West Ham visit the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday with the weight of recent history against them.
David Moyes’ side are a point ahead of their hosts and would move to within five points of Tottenham in fifth place with a win at Old Trafford.
They’ll have to do so, at least initially, without the services of new signing, Kalvin Phillips, who has been benched by his manager for his return to the city.
On debut, Phillips’ first touch was so poor that it handed Dominic Solanke a chance for Bournemouth that he gobbled up.
Whether that’s played on Moyes’ mind isn’t clear though it does seem an odd decision by the Hammers manager to immediately take Phillips out of the firing line.
Your team to take on Manchester United ?? pic.twitter.com/dqEEyuOiBW
— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 4, 2024
Alphonse Areola begins in goal for the visitors, with a back five of Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma, Vladimir Coufal, Nayef Aguerd and Emerson aiming to stifle the Red Devils’ lively front three.
A strong midfield of Mo Kudus, James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez will need to support Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek at every opportunity if the East Londoners want to come away from the match with at last a point.