After a tense and tactical battle between the two Manchester clubs in last night’s EFL Cup, Juan Mata’s strike gave Jose Mourinho and the fans a victory to cherish as well as setting up a quarter-final tie at Old Trafford against West Ham United.
Manchester United to host West Ham
West Ham, who defeated Chelsea 2-0 last night, are currently focussing on matters away from the pending trip to Old Trafford, after there was yet another instance of severe crowd violence at their new home the Olympic Stadium.
But while they are struggling to fit into their new ground without any trouble, they will remember the final ever game at the famous Upton Park, where they beat Manchester United 3-2, and this game was also marred by pre-game crowd trouble, but the performance from The Hammers on the pitch was nothing short of superb.
Last season saw the Red Devils face The Hammers, four times. Home and away in the Premier League and home and away in the FA Cup quarter-final, the tournament that United went on to win thanks to a late Jesse Lingard strike in the final at Wembley.
The four matches ended 0-0, 1-1, 2-1 United and then 3-2 West Ham, so there was very little to separate either side.
The quarter-final of the EFL Cup will be hosted on either the 29th or the 30th of November, in midweek, and can expect another bumper atmosphere between two sets of fans that are slowly starting to build a strong rivalry between against each other.
Can United supporters expect a strong side again?
Last night saw Manchester United field a slightly stronger starting XI than Manchester City, but despite what the Manchester Evening News have claimed, Manchester City’s side was by no means a reserve outfit.
Mourinho knew a win was needed on the back of that 4-0 drumming at Chelsea, so the stronger side picked itself. But against West Ham can fans expect the same?
In the ten days from the 19th to the 29th of November, Manchester United will face Arsenal at home, Feyenoord at home, West Ham at home in the Premier League and then West Ham in the EFL Cup.
There will be a lot of tired legs at this point and so with the important games before hand, it is realistic to expect a slightly weaker side than United's usual Premier League outfit. However, with it being so close to the final and Mourinho showing in the past with Chelsea that he enjoys winning any cup competition regardless of stature, it can be expected that Manchester United will be looking for a strong winning side come the quarter-finals.