Nani celebrates

Will Nani prove Oliver Holt wrong on Saturday?

Well, thank god for that.  It’s done.  It’s over.  The tedious and nauseating international break is finished, and it’s back to business this weekend as the reds travel to Upton Park on Saturday to resume their challenge for the title.

The bonus this break gave us is that we got some much needed recuperation time, as 937486 of our players have been out injured, and with the squad stretched to it’s limits, we got a nice bit of breathing space.

As a result, we can welcome back one of our most vital players.  Nemanja Vidic is reportedly back from his calf injury which is a much needed boost to the defence, especially with Johnny Evans missing the first of his three matches through suspension and John O’Shea not fully fit.

Paul Scholes is also missing, as he completes his two game suspension.

United’s injuries still leave the reds in a somewhat precarious position for the match though.  Anderson and Lindegaard still have knee problems and there are doubts over Darren Flecther’s recovery from the virus that has affected him over the last few weeks.  However, Ji Sung Park is on the verge of a return to the first team, but whether he’ll travel to London is still under question.

West Ham have a few out themselves.  Scott Parker picked up calf and shoulder injuries during the week but should be fit, and Jack Collison is definitely ruled out.

Bitter memories

Everyone will remember the hammer-ing (sorry…had to put that in) we got when we went there in the Carling Cup.  The 4-0 defeat of a side made up of our fringe players bringing out the usual garbage of us having no strength in depth.   The actual fact of the matter is that we don’t have a second XI, but we have players who can easily fit in to the first team when required.  Ferguson would only put two or three of that side in to the first team at any one time, and they’d do an effective job.  People really need to open their eyes to that.  With that, the West Ham faithful will have had their best day of the season, and they’ll let us know about it on Saturday.

So – that brings us to this one, and the early televised kick off will bring a good start to the weekend for United supporters after having to put up with the hype of last week, and the bandwagon delight of beating the magnificent Wales….

United v United

In a season of mis-matched and patchy away results, the reds will go to Upton Park on the back of 3 successive home wins (Arsenal, Marseille and Bolton).  Fans are still not that confident in getting points away from home, and recent slips at Chelsea and Liverpool, where performances were for the best part shoddy, will not give the supporters the confidence of an out an out win this weekend.

But United should field a very strong side.  A likely back four of Rafael, Smalling, Vidic and Evra is a plus point, and they should have enough in their locker to keep Carlton Cole at bay, and other front man and i- form player Piquionne is doubtful.  If that’s the case, Robbie Keane could face the reds up front for West Ham.

Continued on page two.

4 responses to “West Ham United v Manchester United – Match Preview”

  1. Daniel says:

    I think your defence should worry less about Keane & Cole and more about Demba Ba !
    This will be a great match, expect Fergie to want revenge for the 4-0 hiding… I’m going for a 2-2 ! Enjoy the game… COYI !

  2. DublinIronsFan says:

    I am looking fwd to the match, and I hope the Hammers are up to putting up a good fight. I wish you well in your title chase. Just want to pick up on 3 things though from a Hammers fan perspective:
    1. Our biggest day of the season will be the last day if we stay up, so please dont flatter yourselves too much, you do state that you are “not arrogant”.
    2. Your back 4 may have enough in the locker vs Cole, but it is Ba that you need to fear, I am looking fwd to seeing if he can unlock the Man U defence as effectively as he has against other teams.
    3. Parker is key, however you forgot to mention Hitzlesperger, who has taken a lot of pressure away from Parker in midfield – this is a very different team from the one you played at the start of the season.

    Best of luck in your run in.

    • Steve Crabtree says:

      Thanks for reading, DIF.

      1 – Please don’t read too much in to a tongue in cheek comment. United fans are on the receiving end of stuff like that all the time and take it with the pinch of salt it deserves…yet give it out and we’re arrogant. We too ARE allowed to enter the football banter arena too, you know. Don’t agree that any teams biggets game of the season is if they survive. It never should be…

      2 – I can’t beieve I’ve omitted Ba! He is definitely an intriguing player – one who’s been on fire this term and you’ve made a real find there.

      3 – Rated Hitzelsperger when he was at Villa, and he still has it.

      I hope the HAmmers do stay up – primarily because I have my choice of the three I’d liek to go down, but also because they’re a club you want in the Prem, just like I think Forest and QPR belong there.


  3. Red Ben says:

    This is going to be a complete pain in the arse, this game. West Ham are up for it, physical, and in good form.

    Apparently we’ve also lost Brown now, meaning there’s only Fabio to play right back. I hate defensive problems. We get so bloody many.