Scouting Manchester United’s Next Opponent: Hopeful Hammers Host The Devils

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Manchester United will be returning to the Premier League action this weekend, as they will be kicking-off the new gameweek with a trip to West Ham’s London Stadium. After a bitter loss after a penalty shoot-out in League Cup on Tuesday night to Championship’s Derby County, the Devils are in need of a simple comeback in this following match, to end the run of two matches without a win.

The 1-1 draw against Wovlerhampton at Old Trafford last week meant Untied are already eight points behind the leading Liverpoo and they cannot allow themselves another poor performances. So, what should they expect this Saturday early kick-off?

Tough Run Of Matches, Form Improving

One thing that is obvious about West Ham so far this season is that they had a tough schedule. They had to travel to Liverpool and Arsenal inside opening three matches, while also hosting Chelsea last week. The opening four losses of the season were partially expected. The losses at Anfield and Emirates are not unexpected – what was bad about them was that Manuel Pellegrini’s team fell to easy to these opponents. However, losing at home to both Bournemouth and Wolves was something the Hammers were not happy about. Players did not seem to have enough spirit to fight back in those matches. Since then, their form started improving. They won comfortably at Goodison Park 3-1 two weeks ago, with a brace from Andriy Yarmolenko and another Marko Arnautovic goal. Last weekend was a particular highlight, as West Ham became the first side to hold Chelsea back, after their 100% start to the season. It was 0-0 at London Stadium.

League Cup Offers Confidence

West Ham so far played two matches in League Cup. That could be a very positive thing for them this early into the season. A decent cup run could instill more confidence into a side that started the season poorly and their 3-1 win against Wimbledon did improve them, as they have only one loss since. However, their midweek match on Wednesday was especially good – West Ham managed to score for fun in a 8-0 win against Macclesfield Town. It may have been a weaker opponent, but confidence will definitely grow.

Brief Look Into The Stats

So far, West Ham are not far off from where they would be expected to be. They scored five goals, while their xG is 5.99. That is not too big of a difference, while their expected goals allowed is 11.30, compared to the 11 goals they actually conceded. So, their four points so far are pretty much deserved, with probably only the match against Wolves where they maybe could have snatched a point.

Felipe Anderson is their most creative player so far, with the Brazilian creating 1.99 key passes per 90. Their biggest attacking threat comes through the aforementioned Arnautovic and Yarmolenko. The Austrian plays as a centre forward these days and his height and strength slightly resemble Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He is a talented player who can do great things when he is ‘in the zone’ and Man United defenders will need to pay special attention to Arnautovic.

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