Thursday, December 3, 2009

West Ham United's Home Record Against Manchester United Is A Confidence Booster

After the euphoria of a crazy 5-3 win over Burnley, an injury crisis jolts West Ham back to reality. Carlton Cole is confirmed out of action until the new year. Valon Behrami and Alessandro Diamanti are sidelined with injuries, knee and hip respectively. Matty Upson cannot seem to shake off his hamstring problem.

Still with confidence coursing through Hammer veins, playing Manchester United at Upton Park may not seem such a bad idea. Even with the injuries to these would-be first teamers, Zola and team should be quietly optimistic. After all, the Hammers have a great record at home against the current Champions.

Since the 2000/2001 season, West Ham have been involved in tight matches against the Red Devils, winning two in a row (between 2006 to 2008) before narrowly losing 1-0 last season. Over the years, West Ham at Upton Park have been incredibly difficult to play against for Manchester United. The Hammers definitely raise their game a notch when it is United coming to East End.

Hopefully, that will be the case on Saturday. The influential Scott Parker should take the captain's armband and will no doubt lead by example. Upfront, Guille Franco has fully displayed his repertoire of skills and footballing awareness. Three goals and one assist represent a fair return for the Mexican, earning the appreciation of the terrace fans.

Undeniably, Manchester United is a tough hurdle. They have won 12 Premier League away matches this year, the most wins from any visiting team so far. While West Ham have scored well from set pieces (eight headed goals), United have conceded the least goals from set pieces.

Nevertheless with Carlton Cole out, Zola must be banking on the speed, movement and guile of Franco and Hines to unlock the United defence. Let's face it, we need to score more goals than Manchester United if we hope to gain three points. Our unsettled defence will not be able to stop the threesome of Rooney, Valencia and Giggs running at them at full tilt. The West Ham midfield will need to stop the supply so a defensive shield of Noble and Parker should provide enough "muscle" to do that.

The Flat Back Four's favoured West Ham lineup (4-4-2):
--------------------------------- Green

Spector --------------- Da Costa ------ Gabbidon ------------ Ilunga

---------------- Parker--------------------------- Noble

Faubert -------------- ----------- ---- ------------------- Collison

------------------------ Hines ------ Franco

Can we hope for a repeat of the 2-1 thriller on 29th December 2007? Late goals from Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson sealed a dramatic win for the Hammers, at a time when we looked down and out.

Winning and denting the title hopes of Manchester United once again would really have the fans believing again that this is a quality team capable of beating any team on their day. It will put us in good nick for the subsequent matches against Birmingham and Bolton.

Come on you Irons!

1 comment:

hemanth said...

Watch West Ham United vs Manchester United Live Score, Highlights, December 5 2009 EPL Results. Man United will take on West Ham United in the English Premier League match that is scheduled on the 5th of December.

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