Manchester United vs West Ham Preview: Red Devils look for fast start at the Theatre of Dreams

Jose Mourinho's men kick-off their title challenge by facing the Hammers at Old Trafford, five days after losing to Real Madrid in the Super Cup.

Manchester United vs West Ham Preview: Red Devils look for fast start at the Theatre of Dreams
The two teams in action last season (photo: Getty Images/ Catherine Ivill - AMA)

Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign at Old Trafford against West Ham, looking for their third consecutive win on the opening day of the season.

Jose Mourinho's men enjoyed a successful pre-season, beating the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid, but losing to Barcelona and to the Spanish champions Real in the UEFA Super Cup.

New signings Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic have all started strongly, with the £75m Belgian frontman netting against Zinedine Zidane's side in Skopje last Tuesday.

The Red Devils' start to the season is favourable, not facing a top six side from last year until the clash at Anfield against arch rivals Liverpool on October 14.

After only finishing sixth last year, England's most decorated football club will be looking to get back into the top four, and mount a serious title charge for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club.

Hammers

Slaven Bilic's side have strengthened well throughout the summer, bringing in the likes of Marko Arnautovic, and three title winners in the shape of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and former United striker Javier Hernandez.

The Hammers finished 11th in the Premier League last year, as they settled into their first campaign at the London Stadium, recovering well after a very shaky start at the new ground.

A good summer of recruiting should ensure they enjoy a far more stable season this year, aiming to get back to the form that earned them a place in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

Embed from Getty Images

Team news

Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young remain long-term absentees after picking up injuries towards the end of last season.

Jose Mourinho has no new injury concerns after a very successful pre-season, which integrated all three new signings very well into the squad, with Lukaku, Matic and Lindelof all likely to start at the Theatre of Dreams.

Eric Bailly and Phil Jones were both suspended for the Super Cup clash against Real Madrid but are both in line for a starting place.

There is a real battle for who starts on the wings, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all vying for a place in Mourinho's starting eleven.

Matteo Darmian is likely to start ahead of Daley Blind at left-back, and Antonio Valencia should captain the side at right-back after Timothy Fosu-Mensah was loaned out to Crystal Palace.

Manchester United FC