Saturday, March 22

Daily WHUFC News - 22nd March 2014

Manchester United match preview
A look ahead to Saturday's evening kick-off against Manchester United at the
Boleyn Ground


• Manchester United are the visitors to the Boleyn Ground for Saturday's
televised evening kick-off in the Barclays Premier League.
• West Ham United will be aiming to end a run of two successive league
defeats against the Red Devils, after losses to Everton and Stoke City.
• Both those defeats came away from home with a 3-1 loss to the Potters last
Saturday leaving the Hammers in 12th position in the table.
• Sam Allardyce's side return to east London looking to earn a fourth
straight home win after victories against Swansea City, Norwich City and
Southampton in February.
• In the corresponding fixture last season, Mo Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te
scored for the Hammers in a 2-2 draw.
• Manchester United arrive at the Boleyn Ground having suffered a
demoralising defeat against Liverpool in their last league outing, going
down 3-0 at Old Trafford.
• They did however bounce back with a win against Olympiacos in the UEFA
Champions League on Wednesday night, a Robin van Persie hat-trick seeing the
Red Devils through to the quarter-finals.
• The champions' hopes of finishing in the top-four seem all but finished as
they lie 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City ahead of Saturday's
• A stuttering first season in charge has left David Moyes' team in seventh
place in the table, with 48 points from 29 games.

Team news
West Ham United
• The Hammers will be without Joey O'Brien (shoulder) and Marco Borriello
(calf) for the visit of the champions.
• Jack Collison (Wigan Athletic), Ravel Morrison, Modibo Maiga (both QPR),
Paul McCallum (Heart of Midlothian) and George Moncur (Partick Thistle) are
all out on loan.

Manchester United
• Nemanja Vidic was red carded in the Red Devils' last Premier League outing
and is suspended for Saturday's clash.
• Robin van Persie was stretchered off against Olympiacos on Wednesday night
with a knee injury and will definitely miss the visit to the Hammers.

Last time out
Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
15 March 2014
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney, Noble, Nolan,
Nocerino (C Cole 76), Diame, Downing (J Cole 62), Carroll (Armero 83)
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Collins, Taylor, Jarvis
Goal: Carroll 5

Manchester United 3-0 Olympiacos
UEFA Champions League
19 March 2014
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Ferdinand, Jones, Giggs, Valencia
(Young 77), Carrick, van Persie (Fellaini 90), Rooney, Welbeck (Fletcher 81)
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Hernandez, Januzaj, Kagawa
Goals: van Persie 25 pen, 45, 51

Previous meeting
Carlton Cole struck a late consolation as the Hammers were comfortably
beaten at Old Trafford in December 2013. Danny Welbeck and Adnan Januzaj
struck before the break to put the hosts firmly in control, and their
position was strengthened further in the second period by Ashley Young's
curled shot. Cole came off the bench to pull one back for the Hammers but
there was not enough time left to inspire a fightback.

Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 21 December 2013
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra (Buttner 80),
Jones, Cleverley, Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj (Young 69), Welbeck (Hernandez
Subs not used: Johnstone, Fletcher, Giggs, Kagawa
Goals: Welbeck 26, Januzaj 36, Young 72
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Collins (Rat 75), McCartney, Noble,
Diame, Taylor (Collison 62), Morrison, Jarvis (C Cole 71), Maiga
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Diarra, J Cole
Goal: C Cole 81

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)
21 December 2013 - Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United
17 April 2013 - West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United
16 January 2013 - Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United
5 January 2013 - West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United
28 November 2012 - Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United
2 April 2011 - West Ham United 2-4 Manchester United

Overall record v Manchester United (all competitions) W 43 D 26 L 59
Ten-year records

West Ham United
2012/13 Premier League 10th (46 points)
2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points - relegated to Championship)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted via play-offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)

Manchester United
2012/13 Premier League 1st (89 points)
2011/12 Premier League 2nd (89 points)
2010/11 Premier League 1st (80 points)
2009/10 Premier League 2nd (85 points)
2008/09 Premier League 1st (90 points)
2007/08 Premier League 1st (87 points)
2006/07 Premier League 1st (89 points)
2005/06 Premier League 2nd (83 points)
2004/05 Premier League 3rd (77 points)
2003/04 Premier League 3rd (75 points)

Old boys
• Manchester United have two former West Ham United players in their squad.
England defender Rio Ferdinand made 158 appearances for the club between May
1996 and November 2000, scoring two goals. Midfielder Michael Carrick scored
six goals in 159 appearances between July 1999 and May 2004.
• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Jonathan
Spector, Roy Carroll, Noel Cantwell, Luke Chadwick, Billy Grassam, Paul
Ince, Ralph Milne, Frederick Milnes, Ravel Morrison, Frank O'Farrell, Stuart
Pearson, Les Sealey, Dave Sexton, Teddy Sheringham, Carlos Tevez and Raimond
van der Gouw.

• The first meeting between West Ham United and Manchester United came on 25
February 1911 in the FA Cup third round. The Southern League First Division
Hammers upset the Division One Red Devils 2-1 at the Boleyn Ground, with
Thomas Caldwell and Danny Shea scoring the goals for the hosts and Sandy
Turnbull netting for the visitors.
• The first league meeting between West Ham United and Manchester United
took place at Old Trafford on Christmas Day 1922. Billy Brown and Billy
Moore ensured it would be a happy Christmas for the Hammers by scoring in a
2-1 Division Two victory, with Arthur Lochhead replying for the hosts.
Twenty-four hours later, on Boxing Day, Lochhead scored both goals as the
Red Devils won 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground. West Ham would go on to be promoted
as runners-up, while Manchester United would finish fourth.
• West Ham United's biggest-ever win over Manchester United came at the
Boleyn Ground on 11 October 1930. A Viv Gibbins hat-trick inspired the
Hammers to a 5-1 Division One victory, with Jim Barrett and Jimmy Ruffell
also on the score sheet. Tommy Reid scored for the visitors.
• The largest crowd to witness a West Ham United versus Manchester United
fixture at the Boleyn Ground was the 41,892 who saw Clyde Best, Bryan 'Pop'
Robson and Geoff Hurst net in a 3-0 Division One victory on New Year's Day
• Manchester United's biggest win over West Ham United came at Old Trafford
on 1 April 2000. Paul Scholes scored a treble in a 7-1 Premier League win.
Denis Irwin, Andrew Cole, David Beckham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the
other goals, with Paulo Wanchope on target for the Hammers

• Lee Mason started refereeing in 1988 and in 1992 he was added to the North
West Counties Football League assistant referees' list, and progressed to
full referee for that competition four years later.
• He was included on the Football League list of assistant referees in 1998,
and was then added to the Premier League list in 2000.
• In 2002, he was promoted to referee for the Football League and in 2003
became a 'Development Group' referee, before finally reaching the Premier
League list of Select Group referees in 2006.
• His first ever match in the top tier was on 4 February 2006, when
Middlesbrough lost 4-0 at home to Aston Villa.
• Mason was chosen to control the League One Play-Off final between Barnsley
and Swansea on 27 May 2006.
• The official has refereed the Hammers three times in the Premier League
this season, in the 3-2 defeat to Everton, 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, and
most recently the 2-0 win against Cardiff in January.
• Mason will be assisted by Steve Bennett and Jake Collin on Saturday, while
the fourth official will be Iain Williamson.
Walk for Dennis

Five West Ham United fans are holding a series of charity events to raise
money for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and St Nicholas
Kevin Driscoll, son Chas and friends Neil, Sean and Bill from Bury St
Edmunds in Suffolk will be walking to every London Premier League and
Football League ground between 3-5 April in memory of Kevin's father Dennis,
who passed away from cancer last year.
The group will also hold a charity auction at the Princess of Wales public
house in West Ham Lane, Stratford, at 8.30pm on Saturday 22 March following
the game.
Among the lots is a 1980 FA Cup final shirt signed by the winning West Ham
team and a retro England 1966 FIFA World Cup final shirt signed by hat-trick
hero Sir Geoff Hurst.
"We originally planned to hold the auction at the Liverpool game on Saturday
5 April, but the match has been moved for TV coverage," explained Kevin.
"For that reason, we have brought the auction forward to tonight as we hope
more fans will be able to come down and support a very worthy cause.
"During our walk, we will be stopping at every ground in London, having our
photo taken on the pitch and collecting a signed shirt.
"A second auction, where these signed shirts will be sold, will be held at
the LP Bar in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 30 April."
For more details about the Walk 4 Dennis, please visit

General information
• The weather forecast for Saturday's evening clash is cloudy with showers
and temperatures around 7C (45F).
• There are planned closures across the London Underground network on the
Central, Jubilee, DLR, Northern and Overground lines this weekend. More
information can be found here.
• The Greater Anglia service will not run between Thorpe-le-Soken and
Clacton-on-Sea this weekend. More travel information from Greater Anglia can
be found here.

Big Sam meets James Corden
Sam Allardyce was interviewed by Hammers fan James Corden as he guest edited
The Sun

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce dropped in on The Sun's offices in
central London on Thursday to surprise TV personality and Hammers fan James
Corden as part of his guest editorship of the newspaper. Corden took over
the running of The Sun for a day in aid of Sport Relief as the charity gears
up for its weekend of events, which last from Friday through to Sunday. As
well as interviewing Prime Minister David Cameron, Corden conducted a chat
with the West Ham boss, which the Gavin and Stacey star initially thought
would be by telephone, but turned into an in-person meeting. Corden told "It was great to see Big Sam, I loved it and having a chat with
him was the only thing I really insisted on for my guest editorship. "Before
I said I wanted to interview the Prime Minister I said I wanted to interview
Big Sam, so I'm thrilled it all came together. "It's all about finding
different ways to spread a message and try to raise money, so in that
respect I'm very honoured to be the first person to do such a thing. I
really have enjoyed it, it has been really good fun."

Corden is a huge fan of Big Sam and has been delighted with the team's
upturn in form since Christmas. He continued: "It's great and I hope any
West Ham fans that were calling for Sam's head [have taken notice]. I
listened to countless phone-ins saying he has to go and the board and all
things like that, but I genuinely have a core belief that we'll never get
relegated as long as he's our manager. "I hope a few of them come forward
and apologise for how they've been and how some of them have been for his
whole leadership. "I think we're in a great place, the atmosphere in the
team looks great. It seems we have a real team instead of disparate
individuals. Our fully-fit first eleven can compete in the top half of the
Premier League, when you think of the last few years and some of the
managers we've had that's not always been the case."

With Manchester United visiting the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, Corden
revealed that he hoped to be there to cheer the Hammers on. He added: "It's
an easy three points isn't it?! I was a bit worried when I watched them
against Olympiacos and I do hope Ryan Giggs isn't playing, but if we can get
away with a point that would be great. "I hope to be at the Boleyn Ground to
watch the game!"

Big Sam was delighted to play his part in the day and he explained how the
meeting came about. "It was set up by Sean Custis [Sun football writer], who
rang me a while ago and said James is going to be editor of The Sun for a
day and as he's a big West Ham fan, could I come in and play a little prank
on him. "I was round the corner doing an interview with James which he
thought was just going to be on the phone, the line got cut off, he was
getting pretty annoyed and I walked round and surprised him. "It's always
great to see him, he's doing a fantastic job for Sport Relief and hopefully
it'll raise as much money this weekend as it has done for the last few
years. "Certainly the effort he's put in, giving up his time is a fantastic
gesture so I was happy to be there to play a short part in it."

The Hammers have got behind Sport Relief this season by donning t-shirts to
promote the charity event at last weekend's match against Stoke City and
during their crossbar challenge for Sky Sports programme Soccer AM.

Djair keen to sink Spurs
Djair Parfitt-Williams is looking to extend the Under-18s' fine form by
beating Spurs on Saturday

The hero against Leicester City last weekend, Djair Parfitt-Williams has now
set his sights on sinking London rivals Tottenham Hotspur when the Under-18s
go head-to-head with Spurs at Little Heath this Saturday. The Bermuda-born
winger scored one in each half to see off the Foxes in a 2-1 win and extend
his side's winning streak to seven matches. With nine goals to his name
already this season, Parfitt-Williams has played his part as Steve Potts'
team continue to lead the way in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League. The
wide man told West Ham TV he believes the team's fine form is down to their
commitment on the training pitch. "We're playing well as a team and scoring
a lot of goals at the moment," he explained. "Everybody on the team works
really hard in training and we've got good players on our team. Our fine run
is no surprise to me because I know how good this team is." "There's no
secret to it, it's just the work-rate from everybody in the team in every
position. Everybody in the squad works hard. It's no secret, every day we
work hard together."

The 17-year-old speed merchant netted the winner against Leicester with just
eight minutes to spare, a result which could prove to be crucial as fellow
front-runners Fulham suffered a 3-1 home defeat against Southampton. The
Hammers had been pegged back by the Foxes after Parfitt-Williams had opened
the scoring, and the winger was delighted that the team were able to take
all three points. "I think we controlled the game well, but we had one
defensive mistake which made it a tight game. "We had to concentrate and
keep doing what we were doing for the whole game up until the last ten
minutes when we got the goal. "It's a good feeling to be part of this team
and to be coming away from most matches with a win. I love scoring goals and
I was happy to do that against Leicester."

Saturday's game against local rivals Spurs is an opportunity for the U18s to
put further breathing space between themselves and the north London side who
currently occupy third in the table. The Lilywhites have two games in hand
on the Hammers and trail them by six points, meaning all is to play for when
the two sides do battle on the weekend. A 3-2 win against Spurs earlier in
the season was secured with a late Jordan Brown goal, and Parfitt-Williams
is expecting a similarly close game this time round. "I remember from the
last time that Tottenham are a good team. They pass the ball well but I
think we matched them and it was a good game last time round. "It was a
close game and we managed to get a goal in the last minute. It was a good
game, there was a lot of good football and we played well. "We've got
Tottenham, Everton and Manchester City coming up in the next few games and
they'll all be tough matches." Kick-off at Little Heath on Saturday is at
11am. Admission and parking are free of charge.

Carr confident on Academy future
Tony Carr MBE has stated his belief that the Academy will continue to play a
big part in the Club's future

As West Ham United prepares to celebrate the achievements of its Academy on
Saturday against Manchester United, Tony Carr MBE has spoken of his belief
that youth academies will continue to play a vital role in the future of the
Premier League. The Academy Director has been instrumental in producing
countless home-grown players who have gone onto star in the famous Claret
and Blue during his 40 years with the Club. Saturday's evening kick-off at
the Boleyn Ground against reigning champions United will be a celebration of
the Academy, with interviews from past and present Academy graduates, and
Carr himself, being conducted before the match and at half-time.

Speaking to the Official Programme ahead of the clash the 63-year-old
revealed how things have changed since he first took up a coaching role with
the Club back in 1973. "When I first started we trained on the forecourt at
Upton Park with plastic footballs and if someone had left their car on the
forecourt overnight then we'd have to play round it. "We were playing in the
tunnel underneath the East Stand using beer crates as goals. It's changed
massively, facilities have improved, the role of the youth coach has been
enhanced and players are now starting to see the value of that. "Staffing
levels have improved and to be fair, at present, Mr Gold and Sullivan have
bought into our philosophy in terms of trying to develop future West Ham

Producing young British players has become increasingly hard as the number
of British players plying their trade in the Premier League has plummeted to
around 33%. Despite this the Hammers have always given home grown players a
chance to make the grade and currently boast a squad peppered with British
players. Carr admits the task of producing players has got tougher over the
years, but insists it remains vital for clubs like West Ham. "We're not a
club like the top sides that can go and spend millions and millions of
pounds on players every season. "Manchester City are a one-off with a rich
sheikh owner, Chelsea started it with Roman Abramovich, Tottenham spent £105
million on players last year, we're not a club that can do that so there's a
big reliance on producing your own players. "As tough as it is, and it's
getting tougher, it remains a fact of life that we have to produce our own
players to compensate for the fact that we can't compete at the top end

During his time working in the Academy, Carr has helped produce a number of
players who've gone on to forge excellent careers in the Premier League and
even at international level, and he says there is an immense amount of pride
when a player makes the cut. "The boys come in at eight-years-old and for a
boy to come through at 18 or 20, or the average age of 23 now, it's a long,
long journey. It could be as long as 15 years from the time he signs to the
time he makes it in the Premier League. "There's been a lot of time, work
and effort that's gone into trying to produce that young player but if he
does make it, and crack it at that level, then there's an immense amount of
pride for everybody involved. "I think the fans can also identify with a
young boy that's been in the Academy since he was a youngster and will give
him the opportunity to prove his worth."

*You can read the full interview with Tony Carr MBE in Saturday's 84-page
Official Programme which features exclusive interviews with Sir Geoff Hurst,
Martin Peters MBE, Kevin Nolan, Guy Demel, and much, much more.

West Ham v Man Utd
KO 17:30
21 March 2014
Last updated at 13:04

By Simon Brotherton
Match of the Day commentator

Venue: Upton Park Date: Saturday, 22 March


West Ham pair Joey O'Brien and Marco Boriello remain unavailable for the
visit of Manchester United. O'Brien has been sidelined since January with a
dislocated shoulder, while Boriello has a calf strain.

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic serves the first of a two-game ban
after he was sent off in the defeat by Liverpool last weekend. Robin van
Persie is ruled out after he suffered a knee injury in midweek Champions
League duty.


David Moyes hasn't had too many nights he'd care to remember at Old Trafford
in his tenure at Manchester United, but Wednesday must surely be the pick of
them up to now. Both he and the players rose to the challenge against
Olympiakos in overcoming the two-goal first leg deficit to ensure United's
progress into the last eight of the Champions League. Olympiakos are no
great shakes in European terms but United needed to respond in front of
their own fans after the debacle of their home defeat by Liverpool last
Sunday when they were outplayed from start to finish. They did so with good
team selection, a better tempo and more assertive display. "Everyone was
saying David Moyes's next three games - Olympiakos, West Ham and Manchester
City - might decide his future. Well, he'll have won two out of three if
they win, which is the exact answer he wants to give his critics. "With Sam
Allardyce, West Ham have shown how to run a football club. If you're
struggling, you back your manager. Fair play to the owners and they'll get
their reward, which is staying in the division."

The result will have been met by a mixture of relief as well as joy, but
Moyes will be hoping it has a galvanizing effect on his team as they head to
London just three days before hosting Manchester City in the derby next
Tuesday. Manchester United were held to 2-2 draws in both the league and FA
Cup at West Ham last season, but they haven't lost there for seven years and
have won nine of the last 10 league matches between the clubs. West Ham sit
12th in the table, six points above the relegation zone, mainly thanks to a
run of four wins in a row last month. It was a run they badly needed after
failing to win a single league game in December and only one in January.
They also go into this weekend on the back of two straight defeats on the
road, at Everton and Stoke, but on a brighter note have won each of the last
three at home. The Hammers haven't won four Premier League home games in a
row for 12 years and they finished that run in 2002 with a victory over
Bolton, who were managed at the time by Sam Allardyce.


United are unbeaten in 10 games against West Ham home and away (W9, D1).
Manchester United's last defeat by the Hammers at Upton Park came in
December 2007. Anton Ferdinand and Matt Upson scored, while Cristiano
Ronaldo netted United's consolation.

West Ham

The Hammers have lost their last two league games, away to Everton and Stoke
However, Sam Allardyce's side have won their last three home league matches.
Six of their eight victories in the top flight this season have come at
Upton Park.
West Ham have lost the most games (5) and points (17) from winning positions
in the Premier League this season.
Only Arsenal and Chelsea have kept as many clean sheets as West Ham - with
the trio level on 13 for the season.

Manchester United

Manchester United have not lost as many games away from home at this stage
of a season since 2009-10 when they had suffered five defeats.
Manchester United's tally of 48 points after 29 games is their lowest in a
Premier League season, six points fewer than their previous lowest in
The last time United lost this many games (nine) in a season was in 2003-04.
David Moyes' side have won their last two away games, and are unbeaten in

West Ham take on Manchester United at Upton Park
Last Updated: 21/03/14 5:58pm

Manchester United will be hoping the UEFA Champions League win over
Olympiakos does not prove to be another false dawn when David Moyes takes
his team to West Ham United for Saturday Night Football. The Red Devils
overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Olympiakos 3-0 at home on
Wednesday as Robin van Persie's hat-trick secured a quarter-final spot.

Live on Sky Sports
West Ham v Man Utd
March 22, 2014 5:00pm
Sky Sports 1 HD

The turnaround against Olympiakos came on the back of a 3-0 home humbling by
old rivals Liverpool in the Premier League and left United languishing in
seventh position. United have consistently failed to follow up a positive
performance and result this season, but will finally hope a corner has been
turned ahead of the trip to Upton Park. However, the reigning champions will
be facing a West Ham team on a three-match winning streak at home which has
helped to ease the club's relegation fears. Successive away defeats by
Everton and Stoke, though, have ensured West Ham are not safe yet in 12th
position and six points ahead of the bottom three. Sam Allardyce's side lost
3-1 at Old Trafford just before Christmas, while the clubs met twice at
Upton Park last season, with both games finishing 2-2. Van Persie scored a
last-minute equaliser in the FA Cup third round before the Dutchman's 77th
minute effort earned United a point in the Premier League last April.
However, the striker will have to sit out Saturday's game after suffering a
knee injury in midweek. Van Persie could be sidelined for six weeks in

Despite their win over Olympiakos, I think United are still papering over
the cracks. If David de Gea didn't have an absolute blinder on Wednesday and
Phil Jones didn't have a good game they would have been in trouble. People
can go on about Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney and how good they were but what
about the others? If De Gea doesn't make those saves and Olympiakos score a
goal they're through and all of a sudden there's absolute carnage at the
club. There'll be no Robin van Persie on Saturday but Danny Welbeck will
probably play anyway because he's doing alright.

I'm going to go for a draw here because West Ham is a hard place to go.
United have just had a hard game and even though Olympiakos weren't the best
team in the world there was a lot of nervous energy about the place when
they were 3-0 up because one goal meant that all of that hard work would
have gone out of the window. That is tiring in itself.

West Ham are in a decent spell and they are hard to beat. Sam Allardyce was
manager of the month for February. Man Utd aren't really going anywhere in
the league now - they're concentrating on the Champions League - but they
won't want to beat West Ham 3-0 and then get a good turning over by
Manchester City because that won't go down well. They are probably better
off struggling in this game and stopping Man City from winning the league.


West Ham
Last 6
Stoke City (a)3-1
Everton (a)1-0
Southampton (h)3-1
Norwich (h)2-0
A Villa (a)0-2
Swansea (h)2-0

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will still be without defender Joey O'Brien
and forward Marco Borriello for Saturday's visit of United. O'Brien has not
featured since a 0-0 draw at Chelsea in January due to a dislocated
shoulder, and on-loan AC Milan striker Borriello remains sidelined with a
calf injury.
Midfielder Joe Cole came off the bench in last weekend's defeat at Stoke for
only his second league appearance of the year and will be pushing for a
start against the Red Devils.

Man Utd
Last 6
Olympiakos (h)3-0
Liverpool (h)0-3
West Brom (a)0-3
Olympiakos (a)2-0
C Palace (a)0-2
Arsenal (a)0-0

United are definitely without Van Persie after the striker was ruled out for
four to six weeks with a knee injury sustained during the win over
Olympiakos in midweek. Ryan Giggs could also sit the game out after the
40-year-old impressed in playing 90 minutes in midweek. Nemanja Vidic is
suspended after his red card against Liverpool, while Chris Smalling and
Jonny Evans have both been carrying injuries of late.

Opta Facts

Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals and assisted three more in his last
seven Premier League appearances against West Ham.
West Ham have averaged the fewest shots on target per game this season,
averaging just 3.2 per game.
The Hammers haven't won four Premier League home games in a row since May
2002, when they beat Bolton in the last game of that run who were managed at
that time by Sam Allardyce.

Sam Allardyce looking forward to Manchester United test
Last Updated: 21/03/14 10:07am

Sam Allardyce will send his West Ham United side into action against
Manchester United on Saturday hoping to 'burst their bubble'. The Red Devils
have endured a testing campaign, but will head to Upton Park this weekend in
buoyant mood. A 3-0 victory over Olympiakos on Wednesday carried David
Moyes' men through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
"We'll try to burst their bubble. Obviously it's a big challenge, but
normally we do well against United."

They also prevailed 3-0 in their last Premier League away game, at West
Bromwich Albion. Allardyce admits his Hammers could be running into the
reigning champions at a bad time, but is looking forward to taking on the
challenge of trying to put another bump in their road. He told The Sun:
"Will their midweek win work for or against us? "Will they be fatigued or
flying? We will have to see. But I have to be a little bit concerned about
how well they played against West Brom, winning 3-0 in their last away game.
"We'll try to burst their bubble. Obviously it's a big challenge, but
normally we do well against United. "After seeing their display on
Wednesday, I hope Ryan Giggs doesn't play."

West Ham head into the weekend sat 12th in the Premier League standings, six
points clear of the relegation zone. They have started to pull clear of
trouble after sticking with Allardyce through a testing spell towards the
end of 2013, with the patience of co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold
having been rewarded with a Manager of the Month award in February.
Allardyce added on a run of results which saw certain sections of the club's
support calling for his head: "The vast majority stuck with the team, and
with me. The pressure is always on as a manager to get results. "That
pressure reverts to the owners to get rid of their man at times. "But it
hasn't worked out well for some of the owners who changed bosses. We've done
well, but still have work to do."

Much of that work will take place at the end of the season, with Allardyce
hoping to bolster his ranks again when the transfer window re-opens and give
those who are set to be out of contract in the summer every opportunity to
earn fresh terms. He said: "People can change your mind, it just depends on
the player."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce wants Boleyn Ground to become fortress
Last Updated: 21/03/14 2:44pm

Sam Allardyce is hoping West Ham's return to home comforts will help them
back to winning ways against visiting Manchester United on Saturday evening.
United arrive at the Boleyn Ground buoyed after qualifying for the Champions
League quarter-finals in midweek. Allardyce's Hammers dragged themselves out
of the Premier League bottom three with four consecutive victories but have
lost their last two fixtures on the road at Everton and Stoke. A 3-1 reverse
against Allardyce's former club Newcastle in mid-January is the only home
league game the Irons have lost since the turn of the year and, with the Red
Devils 12 points off the top four, the 59-year-old wants to continue a
decent home run. "Our efforts at home are what I have been focusing on with
the players," he said.
"We have won the last three home games on the trot and we have to try to
continue that if we can to overcome the little blip we have suffered
following two away games we have taken nothing from. "The focus is to
maintain the home results and try our best to pull off a big win, but if we
can't, come away with at least a point."

David Moyes has struggled to follow on from the success of Sir Alex Ferguson
at Old Trafford, with United currently seventh in the table and on the back
of a 3-0 defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool last weekend. However, they will
go into the game on the back of their 3-0 win over Olympiakos and Allardyce
is not taking the challenge lightly. "Everyone is talking about Manchester
United this, Manchester United that," he added. "But in their last away game
they disposed of West Brom fairly easily with a 3-0 victory. David Moyes has
so many players to choose from that fatigue won't come into it because he
can change the side with top international players if he wants to."

West Ham's AC Milan reject Antonio Nocerino playing for pride as Manchester
United visit
Mar 21, 2014 22:30 By Neil McLeman
The Mirror

Antonio Nocerino has left one fallen European giant – and now wants to send
Manchester United back into crisis. The West Ham midfielder arrived from AC
Milan in January and the crisis-hit San Siro club are now 11th in Serie A –
a massive FORTY points behind leaders Juventus. And unlike David Moyes' side
– who the Hammers face at Upton Park in Saturday's tea-time match – Milan
are also out of Europe. "The two clubs are sharing a particular moment,
although Milan has changed a lot and United changed only the coach," said
the Italy star. "We hope we can continue this negative time for Manchester
United and put their defence in difficulty. When you play for a big team,
you have to live with the pressure."

Nocerino, who revealed an admiration for United icon Roy Keane, scored 11
goals in his first Milan season playing off Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2011-12.
But the bearded 28-year-old, who made his first West Ham start in last
week's defeat at Stoke, admitted he was shocked by his sudden January exit.
"I was sent away and when someone doesn't want you, it hurts," he said.
"More at a human level than at a footballing level. I was not expecting to
be treated like this. I have a bit of pride. "The new coach, Clarence
Seedorf, did not want to keep me. I have two years left on my contract but
would like to stay in England - and stay here."

Chadwell Chatter
Stewart Downing blogs for on facing Manchester United and the
return of Andy Carroll

Hi everyone,

The whole team are looking forward to playing in front of our own fans at
home on Saturday, as it feels like we've not played at the Boleyn Ground for
months. It will be a difficult game against Manchester United, and they'll
be keen to bounce back after a poor result against Liverpool in the Premier
League last weekend. They'll be looking to get three points as we will.
We're not out of the water yet and we need points as quickly as we can,
starting against Manchester United. If we play to our strengths I think we
can beat them. The manager will approach this game the same as any other.
Like I've said before, when they're not at their best they've still got
players that can hurt you. We'll go through their strengths and weaknesses
as a team, as we would as if it were last season. We'd love to be able to
exploit their weaknesses and make sure they carry on struggling. On home
turf we've generally played quite well at home this season, despite the fact
we've lost a few games. The confidence is still there and getting those four
wins in February was massive for us. This is another big month for us. We
can pull ourselves clear and climb the table a bit in this next month, so
it's massive for us. Since I came to West Ham I've enjoyed playing
regularly, as that was the main thing for me when I arrived. It would be
nice if I could chip in and get a few goals before the end of the season,
but if the team keep playing well and we get positive results then
everyone's outlook will continue to look better. Andy Carroll made his
return to the starting XI against Stoke City and having the big man back and
a target to hit is nice. Unfortunately I've not played with him that much
since I came here, but he was a big part of why I wanted to come here and
play. We've got nine games to go and we'll be looking to get as many points
as we can. If we can get Andy scoring goals and the team playing well, then
we'll be looking to finish as high up as we can. It's a big month for us and
we're looking to pick up some big wins. I think that realistically tenth
place is a good place for us to aim for. We know that a couple of wins can
get us there and above the teams around us, and I believe we have one hell
of a chance to get there.

See you on Saturday. Come On You Irons!


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