Recently crowned Carabao Cup champions Manchester United resume their quest for more domestic silverware this evening when they host West Ham at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils dumped the Irons out of the competition at the same stage of the competition two seasons ago, but after their euphoric celebrations on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if United have enough left in the tank to oust the Irons and former boss David Moyes again.
As per the usual routine, I’ve compiled a stats pack for this evening’s FA Cup tussle below which is stuffed with enough info to fill your bet builder coupon ten times over with savvy selections. Use the data below in conjunction with my Stats Pack Guide for better results.
With fixture pile-up a pressing concern, Erik ten Hag could choose to shuffle his pack for this evening’s clash. Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia, Marcel Sabitzer, Scott McTominay and Jadon Sancho will all be itching to start having been kept in reserve on Sunday.
With Anthony Martial still sidelined, Wout Weghorst could earn a starting spot for the 11th game in a row in all competitions. Veteran stopper Tom Heaton could replace David de Gea in goal, while Aaron Wan-Bisska is in line to start at right back ahead of Diogo Dalot.
With all that up in the air, it may be worth waiting on lineups before backing any Red Devils.
West Ham lost Vladimir Coufal and Lukasz Fabianski to injury in their convincing win against Nottingham Forest at the weekend and both players could miss out this evening. Kurt Zouma and Maxwel Cornet are back in training, though neither is expected to be risked just yet.
With Danny Ings cup-tied, Michail Antonio could be chosen to lead the line at Old Trafford, though Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca will hope to get the nod. Alphonse Aréola should replace Fabianski in goal, just like he did against Forest on Saturday.
Man Utd’s only defeat in their last 19 fixtures in all competitions came in a 3-2 reverse to Premier League leaders Arsenal, and alongside a major upswing in results, the Red Devils’ underlying stats have also been rising in multiple directions.
Only three clubs have scored more goals in the top tier than Erik ten Hag’s charges, and while United’s defensive record is only the division’s fifth-best, ten of the 28 goals they’ve conceded were shipped in two games near the start of the campaign.
Remarkably United (54) have picked up a whopping 25 cards more than West Ham (29) this season and the hosts are priced at 6/4 to collect more than the Irons again today, while odds of 5/6 for the Manchester giants to amass over 1.5 cards also have an appealing look.
West Ham rattled the net four times for the first time this season when they ran roughshod over Nottingham Forest at the weekend, though their 0.96 goals per 90 tally is still one of the Premier League’s lowest.
The Irons’ much loftier xG for figure (1.56 p/90) suggests poor finishing rather than chance creation in the final third has been their problem, while defensively, West Ham have been posting some decent numbers for a team positioned near the relegation zone. Indeed, the Hammers’ xG and shots on target against figures are even lower than Man Utd’s.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Marcus Rashford shoulders a major chunk of goal-scoring responsibility for United and the 25-year-old has clocked at least two shots on target in seven of his last 14 appearances in all competitions. Rashford had five attempts plus two on target when United beat West Ham in October, and at 4/5 to repeat the trick today, he represents excellent value.
Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro are keenly priced at 4/9 and 6/4 to register at least one accurate attempt later on. Fernandes has hit the target with a strike in four of his last five starts, while Casemiro has done the same in four of his last six.
When West Ham lost narrowly at Old Trafford in October, five of their players notched shots on target, while Algerian winger Said Benrahma logged the most attempts overall (three).
Benrahma hasn’t been shy about letting loose for most of the campaign from his position on the flank, and he could be a decent coupon padder at 2/9 to unleash at least two shots at Old Trafford.
Michail Antonio had a shot on target when he last played at the Theatre of Dreams on Oct 30th and the 32-year-old matched that tally in two of his last three appearances in the league. The powerful Irons attacker is priced at 8/13 to test United’s keeper with just one punt today.
Player Goals and Assists
Marcus Rashford had his Carabao Cup final goal taken away and then re-awarded to him on Sunday, taking his haul for the campaign up to 25 in all competitions. Rashford – who scored the winner against West Ham in October – has failed to score in only four of his last 19 appearances, and he can be added to your docket as an anytime goalscorer option at even money today.
Elsewhere, Bruno Fernandes has more assists than goals for United across all competitions this season and the 28-year-old is 8/5 to set up another today. Spare some thought for Fred too, if the Brazilian starts today. The midfielder has claimed five goal contributions in his last five cup appearances for the Red Devils, and Fred is a chunky 10/3 to either score or assist again this evening.
Two-goal hero Danny Ings is cup tied this evening which is a bit of a blow for West Ham, though Jarrod Bowen did set up one of those strikes for Ings and the winger has five goal contributions in his last six runouts overall for the Irons.
Bowen carries a price of 2/1 to either score or assist again at Old Trafford, while Michail Antonio, who has scored twice against Man Utd in previous encounters, can be backed at 3/1 to follow up his goal against Forest on Saturday with another later on.
United have had less possession than their opponents in three of their last four fixtures (vs Barcelona twice and Newcastle), however in general, they tend to see more of the ball and they won the possession battle in six games out of six before that.
Erik ten Hag could rotate a number of his first-choice stars and best passers out of his XI today. Victor Lindelof has a decent shot at starting this evening at centre-half however, and the Swedish international, who has been playing 64.0 passes per 90, could be one to track in the markets. Similarly, Harry Maguire (69.9 p/90) is worth your attention if he gets the nod later on.
When West Ham last visited Old Trafford in October, Declan Rice left his teammates in the dust in the passing department and the holding midfielder played 65 of them overall in Manchester, a tally bested by Christian Eriksen (74) only.
Rice will be tasked with setting the tempo for the Irons again this evening on their return to the Theatre of Dreams, and the 24-year-old – who has played north of 60 passes in four of his last six starts – could beat that target again.
Manchester United Cards
Casemiro’s disciplinary record has taken as big a battering as his opponents in recent weeks and the Brazilian has been carded seven times in his last ten appearances for United. The influential midfielder is 6/4 to have his name taken by card-happy referee Michael Salisbury today.
Tyrell Malacia is expected to be given a run out at left-back today and the 23-year-old has committed at least two fouls in four of his last five starts. The Dutchman is 4/6 to give away at least two free kicks this evening, while Austrian loanee Marcel Sabitzer could add some muscle to your bet builder at 1/4 to commit just one foul. The 28-year-old has yet to finish a league game for United without racking up at least one indiscretion.
Thomas Soucek (0.59 fouls p/90) and Lucas Paqueta have been picking up their share of knocks in the middle of the pitch this season and the West Ham duo could be in for another bruising evening when they compete against aggressive United pair, Casemiro and Sabitzer.
Jarrod Bowen meanwhile, has been fouled an ankle-bruising 1.92 times per 90 for the Irons in the Premier League this term and the wide attacker could face more punishment when he is marked by impetuous tackler, Tyrell Malacia.
Match-Ups to watch
Casemiro vs Thomas Soucek
Tyrell Malacia vs Jarrod Bowen
Marcel Sabitzer vs Lucas Paqueta
West Ham Cards
German defender Thilo Kehrer was cautioned when West Ham last played at Old Trafford four months ago and the 26-year-old could feel the squeeze again when he faces the same frontline today. Kehrer is 7/4 to see yellow again later on.
Declan Rice is a generous 1/2 to commit 1+ fouls in Manchester, something the England international has done in six of his last nine starts in the Premier League. Lucas Paqueta meanwhile, is 8/13 to commit at least two. The 25-year-old has been averaging a little over two fouls per 90 this term and he will relish the opportunity to exchange blows with compatriot, Casemiro.
Marcus Rashford has been setting world-class standards in 2023, so expect the 25-year-old to be hit harder by markers with designs on limiting his influence. Thilo Keher falls into that category today.
Bruno Fernandes, who has been fouled 1.22 times per 90 in the Premier League, should find that he is shadowed closely by Declan Rice, while Casemiro’s head-to-head with fellow bristly Brazilian Paqueta has the potential to produce a high number of fouls.
Match-Ups to watch
Thilo Kehrer vs Marcus Rashford
Declan Rice vs Bruno Fernandes
Lucas Paqueta vs Casemiro
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
With all those stats packed, I’ve taken a look at the markets and there’s a few selections that stood out to me as value. You can load them into your betslip in one click below on Betfair, but if you’re new to them I’d use the offer above first for some free bets.
Manchester United vs West Ham United
Only Fulham (61) and Palace (55) have received more cards this season than United (53).
That’s an average of 2.29 cards per game.
West Ham themselves draw an average of 1.63 cards per game.
They’ve got the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio who draw an average of 1.92 and 2.08 fouls p/90.
The referee Michael Salisbury averages 4.36 cards per game.
With serial offenders Casemiro and Fred likely to start, but also Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay either starting or coming off the bench, I’d expect at least two cards in the Red Devils direction.
Thilo Kehrer was cautioned when West Ham last played at Old Trafford four months ago.
He also averages 1.31 fouls p/90 and is the most booked player for the Hammers (4).
Up against the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho and Wout Weghorst who are fouled a combined 3.30 time p/90.
Marcus Rashford has also been in ridiculous form and will look to get in between Kehrer and Johnson in the back four.
The German centre-back has made at least 1 foul in 8 of his last 10 appearances for club and country, including 3 against Leeds and Chelsea.
Casemiro may not make the stats pack for shots, but he’s always ready to pop one off.
The Brazilian averages 1.24 shots p/90.
He has made at least one attempt in 5 of his last 6 outings and in all his last 3.
Over those games he’s averaged exactly 2 shots per game.
No player for the visitors hammers away more shots p/90 than Said Benrahma.
He averages 2.85 shots p/90.
Benrahma notched attempts against United at Old Trafford in October.
The reason I haven’t gone for a shot on target is because most of the Algerian’s shots are misfires, but that’s all we need here. He may average nearly 3 shots a game but only 29.8% of them make the mark.