West Ham came off to a blistering start to their 2014-15 Premier League season, which saw them rise into the top five and stay there for a prolonged period of time.
The second half of the season commenced at the start of January, and unsurprisingly, the Hammers’ standing has declined since they were riding high in fourth place.
But capturing three points in front of a home crowd at Upton Park, against a steady Manchester United side on Sunday, will edge them closer to the top five, which would be their ideal finish by season’s end in the spring.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce understands that the Red Devils present a formidable opponent, and hinted that his squad is playing this contest with nothing to lose.
“Whether they play good, bad or indifferent, one or two chances they will definitely put in the back of the net with the quality of the player they got…We have to go out there and be tactically astute, [and] see if we can cause them a few problems.
“In many ways, it’s a bonus game for us…I’m more concerned with the teams we play who are below us. Against Manchester United, it’s go out, play and give it your best shot. Can we do another one at home against the big boys? [It] would be very uplifting for us.”