After their thrilling midweek win over Wolves, Erik ten Hag’s side are looking up. We look ahead to their next game on Sunday with our Manchester United vs West Ham prediction and preview.
Manchester United vs West Ham Stats: The Quick Hits
- Manchester United are favourites to secure back-to-back wins on Sunday, beating West Ham (26.4%) in 45.8% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations.
- Former Man Utd boss David Moyes has won just one of his 19 away games against the Red Devils in all competitions (four draws, 14 losses), an EFL Cup tie in September 2021.
- Marcus Rashford has scored (three) or assisted (one) in each of his last four Premier League appearances, his best run of games with a goal involvement since a five-match streak between January and February 2023.
For all their troubles, Manchester United have not lost their knack for pulling results out of the fire. For just under two minutes on Thursday, it looked as though the pressure on Erik ten Hag would be ratcheted up as Wolves fought back from 3-1 down to level a thrilling contest at 3-3 in second-hald stoppage time. However, Kobbie Mainoo stepped up with a brilliant, curling effort in the 97th minute to bail the Dutchman out, and leave United looking up ahead of Sunday’s meeting with West Ham.
Four of the last five 90th-minute Premier League winners to be scored by players aged 18 or younger have now been for United; Federico Macheda vs Aston Villa in 2009, Marcus Rashford vs Hull City in 2016, Alejandro Garnacho vs Fulham in 2022 and Mainoo at Molineux on Thursday night.
In truth, United should have been out of sight long before Wolves mounted their rousing fightback, having two goals disallowed and missing plenty of chances to add to early strikes from Rashford and Rasmus Højlund before Scott McTominay got their third goal off the bench in the second half.
Rashford’s opener felt particularly significant, coming at the end of a week which had seen the forward disciplined by United after being seen in a nightclub in Belfast shortly before he missed training. The England man’s form has attracted criticism for much of the season, but perhaps he has begun to turn a corner.
Rashford has either scored (three goals) or assisted (one) in each of his last four Premier League appearances, his best run of games with a goal involvement in the competition since a five-match streak between January and February 2023.
Højlund, meanwhile, now has six goal involvements in his last five appearances for United across all competitions (four goals, two assists), and he is beginning to feel comfortable at Old Trafford. The Dane has been involved in three goals in his last two home games (two goals, one assist), having only scored twice (no assists) in his first 12 Old Trafford outings.
Ten Hag still has problems elsewhere, though, with United having now conceded 52 goals across all competitions this term. They are just the second Premier League side to ship a half-century in 2023-24 after Sheffield United (59), and this is the fewest number of games into a season (32) that United have conceded 50 goals in all competitions since 1977-78, when they did so within 31 matches.
United were finally able to field something resembling their strongest lineup on Thursday, with the returns of André Onana, Lisandro Martínez, Luke Shaw and Casemiro boosting Ten Hag’s options in recent weeks. Sofyan Amrabat is available for Sunday after Morocco’s Africa Cup of Nations exit, but Mason Mount and Anthony Martial are still sidelined.
Thursday’s victory took United within one point of sixth-placed West Ham, who fought back for a 1-1 draw at home to Bournemouth with James Ward-Prowse rescuing a point for the Hammers by converting a penalty won by Mohammed Kudus.
West Ham had fallen behind within three minutes as loanee Kalvin Phillips teed up Dominic Solanke for an easy finish with a misplaced pass on his debut. In fact, needed just two touches of the ball in a Hammers shirt to commit an error leading to a goal, having only previously committed one in 65 Premier League games for Leeds United and Manchester City.
That ultimately cost David Moyes’ men two points, though they are now unbeaten in six league games, their longest streak since September 2021 (seven), even if their last three have finished level.
They have tended to fare well on the road this season, taking 17 points from their 11 away league games (five wins, two draws, four defeats), which is already five more than they collected on their travels in 2022-23 (three wins, three draws, 13 defeats).
One player who particularly thrives away from the London Stadium is Jarrod Bowen, who has scored seven away goals for West Ham in the Premier League this campaign. The last Hammers player to net more on the road in a single top-flight season was Mike Small, who hit nine in 1991-92.
How Moyes would love to enjoy a memorable away day against the club that sacked him after just nine months in charge in 2013-14. The former Red Devils boss has only won one of his 19 away games against them across all competitions (four draws, 14 losses), leading West Ham to a 1-0 EFL Cup win in September 2021. In the Premier League, he’s lost on 12 of his last 16 visits (four draws).
Moyes will again be unable to call upon injured duo Michail Antonio and Lucas Paquetá, while Saïd Benrahma – who saw a deadline-day move to Lyon collapse in dramatic fashion – is still suspended, but Vladimír Coufal is eligible after serving his own one-match ban.
Manchester United vs West Ham Head-to-Head
West Ham have a dismal record at Old Trafford, where Man United are unbeaten in their last 15 Premier League games against the Irons (12 wins, three draws).
However, Moyes’ side did manage a 2-0 win in December’s reverse fixture at the London Stadium, with Bowen and Kudus on target.
They could now complete their first league double over United since 2006-07, when they won 1-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the season to secure survival with Carlos Tevez scoring the goal.
That remains their most recent league victory at Old Trafford, where United have won their last three meetings with the Irons by a 1-0 scoreline.
The last team to win four consecutive home Premier League games against an opponent by the same scoreline was Sunderland against Manchester City, winning 1-0 four times in a row at the Stadium of Light between 2010 and 2013.
United have taken 10 points from their last five home league games (three wins, one draw, one defeat), having lost three of their previous four at Old Trafford (one win).
However, they have conceded seven goals in their last three home league matches, losing 3-0 to Bournemouth, beating Aston Villa 3-2 and drawing 2-2 with Tottenham.
They have not conceded multiple goals in four successive home league games since doing so between November 1971 and January 1972.
While West Ham’s last league defeat came in early December at Fulham (0-5), they are actually winless in their last five matches across all competitions, drawing four and losing an FA Cup third-round replay at Bristol City.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Sunday at Old Trafford, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Manchester United vs West Ham Prediction
Following their midweek heroics, the Opta supercomputer makes Manchester United favourites to build some momentum with a home win.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Man Utd won 45.8%, with West Ham triumphing in 26.4% and the remaining 27.8% finishing level.
In the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions, Manchester United and West Ham are deemed likely to be in direct competition for European qualification. The Red Devils are given a 42.7% chance of a top-seven finish to West Ham’s 54.5%, though a home win on Sunday may flip those probabilities.