Everything that you need to know ahead of Sunday’s match:
(1) Manchester United came so close to a crucial Europa League victory on Thursday night, only for AC Milan to snatch a late equalizer that shifts the advantage their way ahead of next week’s second leg at the San Siro. Simon Kjaer’s stoppage-time header canceled out Amad Diallo’s first score for United — and provided the Italian visitors with a precious away goal.
(2) The injuries continue to pile up for Manchester United. Already without Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek, Marcus Rashford, and Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial joined the injury brigade after taking a knock to his hip in the first half of the AC Milan match. Scans await, but Mason Greenwood might be the only striker healthy enough to suit up this weekend.
(3) David De Gea is back in England — and not a moment too soon. Okay, that’s pretty unfair to Dean Henderson, who’s mostly done a terrific job in the Spaniard’s absence. But, after Henderson’s error in the dying stages of the AC Milan match allowed the Rossoneri to equalize, Manchester United are ready to have their No. 1 back in between the sticks. DDG is quarantining after his return from Spain and his availability for Sunday remains up in the air.
David de Gea is back in England but 'touch and go' for United's visit of West Ham as he is self-isolating. #mufc— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) March 12, 2021
(4) Edinson Cavani has been in the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. The Uruguayan forward’s father kicked it off with comments that Cavani is unhappy in England and plans to leave Manchester United this summer. Cavani took to Instagram to defuse the situation, but then further reports emerged that United have grown frustrated with his fitness and unwillingness to play after receiving clearance from the club’s medical staff. A big mess all around.
(5) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on West Ham:
They have been brilliant. David [Moyes] has done a tremendous job — that we know he is capable of — and I am very happy for him. We know it is a big game for us. It’s maybe too far ahead to City, so we need to consolidate our place in the top two or three.
(6) West Ham continued their surprise charge for a Champions League spot with a 2-0 win over Leeds on Monday. Two loanees — Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson — scored the goals and the win leaves the Hammers in prime position to crash the European party. West Ham remain six points behind Manchester United, albeit with a game in hand and plenty of momentum.
(7) Crucially, though, West Ham will be without Lingard on Sunday as he cannot play against his parent club. Lingard has been phenomenal since moving to the London Stadium on loan in January, scoring four goals in six matches and mounting a strong case to win the Premier League Player of the Month award for February.
Jesse Lingard for Man Utd in 2019-20:— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 8, 2021
⚽️ 4 goals
Jesse Lingard for West Ham in 2020-21:
⚽️ 4 goals
New team, new me. pic.twitter.com/ijxK7KtR9Q
(8) David Moyes on Manchester United:
We go [to Old Trafford] with a lot of credit in the bank for how we played there a few weeks ago. We took them to extra time and ran them close, but Manchester United have got really good qualities. We thought we probably played even better in the game at home, but we lost 3-1 in the end.
If we could go to Old Trafford and pick up three points, it would be an incredible achievement for us. We’re on a really good run since the start of the year, we’re in good form, the players have taken on all the games, and we’re winning and keeping that record going. If we could do that at Old Trafford, it would be a great achievement.
(9) With Angelo Ogbonna injured, Craig Dawson and Issa Diop are keeping West Ham secure at the back:
I thought Issa Diop was superb tonight, but Craig Dawson is in the form of his life atm.— West Ham News & Views (@WestHamViews_) March 8, 2021
His commanding of our box is underrated, you can clearly see how everyone listens to every word he says. The main reason we kept a clean sheet tonight, sign him up!
⚒️ #WHUFC #COYI pic.twitter.com/cTs3GL1oSz
(10) Dawson also provides a threat from set pieces, which was already an area that West Ham excels in. Manchester United learned that the hard way in the first Premier League match back in December, when Tomas Soucek opened the scoring with a first-half goal steered in from a corner. Unfortunately, that’s an area where the Reds are still vulnerable — as seen in Thursday's late equalizer against AC Milan. United cannot afford to switch off for one second when defending set pieces this weekend.
(11) As the summer transfer window draws nearer, speculation over the future of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice continues to swirl. Moyes, though, has placed a price of “far, far more than £100 million” on the 22-year-old. The West Ham boss also stated his belief that the club does not need to qualify for the Champions League in order to hang onto Rice.