Manchester United’s season hangs in the balance, with Slaven Bilić’s high-flying West Ham visiting Old Trafford in a crucial FA Cup quarterfinal tie later today.
Watch the Manchester United vs. West Ham FA Cup live online through links provided right here.
Just when it seemed like Louis van Gaal had helped his team recuperate for a last sprint in the season, Manchester United have somehow conspired to fall short once again. After recording important victories against Midtjylland, Arsenal, and Watford, United have allowed their form to dip dangerously over the last two matches, losing ground not in the Premier League, but also leaving themselves with a hill to climb in the Europa League second leg tie against Liverpool.
The FA Cup now provides the only realistic opportunity for United to land a trophy this season with Louis van Gaal insisting that winning a trophy is more important for the club than finishing in the top four in the league, which would qualify them for the Champions League next season.
Conceding that the FA Cup tie against West Ham could make or break Manchester United’s season, the manager said Bilić’s men will have the advantage of not having played during midweek.
“We have to recover very quick and recover very good. West Ham did not play in midweek. When you see our schedule and then look at theirs you can see who will be the most rested.”
For the FA Cup game, United will be without Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney, who Louis van Gaal said “still has weeks to go” before he could return. Marouane Fellaini and Bastian Schweinsteiger both appeared in the match against Liverpool, while Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are all nearing a comeback.
You can watch Manchester United vs. West Ham live through a number of links, some of which are provided at the end of this article.
While Manchester United are struggling to appease their fans this season with their below-par performances, Croatian Slaven Bilić has rejuvenated West Ham into becoming a team challenging for the higher echelons of the Premier League table this season.
In fact, such has been West Ham’s phenomenal rise under the new manager that Louis van Gaal told reporters before the match that he believes the London team are close to attaining United’s level in terms of performances.
Dimitri Payet, one of the acquisitions in the summer for West Ham, has been in sensational form during the season and has helped his team climb above United in the Premier League with nine games to go. Unbeaten in six games and in excellent form on the road this season, West Ham are certainly not overwhelmed at the prospect of playing Manchester United in their own backyard.
Speaking at the pre-match conference, Bilić said he expects United to be a “wounded animal” after their midweek defeat against Liverpool, but reiterated that his team will be unfazed by the occasion, according to the Bleacher Report.
“We want the game to start, and we are doing everything to reach Wembley. We are confident of getting a result on Sunday as we are playing well and have more options now as players are back from injury.
“We are going to one of the biggest stadiums and it will be very difficult. But we are very confident going into the game.”
Enner Valencia, Victor Moses, and Joey O’Brien are all expected to be back for West Ham following injury lay-offs. Winston Reid could also return, but fellow defenders James Tomkins and James Collins remain sidelined and Sam Byram is cup-tied.
Soccer fans hoping to watch Manchester United vs. West Ham in the United States can watch the game on Fox Sports 1 at 11 a.m. ET, while fans in the U.K. can catch the game live on BT Sport 2 at 4 p.m. GMT. United States residents hoping to watch Manchester United vs. West Ham live online can watch it through Fox Soccer 2Go.
[Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]