West Ham v Manchester United: Cup exit to put nail in Van Gaal’s coffin
Manchester United travel back to London this week to play in the last ever FA Cup fixture to be held at Upton Park and the game could well prove Louis van Gaal’s last FA Cup match as manager of the Red Devils.
The 3-0 defeat to Tottenham at the weekend leaves Van Gaal’s United staring into a European abyss with his side now four points behind rivals Manchester City in the race for fourth.
With the Old Trafford club putting in some improved performances before the White Hart Lane rout many were predicting a potentially job-saving FA Cup triumph for United but the manner of their defeat to Spurs and the mettle West Ham showed in their 3-3 draw with Arsenal means even the most optimistic of Red Devils fans are no longer convinced.
The Hammers go into the replay as the 13/8 marginal favourites, with another draw on at 9/4 and United priced up at 17/10 to win on the night.
However, United’s recent record in the capital makes for poor reading, making West Ham look the far more tempting of the two.
United’s solitary win from their last seven trips to London came against Crystal Palac, with three draws and three defeats from the other six fixtures.
The Irons may not have beaten Wednesday’s visitors since November 2010 but with five draws from their last eight meetings it’s clear Slaven Bilic’s men have what it takes to frustrate United and with Andy Carroll back among the goals it is the hosts that look most likely to progress.
In a week that has seen PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimovic declare he’d love to join United if Van Gaal leaves this summer defeat at the Boleyn Ground could finally see the Dutchman put out of his misery – with Jose Mourinho waiting in the wings.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.