Man Utd returned to the Premier League’s summit with victory over Queen’s Park Rangers at the weekend and will be confident of consolidating that position when they are visited by West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday (8pm GMT).
United received a scare early in the second half against QPR, going a goal down before rallying to record a 3-1 win. It was the sixth occasion this season that Manchester United have come back from conceding the first goal of the match to emerge victorious.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have recorded 10 wins in their 13 league matches and have done so while scoring seven more goals than any other team in the division. Their current scoring rate of 2.46 goals per match would yield 93 goals over the course of the season if they kept it up, the same as local rivals City managed in their title-winning campaign last season.
Precise finishing has been the key to United’s excellent goal scoring form. The club boast the second-best shots to shots on target ratio (37.11%) in the league and the best shots to goals (15.48%) and shots on target to goals (41.72%) ratios. These figures could also be interpreted as evidence that that United generally create chances of better quality than most other teams in the division.
Manchester Utd have been less impressive defensively, keeping just two clean sheets all season and conceding 18 goals in total. Ferguson is unlikely to be unduly concerned as long as his forwards continue to outscore their opponents, although it is improbable such an approach will reap rewards in the latter stages of the Champions League.
He is, at least, now beginning to get all his defenders back to fitness. Johnny Evans and Rio Ferdinand started against QPR, but Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were both on the bench and will be pushing for opportunities in the coming weeks. Nemanja Vidic is, however, still on the sidelines.
Ferguson will be glad that the majority of his normal defenders are available for selection to face the aerial assault that will come from West Ham on Wednesday. Temporary central defender Michael Carrick was cruelly exposed against Everton earlier in the season and specialists will be required to deal with the threat posed by Sam Allardyce’s team.
West Ham have made a good start to life back in the Premier League after returning at the first attempt and find themselves in eighth place with 19 points to their name. They do, though, have just one win in their last five matches and travel to Old Trafford on the back of a 3-1 defeat away to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Despite almost holding on until half-time, West Ham were outclassed by Spurs and could have lost by a heavier margin had the home side taken a few more of their chances. Spurs had 28 shots to West Ham’s 12, dominated possession and were worthy victors. It was a dull, lifeless performance from the Hammers, described by Allardyce as “very poor”.
A lot more will be required if they are to get a result here and the omens are not good when one considers Allardyce’s previous record against United. In his last ten encounters with his good friend Ferguson, while in charge of Bolton and Blackburn, Allardyce has picked up just two points, losing eight times. He has lost on his last seven visits to Old Trafford.
Man Utd are the sort of team that are usually able to deal with the long ball tactics employed by Allardyce’s sides and have the offensive pace and precision to slice through his defences. West Ham have one of the better defensive records in the league so far this season but have conceded three goals on three separate occasions and could well struggle again in this match.
Man Utd v West Ham Betting Tips Advice
United have won eight of their nine home matches so far this season and six of their last seven matches in all competitions. They have excellent offensive options and if they can carve out a similar number of chances as Spurs did against West Ham at the weekend their exact finishing should allow them to comfortably outscore their out-of-form opponents.