Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has done a good job this season of trying to field a pretty strong team for every match, including those where he engages in squad rotation.
Even his cup competition first XIs have been pretty formidable, so when he leads his side onto the pitch at the Theatre of Dreams tomorrow night, against West Ham in the FA Cup, it won’t be too watered down.
Manchester United vs West Ham United FYIs
Kickoff: Wed March 1, 7:45 pm, Old Trafford
Competition: FA Cup 5th Round/Round of 16
Starting XI Predictions: United West Ham
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Fun Fact: In the FA Cup’s current format (since 1925-26), no club has advanced from the fifth round more often than Man United (41)
Stat Pack: West Ham have only earned one victory (D4L15) in their last 20 trips to Old Trafford across all competitions.
I do expect the No. 2 or No. 3 goalkeeper to be in between the sticks, plus perhaps up to three changes in the back line from the squad that vanquished Newcastle in the League Cup final.
Meanwhile, at the same time, expect Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford to remain the players that just cannot be dropped here. Here’s how the rest of it shapes out.
Man United Starting XI Prediction vs West Ham United
Butland; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Malacia; Casemiro, Fred; Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford; Weghorst
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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