropes.

The Hammers come off the back of three very good results, starting with a 3-1 victory at Goodison Park, followed by a point at home to the thus far very impressive Chelsea, and then a midweek mauling of Macclesfield Town - certainly raising the spirits at the London Stadium.

As for United, they've not been so impressive of late. Mourinho's side endured a frustrating afternoon at Old Trafford last weekend, in which they fell eight points off top spot following a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, which was then followed up by an embarrassing home defeat to Derby County in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

Arnautovic to return

The star man for the Hammers from the first few weeks of the season has undoubtedly been Marko Arnautovic - the Austrian had picked up three goals early on in the campaign before being forced off through injury away at Everton a couple of weeks ago.

Pellegrini has now confirmed that his number seven is back and ready to try and inflict more pain on the Red Devils, "Marko worked on Wednesday. He worked with the squad, so I think he is 100 per cent fit for tomorrow."

The former Manchester City boss will be without Javier Hernandez, Jack Wilshere, Manuel Lanzini, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid for this one as they continue to work towards full fitness.

Predicted XI: Lukasz Fabianski, Pablo Zabaleta, Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop, Arthur Masuaku; Declan Rice, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble; Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic. 

Pogba to start

Without a doubt, one of the biggest stories coming out of the Premier League this week is regarding the apparent falling out between manager Mourinho and star player Paul Pogba, with their relationship reportedly broken to the point where one of them will have to leave the club sooner rather than later.

In his pre-match press conference, Mourinho looked to squash these rumours, firstly by talking about how well his number six has trained this week, "Nobody trained better than Paul Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Some trained as well as, nobody better."

The Portuguese manager then confirmed that Pogba will start on Saturday, "Tomorrow he plays. He is a player like the others." 

United have less injury concerns than West Ham, with only Ander Herrera, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo unavailable for this one, with Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic returning following suspensions.

The Red Devils rested a few key players in the week against Derby, however, will look to return to full strength on Saturday.

Predicted XI: David de Gea; Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini; Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku. 

Back in the early 2000's, West ham were considered a 'bogey side' for United, although, in recent years, the Reds have experienced a lot of success against the Irons - losing just one of their last 18 meetings with the East London side.

Despite this, with West Ham's form drastically turning around under Pellegrini, and United going through a very difficult time both on and off the pitch, this could be what some consider a perfect time to play Mourinho's side and look to pick up only a second victory over them since 2008.