Football: Weekend guide to the Premiership - Manchester United v West Ham Last season: 2-1

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The Independent Online
THE FIGHT for places at Old Trafford switches to the substitutes' bench tomorrow as Manchester United face West Ham in their opening Premiership game of the new year. With Alex Ferguson planning to stick as closely as possible to last weekend's winning FA Cup line-up, the bench will be overflowing with talent as seven internationals fight for the four vacant places. Ferguson has already announced one change for the game with goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel taking a winter break in the Bahamas and Raimond van der Gouw stepping up to replace him.

The rookie goalkeeper Nick Colkin should take one of the substitutes' places and with David Beckham and Gary Neville back from a one-match suspension and Ronny Johnsen fit again after flu someone will have to make way if they are to be involved. They will find the competition tough with last week's subs Teddy Sheringham Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jordi Cruyff all in contention.

West Ham's Ian Wright is very doubtful with a knee injury for the trip to the north-west while Paul Kitson, who has recovered from a toe problem, is unavailable with the flu, as is team-mate Emmanuel Omoyinmi.

Julian Dicks (knee) and Lee Hodges (groin) are definitely not in contention, but Frank Lampard, who had the flu last week, is okay, as is Rio Ferdinand who returns after a back problem. Frenchman Marc Keller is still on the injured list and will take no part in the proceedings tomorrow.

MANCHESTER UNITED (from): Van der Gouw, Brown, Stam, Berg, Irwin, Giggs, Blomqvist, Keane, Butt, Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, P Neville, Cruyff, Solskjaer, G Neville, Beckham, Johnsen, Colkin.

WEST HAM UNITED (from): Hislop, Breacker, Potts, Ruddock, Sinclair, Hartson, Lomas, Wright, Ferdinand, Moncur, Lazaridis, Lampard, Pearce, Forrest, Abou, Berkovic, Coyne, Cole.

Suspensions: Manchester United: P Neville.

Referee: M Reed.