Mark Noble

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

PL Preview: Manchester United v. West Ham

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  • Irons won 3-1 at Old Trafford
  • United defense is suspension-, injury-hit
  • Man Utd leads all-time 65W-31D-44L

West Ham United seeks its first league sweep of Manchester United since 2006-07 when the Irons visit Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

How bad is Manchester United’s injury and suspension status out wide? Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “We don’t have full-backs this week.”

So that’s music to the ears of Felipe Anderson and the West Ham attackers, as Manuel Pellegrini‘s side hopes to make an unlikely climb into the Europa League.

Meanwhile, United has to balance its desire to finish Top Four — they enter the weekend three points back of fourth-place Spurs — with preparation and freshness for its UEFA Champions League second leg at Barcelona next week.

What th ey’re saying

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “We don’t have fullbacks this week. Not too many as we’ve lost Luke and Ashley through suspension. Antonio Valencia is still not fit. Maybe Matteo Darmian will be available for the bench and Marcos Rojo has been training for a while. He’s available and we’ve got Jonah (Phil Jones), who could also play there. Rojo needed to get out on the big pitch (in the Under-23s, against West Brom last Friday) so he could have that game but we’ve had a couple of practice matches so let’s see what we decide.“

West Ham captain Mark Noble: “We’re looking forward to going to Manchester United on Saturday. We were encouraged by our second-half performance at Stamford Bridge, it’s our last away game outside London and if we can reproduce the sort of performance we produced at home back in September, when we beat them 3-1, then no one will be more delighted than me. Our main worry is that, away from home, we’ve scored just one goal since this year.”

Prediction

Goals on both sides of a 2-2 draw which leaves both sides a bit perturbed with their performances.

West Ham rides early goals to beat Newcastle

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  • Rice scores early header
  • Noble converts penalty
  • West Ham move 9th, four back of 7th

Declan Rice and Mark Noble scored first half goals to lead West Ham United to a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle United on Saturday at the London Stadium.

West Ham United has closed ground on Wolves in the race for 7th with the win.

Newcastle United remains six points clear of 18th place with nine matches to play.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham struck early through Rice, who lost Federico Fernandez while jockeying for position pre-corner and put a simple header past Martin Dubravka.

Ayoze Perez was offside for a 28th minute equalizer bid. Sean Longstaff then played a beautiful diagonal ball into the West Ham box to no avail.

West Ham earned a penalty, when Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was taken down in the box by Florian Lejeune. Noble went to the spot and finished well for 2-0.

Fabian Schar nearly turned a second chance off a corner kick into a goal in the fifth minute of first half stoppage, but it was blocked out for a corner and the Irons saw their lead into halftime.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Perez’s shot across goal could’ve easily been 2-1, but it was too wayward to be a goal and too hard to meet a receiver.

Arthur Masuaku cued up Hernandez with a diagonal beauty, but the Mexican’s first touch wasn’t enough.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

AT HALF: Exquisite Wijnaldum goal paces relieved Liverpool

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Sadio Mane‘s goal helped Anfield explode in collective relief, but Georginio Wijnaldum‘s artistic follow-up was the one for the highlight reels.

Watford 0-0 Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

An energetic if sloppy tangle between top half hopefuls is scoreless.

Liverpool 2-0 Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]

Sadio Mane’s header opener allowed Anfield to breathe, and Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal gave it the chance to celebrate true beauty (above).

Southampton 0-0 Cardiff City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Saints with the loan shot on target of the half.

Crystal Palace 0-1 West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Mark Noble has converted a penalty in this week’s London Derby.

Huddersfield 0-2 Arsenal – CNBC [STREAM]

Playing without a handful of stars, Arsenal still has a first-half lead through Sead Kolasinac‘s cross to Alex Iwobi. Ainsley Maitland-Niles cued up Alexandre Lacazette for the second goal, just before halftime.

Leicester City equalizes late versus 10-man West Ham

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  • Balbuena scores first WHU goal
  • Noble sees straight red
  • Fabianski stars in net
  • Ndidi scores via 90th minute deflection

Wilfred Ndidi’s deflected effort finally brought Leicester City level with 10-man West Ham United at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Fabian Balbuena’s 31st minute goal came seven minutes before teammate Mark Noble was sent off for a dangerous tackle, but West Ham United nearly held on for the win.

The points gives Leicester 13 points to West Ham’s eight, the 13th place Hammers a slot below the Foxes.

Leicester’s Daniel Amartey suffered a gruesome leg injury in stoppage time.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Kelechi Iheanacho scored a goal pulled back for offside in the second minute.

Leicester was all over the early stages, and West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski had to poke a possible own goal over his frame in the 11th minute.

West Ham got their bearings a minute later, and Felipe Anderson ripped a low shot to force Kasper Schmeichel into his first save of the match.

Robert Snodgrass spun an effort across the six and wide of the far post in the 24th minute.

And West Ham went ahead in the 31st minute, with Paraguayan center back Fabian Balbuena heading off the post before scrambling to his feet to smack home the rebound.

In control of the match, Irons captain Mark Noble went studs up into Wilfried Ndidi’s ankle and took a 38th minute red card.

Fabianski then made an outstanding save on a Vicente Iborra header to preserve West Ham’s lead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Fabianski would make two more saves in the 62nd minute, stopping a pair of Marc Albrighton rips.

Substitute Jamie Vardy then spun an Albrighton cross just over the frame, and Fabianski stopped Vardy before Ndidi’s late deflected shot defied the goalkeeper’s fine performance.

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Everyone’s praising West Ham, even Jose Mourinho

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Marko Arnautovic is feeling very good right now, full fitness or not.

West Ham’s Austrian striker was a menace in the Irons’ 3-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday, and doesn’t need to hear about tactics or Jose Mourinho.

[ RECAP: West Ham 3-1 Man Utd ]

“It doesn’t matter how they set up, our game was to try to win,” Arnautovic said. “We have to do our job and we did it excellently, and that is why we deserved to win.”

Mark Noble, who set-up two goals in one of his finer performances of the past few seasons, felt a similar way, and credited Manuel Pellegrini. From the BBC:

“To be honest the way it’s going at the minute, Man United could have lined up a number of ways with all their talent. … Days like the Chelsea game where we could’ve had a couple of goals, today, the 8-0 win over Macclesfield in midweek. We’ll lose games and play bad at times, but the way manager has us playing, you see the confidence.”

Noble also had praise for Arnautovic after the 29-year-old returned from injury to post his fourth goal in six Premier League matches.

“He hasn’t trained much, only one or two days, so to run like that shows he is working hard for the team. The performance was great especially for the fans who have come here seen some bad ones.”

West Ham looks very good right now. Their 0-4 start appears to half-unlucky and half a victim of bringing many new pieces together.

As for those new pieces, Mourinho was impressed.

“Congratulations to the scout that found these 21-year-old kids,” Mourinho said. “Issa Diop is a monster.”