Slumping Man U seek League Cup payback
MANCHESTER United midfielder Ander Herrera says his side will be out for “revenge” when they welcome West Ham United back to Old Trafford in the League Cup quarter-finals today.
West Ham held Herrera and his teammates to a 1-1 draw on November 27 in a Premier League match that saw United manager Jose Mourinho sent to the stands for angrily kicking a water bottle (see story on page 23).
United have made their worst start to a league season since 1989, drawing their last four home games, and Herrera warned Slaven Bilic’s West Ham players to brace themselves for a backlash.
“It’s positive that we are playing on Wednesday, when we can get revenge. We can turn our luck in the next game in the EFL Cup,” said the Spaniard, who won the FA Cup with United last season.
“It doesn’t matter the competition, it doesn’t matter the game; we just want to win. We want to fight for everything and we want to make our fans proud.
“West Ham are a good side – it is not easy to stop them creating chances. They have [Manuel] Lanzini, they have [Diafra] Sakho, they have [Dimitri] Payet, they have [Michail] Antonio. They have very good players.
“But they just created two chances in the whole game. We were the dominant team, so hopefully on Wednesday we can create as many chances as we did [on Sunday] and normally we should win.”
United will be without midfielders Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini through suspension.
Having started on the bench against West Ham on November 27, captain Wayne Rooney will hope to return to the starting XI as he chases a record-equalling 249th United goal.
Arsenal will have a spring in their step ahead of their home game with Southampton, also today, after ending a run of three successive draws by beating Bournemouth 3-1 on November 27.
But Southampton were also bolstered by a positive weekend result, having consigned former manager Ronald Koeman to a 1-0 defeat on his return to St Mary’s with Everton.
“I felt it played a little bit on the confidence of the team when you do not win for three games,” admitted Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has never lifted the League Cup.
“Suddenly, there’s questions. ‘Why do we not win?’ And the fluency goes a bit. These three points [against Bournemouth] will help us.” –
Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney (left) will look to set a goal-scoring record for Manchester United today in a rematch against West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester.