EPL Matchday 1 Preview: Manchester United vs West Ham United

Manchester United season kicked off this past Tuesday with a 1-2 loss in the 2017 UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid. However, this Sunday marks the beginning of a new Premier League campaign for The Red Devils. And their debut will come at home against West Ham United this Sunday. Kick-off is scheduled for Sunday at 16:00 BST, and the referee will be Martin Atkinson.

The Opponent

As we stated before, United will kick off their campaign against a tough side such as West Ham United. The London-based side finished 11th last season after compiling 12 wins, nine draws, and 17 losses. That’s not enough, but they were active in the transfer market and signed some capable reinforcements that should make the team far more dangerous in this new season.

The Hammers did not improve the squad like Everton did in terms of names. However, they added some interesting elements that could certainly push them to Europe once again. Most notably we are talking about Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez. That duo could generate lots of joy for West Ham fans. Both have experienced EPL success in the past, and there is no doubt they will carry with West Ham’s attacking load in the early portion of the season.

Unfortunately for manager Slaven Bilic, West Ham won’t be at full strength for this game. Angelo Ogbonna, Doniel Henry, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, and Diafra Sakho are all nursing injuries. Sofiane Feghouli, Cheikhou Kouyate and Michail Antonio are expected to remain sidelined as well. Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini, however, could return to the starting XI.

The Venue

The match will be played at Old Trafford. United registered just one loss at home during the last EPL campaign, but they only won eight matches. The 10 draws at home easily led the league, and that is an area where The Red Devils must improve this year. Starting the year with a convining home win should do wonders for the club.

If we analyse recent history between MUFC and West Ham, we can see that United were undefeated in all three games against The Hammers last season. They drew 1-1 at Old Trafford, but United won 4-1 in the EFL Cup and 2-0 when both clubs met in London Stadium.

Manchester United’s Predicted Starting XI

Jose Mourinho should not make too many changes to the side that lost 1-2 against Real Madrid in Skopje a few days ago. However, there is a chance that Marcus Rashford gets the nod over Jesse Lingard after the youngster impressed against Los Blancos. Eric Bailly could start as well, meaning one of Victor Lindelöf or Chris Smalling will head back to the bench.

Here is how United might line up this Sunday against The Hammers:

GK: David De Gea

RB: Antonio Valencia

CB: Eric Bailly

CB: Victor Lindelöf/Chris Smalling

LB: Matteo Darmian

CM: Ander Herrera

CM: Nemanja Matic

RW: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

AM: Paul Pogba

LW: Marcus Rashford

ST: Romelu Lukaku

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