Manchester United (7th, 35 points) could overtake West Ham (4th, 37 points) for the coveted fourth-place position in the Engish Premier League table if it can beat the Hammers in a head-to-head matchup at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have not been convincing of late, getting past Brentford 3-1 on Wednesday despite a poor first-half display in which goalkeeper David De Gea was once again forced to come up with big stops. It’s a credit to the quality of the squad that Man United has still somehow managed to put together a 4W-1L-2D Premier League record under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Fourth place was the minimum league goal set by Cristiano Ronaldo for his club in a recent interview — it’s a spot that would guarantee a berth into next season’s lucrative Champions League. Moving into that position on Saturday will take doing something they’ve never done under Rangnick: win consecutive league matches.
But West Ham also has aspirations for fourth-place and Champions League football next season and the Hammers won’t be an easy out despite a history of struggles at Old Trafford (winless since 2007) and a loss against Man United earlier this season. David Moyes’s side should be well-rested after last playing on Sunday, plus his team has a couple of its influential figures back for this one (lineups below).
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing live score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Man United vs. West Ham live score
(All times Eastern)
36th min.: Man United penalty shout! Cristiano Ronaldo goes down in the box on contact from Kurt Zouma, but he was looking for that one. The referee does not point to the spot and Ronaldo doesn’t like it.
31st min.: So there’s not much is happening around either box, a sign of just how even this match is, and how sloppy the teams are with their passing. Not much separating West Ham and Man United thus far.
20th min.: Bruno Fernandes nearly connects with Cristiano Ronaldo in the box! An out-swinging ball just misses the head of a diving Ronaldo who beat the offside trap. It feels like a goal is coming for Man United.
17th min.: Man United has pinned West Ham deep in its own end during these first 15 minutes with much of the action coming on the left side down Anthony Elanga’s flank. The latter’s addition to the lineup over recent matches by Ralf Rangnick has made for a positive impact.
7th min.: Not to be outdone by Zouma, Man United captain Harry Maguire comes up with a block on Jarrod Bowen in the Man United box. It’s been an even start to this game and it should be an even game.
4th min.: Kurt Zouma already with a big block in his return to the West Ham starting lineup, stuffing Man United’s Mason Greenwood on a shot at the top of the box.
1st min.: We’re underway at Old Trafford. West Ham wearing the away kit as visitors.
9:35 a.m.: Here’s the David Moyes explanation on goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski missing the match:
Moyes on Fabianski: “Like every other club, we’ve got some injuries & we’ve got some COVID [cases], so we’ll have to play with what we have. It’s unfortunate that Łukasz misses out – he’s been playing so well for us this year” https://t.co/UYcM1O1BqX
— Tom Clark (@_thomasjclark) January 22, 2022
9:14 a.m.: There were some doubts about a neck injury keeping Ronaldo out of the squad. He’s starting:
8:40 a.m.: Declan Rice, rumored to be a candidate for a transfer move to Man United in the future, should be a major factor in this match.
Manchester United vs. West Ham lineups
Despite carrying some knocks, veterans Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are in the squad, with Ronaldo starting. Jadon Sancho is a bereavement absence after a death in his family caused him to sit out the midweek match against Brentford.
The players absent for this one are the injured Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw (hamstring), and defender Eric Bailly who’s at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is out due to illness, while defender Victor Lindelof misses the match to be with his family after their home was broken into this past week.
Manchester United starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-David De Gea (GK) — 27-Alex Telles, 5-Harry Maguire, 19-Raphael Varane, 20-Diogo Dalot — 17-Fred, 39-Scott McTominay — 36-Anthony Elanga, 18-Bruno Fernandes, 11-Mason Greenwood — 7-Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United subs (9): 26-Dean Henderson (GK), 4-Phil Jones, 8-Juan Mata, 31-Nemanja Matic, 34-Donny van de Beek, 14-Jesse Lingard, 25-Jadon Sancho, 10-Marcus Rashford, 21-Edinson Cavani
The questions for manager David Moyes revolved around the fitness of Tomas Soucek (recent bout with COVID-19) and center back Kurt Zouma (lengthy absence for a hamstring injury), but both are back in the starting lineup. Although Said Benrahma was available after Algeria’s group-stage elimination at the Africa Cup of Nations, he’s not in the squad.
Starting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is not in the squad, but it’s not clear whether it’s injury-related or a COVID-19 case with Moyes not specifying.
West Ham starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): 13-Alphonse Areola (GK) — 3-Aaron Cresswell, 4-Kurt Zouma, 15-Craig Dawson, 5-Vladimir Coufal — 41-Declan Rice, 28-Tomas Soucek — 8-Pablo Fornals, 10-Manuel Lanzini, 20-Jarrod Bowen — 9-Michail Antonio
West Ham subs (9): 35-Darren Randolph (GK), 24-Ryan Fredericks, 23-Issa Diop, 31-Ben Johnson, 26-Arthur Masuaku, 33-Alex Kral, 16-Mark Noble, 7-Andriy Yarmolenko, 11-Nikola Vlasic
How to watch Manchester United vs. West Ham
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 22
- Time: 10 a.m. ET
- TV Channel: — None —
- Spanish-language TV: — None —
- Streaming: Peacock (subscription required)
The Manchester United vs. West Ham match is exclusively available on NBC streaming platform Peacock.
Manchester United vs. West Ham betting lines, odds
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
- Moneyline: Man United +100 / Draw +275 / West Ham +260
- Spread: Man United -0.5 (+105) / West Ham +0.5 (-120)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -155 / Under +125
- Both teams to score: Yes -185 / No +140