Man Utd v West Ham preview

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is available for Tuesday's rearranged league game against West Ham after completing a four-match ban.

Central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic is fit after a nerve problem, so the pair could start together for the first time since October.

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has said he might make some changes to his side, despite back-to-back wins.

Benni McCarthy remains a doubt with the knee injury he suffered on his debut.

Team selection

Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster, Neville, Brown, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Park, Anderson, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Obertan, Gibson, Rooney, Owen, Berbatov, Diouf.

Suspended: Nani (two matches)

Injured: Giggs (arm), Hargreaves (knee), O'Shea (thigh)

West Ham (from): Green, Stech, Spector, Faubert, Upson, Tomkins, Da Costa, Daprela, Parker, Behrami, Kovac, Collison, Noble, Diamanti, Stanislas, Cole, Mido, Ilan, Franco, McCarthy.

Doubtful: McCarthy (knee)

Injured: Boa Morte, Hines & Ilunga (all knee), Davenport (leg), Dyer & Gabbidon (both hamstring)

Match Preview

Following the weekend wake-up call at Everton, Manchester United can ill afford another lethargic performance on their return to the Theatre of Dreams.

It is a collector's item when Sir Alex Ferguson admits to being well beaten, as he did on Saturday.

Ferguson might be thankful that this game has been brought forward, due to United's Wembley date in the Carling Cup final on Sunday. Tuesday's re-arranged fixture gives Ferguson's side the chance to put pressure on leaders Chelsea by narrowing the gap at the top to a point.

Visitors West Ham have not won away since the opening day of the season but they enjoyed their biggest win under Gianfranco Zola at home to Hull on Saturday, clinching back-to-back league victories for the first time since March 2009.

It is also that long ago since Manchester United lost successive league games. Suffering a similar fate on Tuesday is the nightmare scenario for the defending champions.

Source: BBC Sport
Date Published: 23 February 2010