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Manchester United vs West Ham – Match Preview

Manchester United will be without the suspended Juan Mata but Jesse Lingard is available after a European ban.

Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are among the club’s long-term absentees.

West Ham have Enner Valencia, Victor Moses and Joey O’Brien available following injury lay-offs.

Winston Reid could also return, but fellow defenders James Tomkins and James Collins are injured and Sam Byram is cup-tied.

Editor’s Note: Manchester United have already suffered one cup defeat this weekend at the hands of Liverpool and they will be hoping it’s not two in a row as they play host to Slaven Bilic’s West Ham at Old Trafford this Afternoon.

It was an abject performance by United where they managed to only register one shot on target and if it wasn’t for the performance of David De Gea then the defeat would have been a lot heavier. It’s fair to say that De Gea is the only United player to come out of that game with any credit.

The defeat once again puts the pressure back onto Louis Van Gaal. That’s now 2 defeats in a row after losing to West Brom last Sunday. That in itself was another miserable Afternoon with Juan Mata’s sending off in the first half going someway to helping West Brom all but secure Premier League status for another season.

It seems after a wave of decent results, notably the win at home to Arsenal in the Premier League they have reverted to type and are now turning in the uninspiring and lackluster performances that were bringing the side in for so much criticism earlier on in the season.

More importantly that defeat to West Brom has also seen them fall below their opponents Today West Ham in the Premier League. West Ham’s win at Everton last Weekend has seen them leapfrog United into 5th and given themselves Champions League aspiration of their own.

Slaven Bilic’s side have won their last 3 league matches and it seems as if they could be timing a run of form at just the right point of the season if they want to secure some form of European spot for next season.

Today the league takes a backseat as both sides know they are one game away from a Wembley appearance and West Ham will be looking to get to a first Semi Final since the 2006 season in which they then went to lose that dramatic final to Liverpool at The Millennium Stadium.

In the previous round they hit Blackburn Rovers with a 5 star performance and  although the opposition will be a level higher this Afternoon they will go to Old Trafford with nothing short of the belief that they can go on and win this.

We could even be looking at an all London Semi Final line up. It’s far too early in the morning to research this but has this feat ever happened before. If it has then I would love to know the year and Semi Finals lineup, so get researching please readers.

Going back today though and it seems as if the ideal exit plan for Louis Van Gaal would be to win a trophy and then depart Manchester United with a leaving gift. It looks unlikely that’s it going to be the Europa League and they could find themselves with another trophyless season by the end of the day.

I think West Ham will get a result from Today’s encounter but whether they will get a win I’m not so sure. If they have to go to a replay then it will mean that there will be a last ever F.A. Cup tie at Upton Park maybe the romantics would prefer that. I’ll go for a draw.

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