Manchester United travel to Upton Park this weekend, in one of the stand-out ties of the FA Cup third round. Sir Alex Ferguson's side will be perhaps most focused on the Premier League, which they lead by seven points at the halfway mark but, somewhat surprisingly, have not won football's oldest cup competition since 2004.
West Ham, most recently finalists in 2006, halted a run of four games without a win on Tuesday. With that boost in confidence, moving up to 11th in the league standings, they will hope to repeat their most recent cup meeting with United: an emphatic 4-0 victory, which sent them through to their first League Cup semi-final in two decades.
For the home side, Joe Cole, having rejoined his boyhood club from Liverpool, could make his debut, while loanee Yossi Benayoun has returned to Chelsea. Mohamed Diamé, closely linked with a move to QPR, remains sidelined, as do George McCartney and Andy Carroll. United have slightly fewer injury concerns, although Wayne Rooney, Anderson, Nani and Phil Jones are all ruled out.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5:15pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Manchester United 1 (Van Persie) West Ham 0, Premier League, November 2012
West Ham 2 (Noble 2) Manchester United 4 (Rooney 3, Hernandez), Premier League, April 2011
West Ham 4 (Spector 2, Cole 2) Manchester United 0, League Cup, November 2010
In the past six encounters between these sides, there have been 21 goals; 15 of them for Manchester United.
After peaking at seventh place in October, West Ham have lost five, won three and drawn two of their 10 most recent league games.
United have come from behind to salvage the most Premier League points this season (24).
West Ham have scored an average of 1.2 goals per match, compared to United's 2.8. Their top scorer is Kevin Nolan, with five, while Robin van Persie has 16.
West Ham to win: 5.4
Manchester United to win: 1.74
TV: Live on ITV1 at 5:15pm, highlights on ITV1 at 11pm
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