Manchester United go into tonight’s FA Cup quarter-final replay game against West Ham looking to put their 3-0 Premier League defeat at Tottenham behind them, but they’re facing a determined West Ham side in fine form.
While United has squandered their season, bowing out of the Champions League early at the group stage and shying away from challenging for the Premier League, West Ham have enjoyed an incredible season under Slaven Bilić. The Hammers are challenging for the top four, and their FA Cup run is surely worthy of the final.
Their weekend 3-3 result against Arsenal game came after they were 2-0 down, but the determination and fight from the side was evident.
Summer signing Dimitiri Payet has been the main man all season, with the Frenchman’s free-kicks becoming the stuff of legend at the Boleyn Ground. It was Payet who scored a tremendous free-kick in the first tie at Old Trafford last month, and he’s 5/2 to score any time tonight.
Just in case you’re going for another 1-1 tonight (which would see the game go to extra time and maybe even penalties) the odds for that are 6/1, and on paper both sides look well matched.
But the Hammers have more reason to be optimistic, as a resurgent Andy Carroll repaid his manager’s faith in him by scoring a superb hat-trick against Arsenal at the weekend. The England forward will be eager to make up for lost time, and against a flaky United he may fancy his chances of grabbing a goal or two. He’s 15/1 to score two or more goals this evening.
It’s worth noting that tonight is the last ever FA Cup tie at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground. Will the pressure of the occasion weigh on the players’ minds, or will the passion from the crowd spur on more Hammer heroics? United to win tonight, with both teams to score, is 9/2.