It’s arguable that, following the cataclysmic collapse against Leicester last time out, one of the sides Louis van Gaal would least like his struggling Manchester United outfit to face would be West Ham.
Upton Park was rocking when Liverpool came to visit last time out, with the 3-1 win Sam Allardyce collected about as shocking as the Leicester victory over the Red Devils 24 hours later.
Two wins and a draw from the opening five league games has the Hammers nestled in eighth place in the early Premier League standings, but it’s the manner of their play during the last two games that should have United’s new Dutch boss worried.
Allardyce, never one to shy away from a gameplan or two, set his side up perfectly to combat Liverpool’s expected sluggishness from their mid-week Champions League bow, pressing the Merseyside visitors high-up the pitch and forcing mistakes.
Like the Reds, Man United have made a less-than-confident start to the season and are still getting to grips with a new philosophy and a host of summer purchases.
Undoubtedly their weakness is in defence, where injuries and uncertainty have ruled the roost. No doubt the West Ham coaching staff will have a theory on how to best humiliate those United defenders for a second week running.
Key to the plans has to be Stewart Downing, Alex Song and Enner Valencia, who have all showed exceeding promise under the former Bolton manager in the last two outings.
Downing pulled all the strings in a 2-2 draw two weeks ago while Valencia thumped home what could quite easily be goal of the season in that match.
Then, against Liverpool, Song was the embodiment of Allardyce’s harassing tactics, a repeat of which would surely be enough to see West Ham take all three points at odds of 15/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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