West Ham face one of their toughest challenges of the season against Manchester United on Saturday but they have a great chance of picking up points at Old Trafford if they can take advantage of United’s suspension crisis.
Manchester United have seen their two starting full-backs pick up suspensions in recent weeks meaning that neither Ashley Young nor Luke Shaw can line up against the Hammers on Saturday. Young was sent off against Wolves whilst Shaw picked up his 10th yellow card of the season at Molineux.
Shaw and Young are likely to be replaced by Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot and West Ham must ensure they make the most of this opportunity by choosing which wingers they will match up against the second string full-backs.
Felipe Anderson was the star of the show when these two sides met earlier in the season, the Brazilian scored the opening goal against the Red Devils at the London Stadium.
It remains to be seen who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will start at left-back, but either way, it should be Anderson who faces them – allowing him to ear down the touchline on his stronger foot to expose his opposite number’s weaker one.
Playing Anderson on the right for the first time this season would be a wise move for this game, the 25-year-old would consistently have the beating of a wrong-footed full-back and be able to deliver crosses from his favoured foot into the aerial threat of Marko Arnautovic.
Of course, playing Anderson out on the right eliminates his ability to cut inside and shoot but the winger hasn’t actually scored since December, so his goalscoring capabilities may not be missed at all in this fixture.