By Andy Hyslop
- Two wins in final two league games will see United finish 4th
- Martial a doubt missing win over Norwich
Manchester United face West Ham United in the hosts final league at Upton Park before their move to the Olympic Stadium next season.
United were also the last opponents in the last ever FA Cup tie to be played at Upton Park, winning the quarter-final replay 2-1 with goals from Rashford and Fellaini.
The equation is simply for Louis Van Gaal and his team, following the draw between City and Arsenal on Sunday United know if they win their last two games and they will finish in the top four.
This isn’t the first time United have travelled to Upton Park knowing they need a result. At the end of the 1991/92 season, United needed to win against West Ham to keep alive any realistic hopes of winning the league. A 1-0 defeat didn’t end their hopes but put a huge dent in them.
Then on the last day of the 1994/95 season, United needed to beat West Ham at Upton Park and hope Blackburn dropped points to win the league. Despite dominating the game, United could only draw 1-1 and Blackburn lost and United failed to make it a hat-trick of titles.
West Ham went down to a shock 4-1 defeat to Swansea at Upton Park on Saturday and will be looking to bounce back with a win in this farewell game to a ground where the Hammers have played for 112 years.
Anthony Martial was named in the starting line-up on Saturday before his hamstring felt tight in the warm-up and was replaced in the team by Ander Herrera and is a doubt to face the Hammers.
Italian defender Darmian was stretchered off against Norwich after sustaining an ankle injury that looks like it could make his a doubt for this summers European Championships in France.
Marcus Rashford and Daley Blind were both rested by Van Gaal against Norwich and are likely to return to the squad for this game
After being rested on Saturday, Blind is likely to return to the starting eleven and partner Smalling at the centre of United’s defence. Meaning a return to left-back for Marcos Rojo.
We also predict that Rashford and Martial will return for this one meaning a return to midfield for Rooney and Memphis dropping out after failing to impress against Norwich.
Surely Schneiderlin will return to the base of the midfield in place of Carrick after being named on the bench for the last few games. Rooney and Schneiderlin are likely to be joined in midfield by Saturday’s match winner Mata.
West Ham need the three points just as much as United as they look to finish in the top six in the final Premier League table. they currently sit seventh, one point behind Southampton follow this weekends results.
West Ham management, players and fans will be desperate for the club to have European football in their new home next season. To do that they will be looking to finish in the top six positions.
While a win for United in the FA Cup final would give the seventh placed team in the Premier League a Europa League spot.
The star of the Hammers impressive season has been Frenchman Dimitri Payet, 29 year-old Payet has made 29 appearances in the Premier League and has been directly involved in 19 goals for West Ham. Scoring nine and providing ten assists for his team-mates.
Payet scooped up all five of the awards available West Ham’s awards dinner last night. Being voted player of the year by both the fans and his team-mates. While also picking up goal of the season, top goalscorer and signing of the season awards.