CARDS specialist Chris Goodwin (@CGeorgeGamble) picks out his favourite fancies from Saturday evening's showdown between West Ham and Manchester United.
West Ham vs Manchester United| Saturday 5th December 2020, 17:30 | Sky Sports
West Ham welcome Manchester United to the London Stadium and will be hoping they can claim their third consecutive home victory over the Red Devils for the first time since 1974-1977.
The Hammers have been quietly going about their business in the early stages of this season. They’ve gone under the radar somewhat but find themselves fifth in the table and a win in this one would see them go up to third come full time. Their position is largely thanks to their dominant home form, winning three of their five home games, drawing one and losing the other.
A lot has been made of United’s intermittent form so far this season, yet if other results go their way, a win could see them jump into the top four. Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had a torrid time when playing at home, however, their away form has been nothing short of exceptional. They’ve won all four games on the road so far by an aggregate score of 13-6.
It’s a match-up in which the side with the second-best home record goes head-to-head against the team with the best away record.
- Commit on average 12.8 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Receive on average 7.8 fouls per game when playing at home this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 3/5 home games this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/5 occasions
- Have been drawing at half time and winning at full time in their last THREE EPL matches.
- Have won by a ONE goal margin in their last 3 EPL matches.
- Michail Antonio clearly wasn't fit to face Aston Villa on Monday and it would be a surprise to see him lead the line here.
- Late signing Said Benrahma set up West Ham's winner on Monday night but it's still unclear how he fits into the starting XI with Pablo Fornals clearly preferred for now.
- Andriy Yarmolenko should soon return from COVID-19 but isn't close to challenging for a spot in the starting XI.
- Commit on average 14.8 fouls per game when playing away this season (most in the league).
- Receive on average 12.3 fouls per game when playing away this season.
- Have seen 2+ cards in 2/4 away games this season.
- In those games, the opposition has seen 2+ cards on 2/4 occasions.
- Manchester United have won their last EIGHT away EPL matches.
- Manchester United have scored at least TWO goals in their last EIGHT away EPL matches.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Manchester United’s last FOUR away games.
- Manchester United had a host of players return from injury in midweek but Luke Shaw is still a doubt with a hamstring injury.
- Marcus Rashford had to come off against Paris Saint-Germain with a flare-up of a shoulder problem but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful he will be okay to feature on Saturday.
- Fred's red card against PSG will only rule him out of next week's Champions League game with RB Leipzig but rotation is expected by Solskjaer at the London Stadium.
- Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek are potential changes in midfield, while Anthony Martial may get a reprieve in the side if Rashford is not fit from the start.
- West Ham have won their last TWO EPL home games against Manchester United – they’ve not won THREE consecutive home games against them since between 1974-1977.
- Manchester United have won just THREE of their last 11 EPL games against West Ham.
- Manchester United have won each of their last EIGHT EPL away games, their longest winning away run in their league history.
- West Ham have scored the opening goal in FIVE consecutive EPL games.
- Manchester United have won more points from losing positions than any other side this season, coming from behind to win all FOUR of their away games so far this season.
Referee: Andre Marriner
- Marriner is currently averaging just TWO yellow cards per game this season after handing out 10 cards in FIVE EPL appearances.
- He is awarding on average just 17.80 fouls per game.
My first play is another Bet Builder (they’ve been great earners throughout the previews). I’m going with Over 2 Goals and for West Ham to see Under 3 Cards in the game at 21/20 (Bet365).
Solskjaer's side have scored TWO or more goals in their last EIGHT EPL away games and have seen Over 2.5 Goals in their last FOUR away EPL matches.
Question marks have been raised over Solskjaer and his ability to take this team further and he’ll be expecting his team to get back to winning ways after their defeat to PSG in the UCL during the week. I’m expecting to see a minimum of THREE goals here.
West ham are averaging just 1.40 cards per game when playing at home this season and the man in charge of this one does not like brandishing them – Marriner averages just 2.00 cards per game this season.
In the last 20 games that Marriner has taken charge of, the home side has seen less than THREE cards on 19 occasions!
My second bet is something of a longshot and it is purely a price play. United have had to come from behind to win all FOUR of their away games so far this season. It’s a remarkable statistic. Also, West Ham have scored the opening goal in their last FIVE EPL games and they’ve beaten Saturday's visitors twice in a row on home soil.
With those statistics in mind, I’ll have a go at a massive 7/1 on the Red Devils winning from behind.