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West Ham V Man Utd at Boleyn Ground : Match Preview

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Updated 17 Apr 2013 13:08:52

West Ham V Man Utd at Boleyn Ground : Match Preview

West Ham V Man Utd - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Tomkins a doubt

West Ham defender James Tomkins (calf) is a doubt for the Barclays Premier League clash against leaders Manchester United at Upton Park.

Winston Reid (hip) and George McCartney (knee) are also struggling for fitness, so Emanuel Pogatetz is ready to stand in.

Midfielder Mark Noble (shoulder) is close to a return, but Joe Cole (hamstring) remains a doubt.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce feels it has been "pretty scary" to see Manchester United's dominance this season.

The Red Devils could stretch their lead at the top of the table to 18 points with victory at Upton Park, which would leave them within touching distance of the title once again.

Allardyce believes the way Sir Alex Ferguson's men have gone about wrestling back superiority from rivals Manchester City, spearheaded by the goals of #24million striker Robin van Persie, has been awe inspiring.

"I think you have to say the (United) team is as good as it has ever been because nobody normally wins the title so easily and by so big a margin, or has this much of a margin at this stage of the season," said Allardyce.

"It is pretty scary what total they might actually finish with.

"Manchester United have been outstanding and it is been about how their squad rotation has been Sir Alex's masterpiece as usual, about playing the right team at the right time.

"I suppose you could say that because they got knocked out of the Champions League a little sooner than usual and because they got knocked out of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, it has given them the strength and energy to be what they are in the Barclays Premier League this year.

"They have not had the normal focus on three or four competitions almost to the end, the focus has come on the Premier League and they have just breezed it.

"They have just gone 'bang' and everyone else can't get near them."

Sir Alex Ferguson has reported no new injury concerns for Manchester United.

Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs, Jonny Evans, Rafael, Danny Welbeck and Nani are all hoping for a recall but Ashley Young (ankle) and Paul Scholes (knee) remain sidelined.

The Red Devils require just seven more points to seal a 20th league title.

Patrice Evra has no intention of following Robin van Persie's example by leaping into Ferguson when he scores his next Manchester United goal.

Van Persie's instinctive reaction to ending a 10-game goal drought at Stoke on Sunday was to race to the away dugout and jump into the arms of the man who paid Arsenal #24million to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer.

A clearly delighted Ferguson was left spluttering: "He nearly killed me, he forgets that I'm 71."

The Dutchman's reaction has created a great deal of hilarity in the United dressing room too, where it has been one of the chief topics of conversation.

Not that Evra dare a repeat.

"No chance. Never," said the France defender.

"Maybe I will do it with my team-mates. But not with the gaffer. He is older.

"Imagine I go in too strong against him. He could fall, then he might sack me. I will never do that."

Evra could barely keep a straight face as he delivered his assessment of Van Persie's reaction.

"Robin has had a lot of stick from us," said Evra.

"It was nice. I could see a lot of love and emotion.

"It is the first time we saw that. Robin can tell you, for two or three days we have been getting at him. It is good to see love like that on the pitch sometimes."


PA

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