Immovable Object²

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 18th September 2019

Two of the Premier League's most in-form defences go head-to head this weekend when Manchester United visit Stratford.

Barring the five goals shipped at home to neighbours Manchester City on the opening day of the season, West Ham have conceded just twice in their four league games since - and none in their two most recent outings against Norwich City and Aston Villa.

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Meanwhile Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have conceded just four Premier League goals so far - one at Wolves, two at home to Crystal Palace and another at Southampton, whilst keeping clean sheets against Chelsea and Leicester.

That the Reds are yet to keep a clean sheet away from home this season will no doubt come as a boost to Manuel Pellegrini and his squad, who are seeking to extend their unbeaten home run against Solskjaer's team to three matches following a goalless draw in May 2018 and a 3-1 win in Stratford a year ago this month.

Yet the Hammers will no doubt find it tough going against a team that invested considerable funds on increasing their defensive capabilities during the summer, having signed full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace for ?50million and Harry Maguire from Leicester in an ?80million deal.

Also in West Ham's favour is that the Reds face Kazakhstan Premier League side Astana in the Europa League on Thursday evening, allowing them a much shorter period of recovery than United who will have enjoyed a six-day break since their game at Aston Villa on Monday night.

One factor in the Old Trafford side's favour is the form of goalkeeper David De Gea, who insisted that 'the Solskjaer effect' was now beginning to be felt around the club.

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The former Norwegian international's future was the subject of much discussion during the summer after a less-than-impressive start to life as manager - but having had a summer to begin to mould a team in his vision, results have picked up considerably.

"The fans are behind him," said Spanish international De Gea, in conversation with Sky Sports. "He's a manager who knows the club really well and the people who work here - and I reckon that is essential.

"We have improved a lot defensively. We are conceding fewer goals than last season. Last year we were letting in too many goals, but we are defending better and from there the team is improving.

"Of course, when you defend well, the team is bound to improve. We have some great players up front and we just have to keep on improving."

West Ham will no doubt they can be putting a temporary stop to that improvement when the two sides come face to face at the LOS on Sunday afternoon - a game that is being broadcast live by Sky Sports.

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West Ham Utd v Manchester Utd: last ten home meetings

Sep 2018: West Ham Utd 3-1 Manchester Utd [report]

May 2018: West Ham Utd 0-0 Manchester Utd [report]

Jan 2017: West Ham Utd 0-2 Manchester Utd [report]

May 2016: West Ham Utd 3-2 Manchester Utd [report]
Apr 2016: West Ham Utd 1-2 Manchester Utd [report]

Feb 2015: West Ham Utd 1-1 Manchester Utd [report]

Mar 2014: West Ham Utd 0-2 Manchester Utd [report]

Apr 2013: West Ham Utd 2-2 Manchester Utd [report]
Jan 2013: West Ham Utd 2-2 Manchester Utd [report]

Apr 2011: West Ham Utd 2-4 Manchester Utd [report]

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