MANCHESTER UNITED meet West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Gaurav Chaddah (@Gchaddahjourno) shares his betting thoughts.
Manchester United v West Ham | Saturday 13th April 2019, 17:30 | BT Sport
West Ham make the journey north on Saturday to take on Manchester United in what is huge game for the Red Devils’ top four hopes.
The hosts will be seeking revenge after a 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium in September under then manager Jose Mourinho.
It’s hardly been plain sailing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since confirmation of his full-time role on a three-year deal as United manager. The appointment was well deserved as OGS picked up from Mourinho’s disaster and galvanised the group, embarking on an 11-game unbeaten streak before losing away at Arsenal last month.
Since then however, cracks have started to appear, and the wheels have slowly started to fall away. United have lost four of their last five, including two defeats to Wolves in the Premier League and FA Cup, as well as their midweek 1-0 defeat at home to Barcelona in the Champions League
Hammers already on the beach?
The visitors sit in 11th with 42 points, enough to stay up but too far away to challenge for the European spots, and apart from the possible the motivation of a top-half finish, have very little to play for as their season dwindles towards an end.
The Irons have had success against the Big Six this season, including a win over Saturday’s opponents, as well as holding Liverpool and Chelsea, and turning over Arsenal 1-0 in January. The problem is all, those games were at home and the Hammers face a much bigger test here.
A concern for manager Manuel Pellegrini will be the away form of his side, which he will no doubt be wanting to address next season. West Ham last won on the road at the end of December at Southampton and since then have lost seven and drew once on their travels.
Whilst defeats to the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are expected, the Hammers also went down to the likes of Burnley, Bournemouth and Cardiff, and such results will have massive barring on their final position this season.
The capital club’s overall form is also a worry, having only won three from their last 11 league outings.
Routine home win expected
Whilst United have hardly been vintage over the past month, and the early days of Ole’s reign seem so long ago, it’s difficult to see past them here. Solskjaer is still yet to lose a home game in the Premier League and only Burnley and Liverpool have taken points away from Old Trafford since the Norwegian has been in charge.
United know they simply must win here for their Champions League hopes and have difficult assignments coming up against both Manchester City and Chelsea so this is a game they simply cannot afford to lose.
United at a best price of 21/50 with Marathon but that’s a little too short. However, all their home wins under Solskjaer have seen Over 1.5 Goals and also seen both teams net, with the Red Devils only keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool.
Whilst goals look a certainty, the Hammers seem to struggle to score on the road, having only notched once at Crystal Palace in their last seven away games, losing six ‘to nil'.
It’s difficult therefore to say if both teams will find the net, with United’s defence clearly an issue at home against an attack so poor away. But what we can try and take the best of both by backing a Manchester United to win and Over 2.5 Goals, which is 10/11 with Boylesports.
Since Solksjaer’s appointment, this has landed in every home win and can be extended to every United triumph at Old Trafford this season. United are capable of covering the line themselves, having done so against Crystal Palace, Southampton, Fulham, Bournemouth and Cardiff under Ole.
Manchester United v West Ham – Manchester United to win and Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 Boylesports)