West Ham United-Manchester United Preview
Ralf Rangnick remains focused solely on Manchester United and not certain individuals, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of their home clash with West Ham on Saturday.
Ronaldo appeared to lose his cool after being removed in a 3-1 win at Brentford that kept the Red Devils within two points of the fourth-placed Hammers.
Rangnick said after the match on Wednesday that he was unconcerned by Ronaldo's petulant actions, and he is again reiterated his desire to concentrate on his entire team.
"I think we shouldn't make too much of a fuss out of it," Rangnick said of the Ronaldo situation. "The job of a football manager is to help the team win the game and it was clear from our experience at Villa Park that this time we have to do things better. We did it better and the only question was, who do we take off? Of course, Cristiano is a prolific goalscorer and he's a player that will always want to play and score goals.
"The team is more important than whoever – Cristiano, Edinson (Cavani), Bruno (Fernandes)."
David Moyes' side were the runaway contenders for the fourth Champions League spot earlier in the season, but their progress has been somewhat stunted recently.
A surprise 3-2 home defeat to Leeds United came last game, but Moyes insisted his side can still challenge for the top four.
"Our idea is to try and challenge those top four teams, we don't necessarily see ourselves as quite there yet but we want to try and challenge them, we want to try and have a good go at hanging in there," Moyes said. "We missed it last year by two points so the challenge to the players was to try and get those extra two points that might make it."
Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes
With Ronaldo revealed as a potential injury doubt, the onus could be on Fernandes to step up. The Portuguese playmaker created a game-leading four chances in his last outing.
West Ham – Jarrod Bowen
Bowen has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 18 Premier League matches (6 goals, 7 assists) and has netted in each of his last two. However, Bowen he has only scored three goals in 43 away top-flight appearances.
- This is just the fifth time in Premier League history West Ham are facing Manchester United while above them in the table, with the Hammers failing to win any of the previous such games; 1-2 in August 1995, 0-0 in August 1998, 1-2 in September 2014 and 1-3 in December 2020.
- Having lost their first home Premier League match of 2022 against Wolves, Manchester United are looking to avoid losing their first two home league games in a year for the first time since 1985, when they lost to Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City under Ron Atkinson.
- Last season, West Ham had the second-best home record in the Premier League (34 points), accounting for 52% of their total points last term. This season, the Hammers have the fourth best away record in the competition, with their 20 points on the road accounting for 54% of their overall points so far this term.
- Manchester United have lost their last two Premier League games kicking off at 3pm on Saturday, going down 4-2 against Leicester and 4-1 against Watford this season. The Red Devils have never lost three consecutive matches in this kick-off slot in the competition before.
- Former Manchester United manager Moyes has never won an away Premier League match against the Red Devils in 14 attempts (D4 L10), with only Harry Redknapp managing more games at Old Trafford without winning in the Premier League era (15 games).
Updated January 21, 2022