Manchester United welcome former Red Devil Chicarito and the Hammers to Old Trafford on EPL matchday 1
United kick off their league campaign with a home game against West Ham following the UEFA Super Cup loss. The Red Devils have not had the best starts to EPL campaigns recently and would be looking to build up early momentum against a Hammer’s side that United have struggled against in recent time. Despite the traditional slow start, United’s record in opening days fixtures is impressive, as has been the club’s pre-season form which should count against Slaven Bilic’s side. Former United favorite Chicarito makes his competitive debut for the Hammers, while Jose is likely to hand debuts to his new recruits.
United have no new injuries to worry about asides long term absentees Rojo, Young and Shaw, while Jones and Bailly return following European bans. Asides the injuries, Jose has a full squad to select from. New signings Lukaku and Matic are likely to make their competitive debuts from the start, while Lindelof’s participation is less assured.
United have available for selection: David de Gea, Joel Pereira, Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Blind, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe, Victor Lindelof, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku.
Jose isn’t expected to deviate far from his Super Cup team. But with Bailly and Jones coming back into contention, Lindelof is likely to be taking out of the firing line. Smalling retains his place but could be replaced by Jones – who has look a better player than ‘Mike’ over pre-season. Jose’s new midfield trident should continue developing their understanding, while Martial should come into attack in place of Lingard who started midweek. However, Rashford’s performance against Los Blancos will likely see him start ahead of Martial and Lingard, but the young French forward needs games to boost his confidence.
Kick off: 4pm BST, 13th August 2017
Stadium: Old Trafford, Manchester
All stats point to a United win; 17 home wins from 21 games against Sunday’s opponents, 9 wins from 14 opening-day EPL fixtures at OT and Lukaku’s scoring record against the hammers. Regardless, Chicarito cannot be discounted from impacting the outcome but United should win this comfortably 2-0 or 3-0, with Lukaku getting on the score-sheet.