Old Trafford ready for another FA Cup tie between these clubs
By Rob Bagchi
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of the FA Cup fifth round tie between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford. Readers of a certain vintage may remember some classic Cup ties between the two: Norman Whiteside’s ‘perfect’ hat-trick in 1985, the year he won the the Cup by beating Neville Southall with his beautiful bender, 1986’s fifth round replay when Ray Tonka Stewart and Geoff Pike scored in a 2-0 victory as the wheels feel off a season that had begun at a sprint for Ron Atkinson’s Man Utd, Paolo Di Canio’s cheek and brilliance in 2001’s 1-0 win and Marcus Rashford’s performance during his stunning rise to prominence in 2016’s away victory en route to winning the Cup at Wembley as the club were preparing to do the dirty on Louis van Gaal.
They also met two years ago in a dreary match that Scott McTominay won in extra-time but the fillip of parading the League Cup they won on Sunday should stir both sides up to put on a show. West Ham played well on Saturday with a back four and a more attacking set-up in midfield, hammering Nottingham Forest. It would be good for David Moyes, and his standing with West Ham fans, to persevere with that approach tonight if only to hone it for Saturday’s trip to Brighton when the last thing they would want to watch is a reversion to caution and pragmatism.
Erik ten Hag has been rotating his defenders and right wingers over the past few weeks and may give starts to Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Tyrell Malacia, Alejandro Garnacho and/or Jadon Sancho. Luke Shaw, Fred and Anthony Martial were rated as very doubtful at yesterday’s press conference.
West Ham’s Lukasz Fabianski fractured his eye socket and cheekbone in Saturday’s collision with Forest’s Felipe and will be out for a while. Vladimir Coufal may be back at the weekend but was ruled out of this match while Maxwel Cornet is closing in on a return from last October’s calf injury but isn’t ready.