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United Looking to Hammer the Hammers

United face a difficult match at Upton Park

Manchester United will be confident of maintaining top spot as they prepare to face low placed West Ham.

United have endured a blip over the last few weeks that has seen the side lose vital points on the road to Chelsea and Liverpool. This seems to have given Arsenal and Chelsea the belief that they can still push on and win the Premier League title when United have been top of the table for much of the season.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping that he can bring Nemanja Vidic back into the centre of defence following a recent calf problem. The United captain did not play for Serbia during the recent international break which gives him the best possible chance of being fit for this game.

Rafael Da Silva is most likely to play down the right of the defence. John O’Shea or Wes Brown could move to right back but Ferguson may want to shake his defence up drastically after the poor performances over the last few weeks.

In the midfield Nani and Ryan Giggs could start down either side of the pitch although Antonio Valencia will be throwing his hat into the ring for a starting place. Paul Scholes is most likely to partner Michael Carrick in the middle of the pitch although Darren Fletcher is also in contention for a starting place in central midfield.

Ferguson will most likely opt for the experience of Giggs down the left as opposed to Valencia. This is because Giggs has played countless games at intimidating away grounds like West Ham. There is little doubt that the West Ham faithful will remind United of how poorly they played at Upton Park in the Carling Cup earlier in the season.

Ferguson has more headaches with the attack of his team than ever before this season. Wayne Rooney will start but his partner will be more unpredictable. Javier Hernandez has earned his right to start in the side but Dimitar Berbatov has looked unhappy over the last few weeks which could force Ferguson’s hand. Either player would be a good partner for Rooney.

On the injury front Park Ji-Sung and Rio Ferdinand are improving and stay on schedule to complete returns to the side before the end of the season. Owen Hargreaves is the only current player who looks as though he will not play another game for the club before the summer. Anderson could be in contention to face West Ham but he will most likely be confined to the subs bench.

Johnny Evans will play no part in the game after the red card he picked up in the game against Bolton Wanderers.

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