The Magic of the Cup™ – reloaded. Uniteds of Manchester and visitors West Ham replay in the third round at Old Trafford on Wednesday ten days after a vibrant 2-2 draw in East London. The carrot: a home tie with Fulham on 26 January – and another step towards a Wembley date in May.
Still, with United having laboured for much of the previous match at Upton Park, Sam Allardyce’s men head north with some confidence. After all, the Reds continue to struggle with the defensive side of the game this season, while Sir Alex Ferguson’s side spent much of the second half of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool on the back foot.
The Premier League stands to one side on Wednesday, however, with Sir Alex’ men seeking a 12th FA Cup victory next May. Indeed, the passion with which the Scot celebrated United’s last-minute equaliser in the East End provides ample evidence for Ferguson’s desire to end a nine-year barren run in the Cup.
Good news, then, that Ferguson’s side is likely to be strong for the replay, with Wayne Rooney and Nani set to return for the 125th meeting between the two sides. Rooney hasn’t featured since United’s draw with Swansea City last month, while the Portuguese winger Nani has been out since October.
“Both will play, both are fit,” confirmed Ferguson on Tuesday, who is likely to deploy a many of his senior men at Old Trafford.
“Wayne coming back is good news. He’s been training for a week and looking good. As for Nani, he came back from his spell abroad and is really looking very good. So I’m fine and will play a strong team.
“Of course, we’ve got a big squad but it’s also an important tie tomorrow for the club. We want to try and have a go at this FA Cup. We haven’t had a run for a long time. We’re at home and we have got to take advantage of that. If we get through, we have got another home tie so there’s a big incentive for the club to make sure we get through.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson is unlikely to risk either central defensive duo Nemanja Vidić or Jonny Evans – not with United set to face Tottenham Hotspur in London at the weekend in what could be a pivotal clash.
Nor will winger Ashley Young feature after the former Aston Villa winger picked up a knock during the weekend’s victory over Liverpool. Still, with Anderson, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernández all in the need of minutes United will not be short of firepower – on the pitch, or bench.
Yet, whatever his offensive options Ferguson will be looking for a far better defensive performance at Old Trafford, with his side having secured just six clean sheets all season.
Goalkeeper David de Gea and likely central defenders Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling will have to deal with the visitors’ crossing far better than at Upton Park when the Reds conceded twice from Joe Cole deliveries.
“We conceded two goals from headers in the first game and it’s a type of play that you come across in this league quite a bit,” said Spanish youngster de Gea.
“But we have players at the back who are perfectly capable of dealing with the threat of big powerful strikers who like the ball in the air. We have enough nous to cope with that. It’s something we work on and try to come up with solutions in training.”
Meanwhile, West Ham travel north without key defensive trio James Collins, George McCartney and Joey O’Brien, leaving the Hammers manager with just three fully fit senior defenders. Guy Demel, James Tomkins and Winston Reid will start, while Allardyce could also deploy youngsters Jordan Spence and Danny Potts.
Moreover, the Hammers boss may be tempted to rest key players, with his side facing a crucial relegation fixtures against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend.
Still, Allardyce may still be temped to deploy Joe Cole after the midfielder laid on a brace of goals in the first fixture. Cole also featured in West Ham’s last FA cup victory over United – the 1-0 win at Old Trafford more than a decade ago.
It is also a special occasion for defender Ferdinand, who relishes another tie with West Ham – one which recalls his time in the Londoners’ academy alongside Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard and Cole. Ferdinand is yet to win the FA Cup with any of his clubs.
“The era we had there will be part of West Ham’s history forever now, with so many players who went on to play for England and win league titles with other clubs,” said Ferdinand.
“It is unfortunate for West Ham those players did not stay there and their presence get built upon. That is all history now I suppose. But Joe Cole has gone there to rewrite a bit of his own history in the coming months. It would be good to see him do something positive, but not this week. We want to get through this round.”
And should United emerge victorious another alumni – this time from United – will return to Old Trafford: Dimitar Berbatov.
Manchester United v West Ham United – FA Cup, Old Trafford – Wednesday 16 January 8.05pm
United (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Büttner; Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Nani; Rooney, Hernández. Subs from: Amos, Rafael, Evans, Evra, Cleverley, Kagawa, van Persie, Scholes, Fletcher, Welbeck, Powell, Macheda, Giggs, Hernández.
West Ham (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Potts; Noble, Diarra; J Cole, Nolan, Taylor; C Cole. Subs from: Henderson, Nolan, Jarvis, Maïga, Vaz Tê, Diamé, Maguire, Spence, Chamakh, Tombides, Driver, Paulista.
Referee: Philip Dowd
Assistant Referees: Simon Long & Gary Beswick
Fourth: Official Lee Probert
West Ham: DLLWDL
Head to Head
Last 10: United 8, West Ham 1, Draw 1
Overall: United 57, West Ham 42, Draw 25
147 thoughts on “Preview: United v West Ham”
What’s happened to Fletcher? Injured, playing for the reserves. Hard to see him having any kind of future at United if he can’t even get minutes at one of the busiest periods of the season when we had injuries in his position.
I’m guessing his road to recovery is longer than expected. He missed a lot of game time innit. Fitness won’t be what it was, esp given the nature of his illness.
Fingers crossed for the lad…
Can’t help but feel Nani’s trip abroad was similar to Rooney’s stint in the US. Hopefully he’s sorted himself out, he’s a match winner when he wants to be.
valencia and nani will probaby both play,
play valencia out of position at fullback so nani can play in his best position
I really do hope Nani proves me and his other doubters wrong…
There are no “doubters” of Nani… we all “know”, he’s got serious talent.
… and we also “know”, that he’s a fuckin idiot.
What a ball ache.
Cheers Valencia for that skied effort at Upton Park. Prick.
Rooney and Nani start.
Raf Small Jones Butt
Val Ando Giggs Nani
Bench: amos rio carrick scholes kag welbeck rvp
We actually want to win
I hope Nani turns up
nani on the left
has taggart given up on his bastard son
What the fuck is this, Coronation Street
Oh ffs ITV
Kick off is at 5 past 8 ffs
Turned on ITV and got a face full of Gail Platt, no warning, nothing
i will watch this in the gym
go pump up your biceps for your boyfriends
10 changes doesn’t bode well and it’s freezing too
an early goal or 3 would be nice to settle any nerves
tv decides to go awol ffs
now have to listen to the game on radio 5
any chance of an invite over to yours unc?
actually i’ve worked out i can watch it on itv.com
no worries unc
save it for next time
“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”
Janitor duty again?
Anderson amazing pass
What a pass Ando…Great cross by Hernandez too..
All too many reminders why I hate watching games on ITV. I used to like Adrian Childs when he was presenting The Apprentice: You’re Fired, but since he left the BBC there’s just something about him that really irritates me. Also, 2 minutes into their coverage and they’re already on a commercial break. Even Sky don’t take the piss to that extent.
Anderson is quick to move forward from a flat, standing position
That’s what starts that move, the way he moves around his marker
When Ando wants to turn it on he can!
Well..it’s officially true
We have less ideas than a stillborn spastic
Embarrassment…no value in our midfield
I fucking jinxed Ando!! He needs a run in the team, that’s all.
There’s no value in jinxing a non existent midfield Brian.
I’m STILL standing by my Nani and Ando hopes! You keep your Ashley Young one!
nice to see you are still breathing
No, I’m big enough (fuck off alf) and daft enough to admit young is the footballing equivalent of an helicopter crashing into a crane in central London and is a massive let down
For let down, see shit..I got that one wrong..massively (again, fuck off be dosa you yank cunt)
Now I know how my parents feel.
Dont get me wrong..I love Rooney. But he had only THREE good touches in the whole half…one of which was a goal thankfuly. His first touch is just awfull
Nani still missing a football brain I see….
Ah well there is still the 2nd half to hope for….
Pity you are you shit cunt
Hehe..a blast of rant of old
i see the love is still with you
Never left me Han
Adrian Chiles..vanilla in human form..boring bastard that makes my long standing herpes problem seem refreshingly vital..what a bastard
Pleased with a comfortable half. Was always pretty confident we’d have too much for them at home
FFS… 2 minutes into half time, and some fat cunt has allready eaten all the pies… first time that’s happened in months…
wish you could spread the love around unc’s (not his arse cheeks)
going back to the game, if we don’t get another, it will be bumsqueak time come 80 mins
Step away from the fridge then Barry
Fuck, Roy’s off to film a Fisherman’s Friend ad
What kind of cross is that from Nani??
What kind of shot is that from Hernandez?
You do realise we are shit don’t you
Do all our keepers go to the same (shite) hairdresser?
Lindegaard looks like a serial killer from the 70s
And de Gea looks like one of his victims
What the fuck……. it’s time like this where our lack of a real hard ass, vocal leader shows.
Keane would be handing out one slap after another…
Fuck, is 90 minutes of good football too much to ask?
Chelsea drew with saints. Hah.
Giggs rolling back the years, still a great sight!
Giggs though, best performance so far this season
That was justice in my opinion… if ours wasn’t a pen, then neither was theirs.
Still… Wayne… what the fuck!
Not as great as you rolling back the duvet when I come in the bedroom
Most predictable penalty miss of all time. Why do we even let Rooney take them anymore?
Giggs is having a blinder
Contract talks ongoing then?
I like how he tried to blame the pitch
His body position was wrong and he got under it
i came up with that tbf
FFS Rooney , never take one again.
MANCHESTER IS MY HEAVEN- SIR MATT BUSBY
I’m starting to think Ferguson might shift Rooney come summer…
Well at least someone was keeping the fame alight whilst I’ve been gone
Lewindowski will be the catalyst
And I don’t rate him either
never noticed that you left.
Pea’s been pretty shite since the goal
Judging by some of the shit I’ve read..wish I’d never come back
Giggs… fuckin hell… lol
it is a bit lifeless on here, these days.
surely valencia cringes watching giggs
I’ve seen more life, zest and verve rin Barbara cartlands vibrator
Well, that was shit
Job done without having to try too hard
of course he wont
fucking fat twat
thats another story.
Kevin..Danny dyer is a cunt.
oh well were through, that’s all that we care about.
that was pretty woeful
no passion or urgency
we will get our cocks twanged on sunday if we play like that
no u didnt
Now that Hormone’s about, you feel like showin off?
Don’t let your lust for Hormone get you into something you can’t handle…
You pig-eyed, fuck head.
Pea Rooney Ando was shit after first 10 mins…
Nani Valencia poor throughout
Back four was decent I thought..albeit bit nervous at times
Giggs my goodness….best player on the pitch by miles tonight…
he just wants to get into his anus
RVP got the night off, that’s good.
That’s so L.A
Fuckin hell… apparently that’s the 10th pen Rooney has missed for United.
i see keane is trying hard to be the new cap’n birds eye
but ive been calling u a fat cunt for years
its a factual statement
I have to comment on Jones at CB… solid as f**k. Was that the first time Smalling and Jones played as CB pair?
yes missed 40% of them that’s shit.
Tbf, the comment was about as funny as a burning orphanage
i love to see burning orphanages, iam a fire starter.
Family Guy starts in 20 minutes… shouldn’t you be getting into character? Peter?
we can’t all be such highly rated comediennes like u and fuckhead
Drop me off next stop mate, ta.
don’t you mean Family Gay?
Correct, and you ain’t.
I rest my point
Family Guy starts in 20 minutes, shouldn’t you be getting into character? Meg?
im really losing the love for u cap’n
u don’t half try me
No..I hate family guy…I’m more of a
kind of guy
jones and smalling are fucking great
is that it
sorry full up, just me and Han, unc is in the boot, he is the entertainment later.
look at that ffs
han its time to go
Bruce/Pallister… Stam/Johnson… Ferdinand/Vidic…
Jones/Smalling could be the best… for years… with Rafa on the right… just need a lefty…
Sorry… I didn’t know we were trying to be clever… how about this then… “you fat twat”?
3ft spastic dwarf…it’s not big and it’s not clever.
thats a fictional statement tho
This is more like the old rant…threads going off topic, loads of slagging off, and a high level of cuntishness
Why are you here?
The Jimmy Saville situation attracting too much attention on your typical night outs?
Ha…I’m surprised you haven’t campaigned for Him to get a pardon
Sending you a message.
Is this United Rant or an AOL chat forum? A lot of bollocks going on around here.
Hi sheesh…it’s an aol chat room
You clicked on here whilst trying to visit oldspunkers.com
now why are you civil to sheesh and not me when i also said hi cap?
1 other thing i noted
little pea is thinning
just look at the crown area and you’ll see
I have been civil to you..I’m not ignoring you
i’m not worthy of your attention
Let’s just forget that match ever happened and remember RVP’s goal as the winner.
Hopefully that means Evans can now join Sunderland this summer instead of prolonging it like we did with O’Shea.
With Knobhead, Alf and the Cap going at it I thought I’d logged on to http://www.loosewomenbanter.co.uk/itv/ bollocks.
All we need now is Chris to show his mental head again and it’ll be like days of yore
I miss chris and his cheesy smelling cock
Cheeto Chris was his name…
Remember those Batty Cunts…chav cunts…..
tbf we’ve had our right shower of cunts on here over the years. How long have you been a member of Rant (in all it’s forms) I know I was here before Cap showed his hairy ass, 2005??
I was member number 20 i think…you were member number 7, but had had a dozen or so members in you first week
Can’t even remember how the fuck I stumbled across Rant. BUT within a few weeks I knew it was my spiritual home. A place where a few perverted, deprived, sick, cunt loving came together and created magic. Was it around 2005?
I’ve only ever been a member of this forum and fuckbuddies.com.
yes 2005…a few months before you were blowing me off on blackpools north pier
we’ll always have Blackpool Bri..always have Blackpool
Fletcher out for the rest of the season:
Well that’s a relief
Fergie did well resisting the urge to play him over the packed christmas schedule, especially with Ando out
It’s up there with some of his greatest achievements
what terrible news