Back three trial?
Moyes has settled on a back three for most of this season but West Ham are not a team with the standing that demands United match their formation. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the right balance at Southampton – fifth going into last weekend – by switching to the diamond and United should have won more comfortably.
Given United, deprived of Fred but with Axel Tuanzebe available, need a point in Leipzig on Tuesday, reverting to a back three is feasible and West Ham is a potential warm-up act.
Away day record to continue?
Strange but true: United’s last Premier League away defeat was at Liverpool, all the way back on January 16, when the UK had not recorded a single coronavirus case.
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Manchester United were hit by a double Neymar sucker-punch as they lost 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in their crucial Champions League match on Wednesday.
It means United travel to Germany needing a point from their final group match against RB Leipzig to qualify for the last 16.
Before then, the Reds have a tricky Premier League trip to West Ham to negotiate at the weekend.
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United’s run on the domestic road since then is remarkable: WDDWWWWWWWW. Their best league performances this season have come away from Old Trafford (Everton and Southampton) and their confidence should not be dented by the defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
However, United have won only once at the London Stadium (in January 2017) and that is their only win at West Ham in the last six in the league.
Martial to be dropped?
Edinson Cavani has started twice this season and Anthony Martial has had five times as many starts but the Uruguayan has more goals. Martial has not lived up to his squad number this season, turns 25 today and was more consistent five years ago.
The Frenchman wasted excellent chances against Everton and West Brom that did not cost United but on Wednesday night his profligacy did. Mason Greenwood’s availability means United could easily drop Martial and still field a balanced and intimidating attack that has not been seen before at the London Stadium.
Luke Shaw is the only player unavailable to Solskjaer as Phil Jones was excluded from United’s Premier League squad but the timing of the Leipzig game on Tuesday makes changes inevitable.
It would be logical to start Fred, seeing as he will not be flying to Germany, and Solskjaer has the benefit of being able to rotate his midfield without diluting its quality. Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic were all on the bench in midweek and two could be in line for a return to the XI.
Back in the top four?
It is surreal but United are only five points off first with a game in hand and could end the night back in the top four. Victory would take them above West Ham and fourth-placed Leicester do not play at Sheffield United until Sunday.