PL Preview: West Ham vs. Manchester United

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  • West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic is fit for Saturday’s early kick-off after recovering from a knee injury. Grady Diangana could be part of the squad after his two goals against Macclesfield in midweek.
  • West Ham has beaten Manchester United in only one of their last 19 Premier League matches, winning 3-2 in their final match at the Boleyn Ground in May 2016.
  • Romelu Lukaku can become only the fourth player to score in their side’s first four away matches in a Premier League campaign, after Thierry Henry, Daniel Sturridge, and Sergio Aguero.
  • Man Utd have to concede at the London Stadium in the Premier League, keeping a clean sheet in both their visits.

Jose Mourinho and Manchester United visit struggling West Ham (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with both manager’s seats growing hotter by the day.

West Ham currently sit just one point above the relegation zone, with four points from six games and no home Premier League wins so far, and while Man United’s place in the table is better, it’s far below expectations. Marko Arnautovic is fit and expected to return to the lineup, a huge boost for West Ham, but Mourinho will have to delicately handle the fiasco surrounding he and star midfielder Paul Pogba, who could have his head turned by other mega clubs in the days ahead.

Either way, should there be a winner on Saturday, the loser will have a lot of questions to answer, and a burning hot seat to sit down on.


What they’re saying

Luke Shaw on the team’s disappointing recent run of results: “I feel like the team has been playing some good football. I think it was disappointing against Wolves. I don’t think we were ourselves. We should be winning games like that, especially at home in front of our home fans. We were all really disappointed and we just need to pick ourselves back up again and keep going.”

Manuel Pellegrini on West Ham’s defense starting to show improvement: “I’m very happy, not only for Fabian and Diop, but also Angelo Ogbonna‘s performance on Wednesday. “I think we are defensively improving. I knew Diop well. He was the captain of Toulouse. I told him he needed to know a bit more about the Premier League, but I was absolutely sure he would be a success here. It’s the same with Balbuena.”

Prediction

Even with Arnautovic available, it will still be a tough test for West Ham at home against a strong (on paper) Man United side. However, perhaps this is the weekend they can pull off the stunner. West Ham 2-1 Manchester United

Deadline Day deals: Man City sign Arzani; Perez to West Ham

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Transfer Deadline Day has arrived in the Premier League and a flurry of deals look set to be completed up until the 12 p.m. ET cut-off point.

WATCH LIVE: Transfer Deadline Day show, today at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com

Here’s a look at the deals so far as we approach the final hours of the window.


Manchester City signed teenage sensation Daniel Arzani from their sister club Melbourne City. The 19-year-old was the youngest player at the 2018 World Cup as the Australian international has flourished in the A-League with his creative play in midfield.

It is expected that Arzani will be loaned out a la many of City’s other young talents with Celtic expected to take him for the 2018-19 campaign. Could we have another Aaron Mooy on our hands here?


West Ham United have signed Lucas Perez from Arsenal, with the Spanish striker arriving on a permanent deal after two years with the Gunners.

Last season Perez, 29, was on loan at Deportivo la Coruna and the predatory forward created the second most chances in La Liga with only Lionel Messi having more key passes.

Perez joins on a three-year deal and joins the Hammers alongside new boys Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Issa Diop, Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson, Fabian Balbuena and Andriy Yarmolenko. New Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has been busy.


Crystal Palace is expected to complete a season-long loan deal for Swansea City striker Jordan Ayew.

The striker, who scored 11 goals in all competitions for the Swans last season as they were relegated from the Premier League, has been refusing to train in recent days and it seems like Palace will bolster their attacking options with Ayew’s arrival.

Pep: Hart’s future uncertain, will play in preseason

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Joe Hart has returned to Manchester City after spending last season on loan at West Ham, and his future is very much up in the air as it stands.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was asked about Hart’s situation at the pre-match press conference prior to City’s International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund. He confirmed they are shopping the English veteran. “We’re going to try and make a solution for Joe,” Guardiola told reporters, “but if not then he is with us. He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen but at this moment he is with us.”

Guardiola also confirmed that Hart would play in the preseason game against Dortmund. Starting goalkeeper Ederson is not on the roster for the US preseason tour, having returned from participation in the 2018 World Cup with Brazil, although he didn’t play as he served as Alisson’s backup.

The former #1 England goalkeeper, Hart has struggled mightily in recent seasons. He last played a full Premier League season back in 2015/16, starting 35 games for Manchester City. However, he lost his place the following year and was loaned to Italian top flight club Torino. He had mixed success during his one year in Italy and was loaned out to West Ham last campaign with Ederson and Claudio Bravo entrenched at his parent club. Hart only made it half the season before losing his starting spot for the Hammers, replaced by Adrian. That saw him lose not just starting job with the England national team but his place in the squad, forcing Gareth Southgate to take a trio of inexperienced goalkeepers to the World Cup, leading to the emergence of Jordan Pickford.

West Ham returned Hart to Manchester City at the end of the season, and here he sits in limbo again. Hart has just one more year left on his contract, but according to the Manchester Evening News, wants to leave this season on a permanent deal anyway.

Tomorrow, Hart will get the opportunity – albeit a small one – to showcase himself to potential suitors. If he gets another chance to play in the ICC (Manchester City plays Liverpool and Bayern Munich before heading home to England), he will have another opportunity to plead his case.

Report: West Ham, other PL teams chasing Nice striker Plea

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According to Sky Sports reproter Kaveh Solhekol, West Ham has made a bid for Nice striker Alassane Plea and is among a number of Premier League teams interested in the prolific Frenchman.

Plea, 25 years old, broke out last season at Nice scoring 21 goals in 49 appearances over all competitions. Before last season’s 16-goal Ligue 1 haul, he had just 20 league goals in 84 appearances.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Solhekol reports that West Ham has made a bid of $36 million, which is over Nice’s asking price, reported by Solhekol as about $35 million. According to the report, newly promoted Newcastle and Fulham are both also interested in signing Plea. Newcastle would seem to make more sense than Fulham, given the Whites’ chasing of Magpie frontman Aleksander Mitrovic who spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham and was prolific.

The report also states another, slightly lower bid has been received by Nice, but the source of that bid was not revealed.

Plea began his career in the Olympique Lyonnais youth system, but only made 12 appearances for Lyon before moving to Nice in 2014. Last season he broke out, linking well with Mario Balotelli as the two put together a solid season to lead Nice to an 8th place finish in Ligue 1, with a solid attacking haul of 53 goals to balance out a leaky defensive performance. Plea has been involved in the French U-21 international setup in the past, but has yet to make an appearance for the senior side.

Lanzini tears ACL, out of the World Cup

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Manuel Lanzini‘s World Cup dream was brutally vanquished on Friday after suffering a serious injury.

The Argentine National Team announced that Lanzini tore the ACL in his right knee, effectively ruling him out of the World Cup as well as a majority of the upcoming Premier League season for West Ham. It’s a tough blow for Lanzini, who at 25-years of age was set to make his World Cup debut this summer.

Instead, Lanzini will have to watch with millions of others from home.

The Argentine playmaker’s loss will be felt more for West Ham than Argentina, which has an embarrassment of riches in attack.

Lanzini scored five goals and assisted on six others in 27 Premier League matches last season as West Ham managed to stave off relegation, but under fellow South American Manuel Pellegrini, Lanzini could have taken his game to a new level, feeling more comfortable in a familiar style of play.

Still, the Argentine playmaker was making a name for himself within the national team, and a goal vs. Italy in a friendly match in Manchester may have even pushed him into consideration for the starting XI. Now, he’ll be on the mend for six to nine months, recovering from a serious injury.