United Starts FA Cup Campaign

Image courtesy of skysports.com
Robin van Persie scored the winner against West Ham earlier this season. Image courtesy of skysports.com

If there is one team Manchester United has the wood on in the Premier League, it is West Ham United . The Red Devils have won the last eight EPL meetings between the teams scoring a total of 23 goals and conceding just three. In those eight wins, six times they’ve kept the Hammers scoreless. On five of those eight occasions there have been over 2.5 goals .

Teams from the Championship and the Premier League join the FA Cup now it has reached the third round, and this is one of four all-EPL match-ups. These sides last met in the tournament in 2003 when, not surprisingly, United thrashed the Hammers 6-0.

Robin van Persie has been in sublime form for the Red Devils of late scoring in seven of his last eight starts. West Ham’s Mark Noble suggested the only way to stop the Dutchman might be to build a brick wall in front of the goals at Upton Park. United has scored 54 goals already this season in just 21 games, 13 more than second-placed Manchester City. United won the teams’ only clash this season 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a first-minute goal from van Persie.

Much will depend on the type of side Sir Alex Ferguson selects for this match. His team’s next fixture is a week after the trip to London, and he may well pick a strong side to potentially avoid any hiccups. Two years ago West Ham shocked United 4-0 in a League Cup quarter-final tie when Ferguson picked a below-strength starting XI. At this stage Wayne Rooney is the only first-team regular unavailable. The Hammers certainly won’t be at full strength with Mohamed Diame (hamstring), George McCartney (knee) and Andy Carroll (knee) all missing. They do regain Kevin Nolan up front and defender James Collins.

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