Dimitar Berbatov gives Manchester United vs West Ham prediction: “This is a tough place”

Manchester United legend Dimitar Berbatov expressed caution regarding West Ham United despite their inconsistent form in December

Manchester United legend Dimitar Berbatov warned his club that West Ham United can surprise them despite their recent inconsistent form. West Ham recently lost 5-1 to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup quarter-final clash, after winning two games in all competitions.

The Hammers have gone through an inconsistency in December, losing 5-0 to Fulham yet beating Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves. Meanwhile, United mustered a hard-fought draw against Liverpool at Anfield after parking the bus throughout the game.

Liverpool dominated with waves of attacks while keeping most of the possession in the Red Devils’ half. United managed to muster a draw by staying narrow and deep in defence, countering most attacks in the defensive third.

Will Rasmus Hojlund finally score in the Premier League? (Credit: Martin Rickett/PA | PA Wire)
Will Rasmus Hojlund finally score in the Premier League? (Credit: Martin Rickett/PA | PA Wire)

The result received praise from most sections of the fanbase, wary over the 7-0 loss against historic rivals last season. However, many football pundits criticized the negative mindset of the club of Man United’s stature, comparing them with league-two sides.

Berbatov wrote his predictions for Metro.co.uk, warning United to expect a surprise when they visit London Stadium on Saturday. He wrote:

“This is a tough one. West Ham can surprise people – on their day they can beat you, on another day they can lose 5-0 to Fulham. Man United will at least be happy with a clean sheet behind them from Anfield, but this is a tough place to go. I’ll go for a draw.”

United captain Bruno Fernandes returns to the first team after serving his suspension against Liverpool. Fernandes accumulated five yellow cards in the Premier League, earning a one-match ban against their bitter rivals. His return would mean Scott McTominay drops back to a deeper midfield role alongside Kobbie Mainoo or Sofyan Amrabat.

Mainoo has been in sensational form since starting against Everton in the Red Devils’ 0-3 victory at Goodison Park. The youngster could play over Amrabat, the on-loan midfielder who has struggled to make an impact. Christian Eriksen resumed training following his knee problem, but the expectation is that he will only be part of the squad.

In the absence of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane would partner with Jonny Evans in the center-back position. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw stand as the available fullback options, with Diogo Dalot suspended due to a red card received against Liverpool.

Rasmus Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho expect to maintain their starting roles, regardless of the potential return of Marcus Rashford. Rashford can get a nod above Antony, who struggled to make an impact against Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

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Berbatov predicted a 1-1 scoreline against West Ham in the London Stadium which we think is logical. The Red Devils must display more adventurous play against their competitive rivals compared to their performance against Liverpool.