WEST HAM head to Man Utd in Wednesday night's EFL Cup encounter. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Manchester United vs West Ham | Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 20:00 | Sky Sports
Just three days after their televised league meeting, Man Utd and West Ham clash in front of the Sky cameras again, this time in the EFL Cup Third Round.
The Red Devils won it late in a dramatic finish at the London Stadium on Sunday. Jesse Lingard came off the bench to condemn a Hammers side he served so well last season to their first defeat of the season.
But there were still plot twists. Luke Shaw was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area by VAR. David Moyes brought club legend Mark Noble off the bench to take the penalty.
When the sub was made, I think everyone knew the outcome. David de Gea dived to his left and got a strong hand to Noble’s effort to keep the score at 2-1. It was the Spaniards first penalty save since April 2016.
With the focus now on the cup, both sides could heavily rotate with European competitions likely to sit higher on their list of priorities.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has already revealed that Sunday’s match-winner Lingard will start. While the Norwegian has said that Alex Telles and Anthony Elanga will be in the matchday squad.
Other fringe players Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf and Donny van de Beek are set to be included.
David Moyes could hand a debut to midfielder Alex Král, who arrived from Spartak Moscow. While Alphonse Areola, Issa Dip, Ryan Fredericks and Manuel Lanzini are all vying for starting berths.
Meanwhile, top scorer Michail Antonio is available after serving a one-match ban, so could feature.
The betting angles
The weekend’s 2-1 win for Man Utd saw the expected goals (xG) battle finish 2.13xG to 1.69xG in their favour. And it was a game that saw 30 shots, with 14 on target. So, there’s a good chance we’ll see a repeat of the goals.
I did consider going for another pro-West Ham shots angle but feel that the team selection will need to be factored in come kick-off.
On Sunday, we had 12+ shots onside. For this one, the bar is slightly lower at 11+ (10/11) with Paddy Power. The Hammers had 13 at the weekend, maintaining their 100% record of having at least 12 shots in every top-flight game this season.
But one of the weekend’s patterns I’m willing to follow is for both teams to score. And at EVS with Mansion Bet or 10/11 with various firms, it’s hard to ignore, with players coming into both sides eager to impress.
I’ve looked back through West Ham’s League Cup record in recent years. Since the 2015/16 campaign, they’ve played 16 matches in the competition. Of those, they’ve won 10, draw one and lost five – the one they drew did seem them fall to defeat in extra-time.
That was a draw against Leicester in 2015, which was the start of this sequence. And it also saw both teams score inside the first half-hour.
From these 16 games, seven have seen them come up against fellow top-flight opponents, with six seeing BTTS, including last season when they lost 4-1 at Everton.
Another of those all-Premier League clashes saw them come to Old Trafford in November 2016 in the fifth round. The Red Devils won the tie 4-1, before going on to lift the trophy. But it was another Hammers cup tie that saw both teams scored inside the first half.
Looking at the hosts, Man Utd have scored nine times in their two league games at Old Trafford, recording xG figures of 1.27xG and 2.89xG respectively.
And those two games saw the Red Devils have 16 and 21 shots, so plenty of chances, just as you’d expect.
With the potential of Anthony Martial joining Lingard and Jadon Sancho in the starting XI, then you think the hosts will cut out chances and keep Areola busy. So, with both teams to score at even money, I’m happy to keep things simple on a night both managers will rotate.
Manchester United vs West Ham – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Mansion Bet)