We always knew that the end of the season was going to come quickly after the restart of the English Premier League. One thing that we were not entirely sure of was how the battle for European places would play out in the final couple of weeks. The problem there was that everyone was waiting to hear of Manchester City would win their appeal against a 2-year European ban, but with that decision overruled and City set to play in the UCL next season, everyone in the hunt for a European spot now knows exactly what need to be done over the final 2 rounds of games. It is much the same story at the bottom of the league, as we are still waiting to see which 2 teams will join Norwich in making the drop down to the Championship. Manchester United and West Ham are at opposite ends of the table and in very different fights, so this game is crucial to both teams, as they could both use maximum points from this one. The bookies have United in as a 1 ½ goal favorite at home, with the O/U set at 3.
When: Wednesday July 22 at 1 PM EST
Where: Old Trafford, Manchester
EPL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Manchester United
When the EPL started back, the chances of United making a move that would get them into the Champions League seemed somewhat slim, but they have proven everyone wrong. They went n a run that saw them go unbeaten in 19 games, although that all came to an end over the weekend when they lost 3-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final. It was the poorest performance that we have seen from this United time in quite some time, and the reality was that they looked like a very tired team. They will need to bounce back here, as they are still in control of their own destiny when it comes to finishing in the top 4. A win here and they would only need a draw in their final game to get UCL football next season. United are 10-6-2 at home this season, scoring 39 and giving up 16.
Why bet on West Ham
While still not mathematically safe, the chances of Aston Villa winning their final 2 games and West Ham losing both of theirs do not seem very likely at all. You also need to consider that The Hammers have a vastly superior goal difference, so they will be playing in the Premier League again next season, although whether or not David Moyes remains at the helm is something that remains to be seen. West ham did manage to get a 2-0 win over United in their previous meeting this season, but they have not had a lot of success in their last 5 visits to Old Trafford, losing 3 and drawing 2. Overall, West Ham are sitting at 4-4-10 on the road, scoring 18 and surrendering 28.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing weekend and punch their ticket for the UCL next season. I expect a much stronger performance here and a comfortable win.
Manchester United 3 West Ham 1