Manchester United vs West Ham United - Prediction, Odds & Picks
- Manchester United must now secure top-four finish to avoid a disappointing end to the season
- West Ham are virtually safe from relegation and will see this as a free hit
- Goals for both teams could be on the cards but the hosts should win out
|What||Manchester United vs West Ham United|
|Where||Old Trafford, Manchester, England|
|When||Wednesday, 22 July 2020, 1 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports|
A week is a long time in politics, as the former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson once famously remarked. In soccer, it is an eternity. At the start of last week, Manchester United were the team with the most upward momentum in the English game, having strung together four consecutive wins to become, in many people’s eyes, the favorite for third place in the Premier League.
Yet United has experienced a few difficulties of late. Last Monday it was held to a 2-2 draw by Southampton, for whom Michael Obafemi struck a dramatic equalizer deep into second-half stoppage time. A few days later United overcame Crystal Palace 2-0, but it might have been a drastically different game had Wilfried Zaha been awarded the penalty he probably deserved on the stroke of half-time.
Then, on Sunday, United were well beaten by Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final. Frank Lampard’s side were superior from start to finish, even if they did also have David de Gea to thank for a couple of crucial mistakes in their 3-1 victory. Solskjaer was criticized afterward for resting several of his first-teamers and then bringing them on when the game had already got away from his side.
Given that United were being spoken of as potential title challengers in 2020/21 just a week or so ago, it would be a huge disappointment were they to miss out on a top-four finish. Victory over West Ham United would put them on the brink of achieving one, but this might not be an entirely straightforward encounter for Solskjaer and co.
Manchester United vs West Ham United Odds
|Match winner and Both teams to score||Odds|
|Manchester United and Yes||+160|
|Manchester United and No||+105|
|West Ham and Yes||+1650|
Odds taken from Bet MGM.
West Ham have found form at just the right time, and comprehensive victories over Norwich City and Watford mean they will almost certainly be playing Premier League soccer again next term. David Moyes is a cautious manager by nature – as United fans know from experience – but his team will be able to play with a degree of freedom at Old Trafford.
That should help them find the back of the net at least once, but the hosts are likely to have too much firepower of their own. A United win with goals for both teams is the best bet for this one.
Solskjaer Must Find Solutions to Avoid Throwing Positive Position Away
Leicester City’s collapse in form has helped both United and Chelsea in the race for the top four. Brendan Rodgers’ side have been poor since the Premier League returned last month, with Sunday’s 3-0 reverse against Tottenham Hotspur meaning they have taken nine points from the last 24 available. The Foxes have been unfortunate with injuries, but the fact they rank 12th in the post-restart table explains why their Champions League bid has fallen apart.
Yet even if United beat West Ham here, a Leicester win at Old Trafford on Sunday would probably hand Solskjaer’s side a fifth-place finish. United’s fate is in their own hands, but the Norwegian must ensure he does not make another mistake with his line-up when West Ham come to town.
We can expect Solskjaer to revert to the tried and trusted after Sunday’s failed experiment with a three-man defense, although Moyes may feel his team will be able to get at a midfield anchored by Nemanja Matic if Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are caught too high up the pitch.
Moyes Has Done What Was Asked of Him but West Ham Must Improve
Moyes’ first spell at West Ham began in November 2017, and he successfully kept the club in the Premier League that campaign. At the end of it, though, the board decided to dismiss him anyway, reasoning that Moyes was not the man to lead the Hammers in the longer term.
Two years later, West Ham went back to the Scot with their tail between their legs. He has again done what was asked of him by keeping the club in the division, and it is hard to see him being sacked for a second time.
However, question marks remain over whether Moyes will be able to take West Ham to the next level by challenging for a top-half finish next season. A surprise victory at Old Trafford would further assuage concerns that he lacks the ambition for that sort of goal.
This Could Be an Entertaining Watch as West Ham Target an Upset
West Ham have scored seven goals in their last two matches, with Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek all impressing. The latter’s runs from midfield and the former duo’s speed and power on the counter-attack could bear fruit again on Wednesday.
However, United have real quality in attack these days, and that should ultimately get them the win that would move them three points clear of Leicester.
Back Manchester United and Yes – West Ham have looked in good shape going forward but Solskjaer’s side’s need for the points should get them over the line.