Manchester United vs West Ham United: Where could the game be won or lost?

Manchester United will face West Ham United at Old Trafford in the final game of a thrilling first Premier League weekend, but where could the game be won or lost?

Manchester United vs West Ham United: Where could the game be won or lost?
United will be hoping for a good home record in order to mount a serious title charge this season. (Photo: Ian Walton/Getty)

Both Manchester United and West Ham United have had exciting summers in the transfer window, and their fans will be hoping that the money spent on their squads can impress straight away in the opening Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

A physical affair?

Last season, this game proved to be a very physical affair, in which the points where shared in a 1-1 draw, is there a possibility of a repeat of this with both sides having a very physically strong core? The likes of Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang and Winston Reid will be looking to cope with the attacking threat of the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, further proving this could become more of a physical battle rather than a technical one, especially in this area of the pitch.

With this in mind, could Jose Mourinho look to start some of his physically stronger players rather than more technically gifted ones such as Juan Mata or Marcus Rashford? Mourinho has many attacking options, and time will tell as to what the Portuguese manager will opt to do. 

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Injury worries for the Irons 

Ahead of the new season, West Ham manager Slaven Bilić is missing some key players; Manuel LanziniCheikhou Kouyate and Andy Carroll are all ruled out, whereas Aaron Cresswell, Marko Arnautovic, James Collins, Diafra Sakho and Sofiane Feghouli are all doubtful ahead of their season opener. 

As a result of a minor injury crisis, the Irons look as though they're missing out on a lot of attacking flair, meaning United's defence may have less headaches to deal with than what may have previosuly been presumed when the fixture lists where announced in June, however former United man Javier Hernandez will undoubtedly keep the likes of Eric Bailly and new signing Victor Lindelöf on their toes.

Midfield battle will be key

With West Ham likely to lime up with a defensive five at the back system, the midfield battle will be key, United will need to make sure they're on top in this area of the field, in order to gain control of the ball and get it forward to the likes of Lukaku, however if the likes of Obiang and are able to keep United's midfield quiet, it could prove to be another frustrating home game for Mourinho's men, reminiscent of many of the game in the league at Old Trafford last season.

Nemanja Matić is another player that has been brought in by Mourinho from Chelsea this summer, the United faithful will be hoping that the Serbian can help control the midfield on his Premier League debut. 


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