Manchester United have work to do in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final but will first turn their attention towards the Premier League.
The Red Devils have been rejuvenated under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are back in the hunt for a top-four finish, which would provide a spot in Europe’s elite competition once again next term.
Defeat last time out against Wolves was damaging but United will be thankful to have seen Everton defeat Arsenal last week, which leaves them just three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and five behind Chelsea – though Solskjaer ’s side have a game in hand.
Three points are on the agenda this weekend as United welcome West Ham to Old Trafford, ahead of their trip to Barcelona on Tuesday, and it stands as a fixture that could provide problems – but a trio of pundits appear to believe otherwise.
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Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen has backed United to win the game and his thoughts are echoed by ex-Arsenal defender Paul Merson and former Liverpool man Mark Lawrenson, all of whom expect a routine win.
You can see what they had to say about United below.
Michael Owen (United win, Betvictor )
West Ham improved in the second half at Stamford Bridge on Monday, but they were well beaten by Chelsea and I expect United to keep all three points as they look to continue their push for a Champions League berth.
The Irons have lost six of their last seven away league games and have lost all four away games played so far this season against “big six” sides by an aggregate of 1-10.
Mark Lawrenson (2-0 United, BBC )
West Ham lost again on Monday although they at least had a bit of a go in the second half at Chelsea.
Manchester United were well beaten in midweek by a Barcelona side who kept them at arm’s length.
United’s performances in their home defeats against Barca, Paris St-Germain and Juventus have shown how far they are off the top clubs in Europe. They should still have too much for the Hammers, though.
Paul Merson (3-0 United, Sky Sports )
I expect Man United to win this one. They’ll do well to turn their Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona around at the Nou Camp, so they’ve got to fight to get into the top four now.
This is a ‘must win’ game for them. They’ve got to get this game won and then focus on that Barcelona second leg. West Ham have flip-flopped and they can’t really go anywhere.
They had good stages in the Chelsea game, but it’s a bad run of games and their season’s finished. It’s just a case of getting through it.
You’ve seen what the pundits have had to say, now it’s time to make your prediction!
This week’s Footie5 fixtures: Brighton v Bournemouth, Burnley v Cardiff City, Fulham v Everton, Southampton v Wolves, Sheffield United v Millwall.
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