Ibrahimovic Back for United against West Ham


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to return from his ban when Manchester United host struggling West Ham today. The 35-year-old missed the 1-1 draw with Arsenal having been booked five times but played in the Red Devils’ 4-0 Europa League win against Feyenoord on Thursday, while the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Wayne Rooney may have impressed Jose Mourinho enough to keep their starting roles.

West Ham’s struggles have been well documented this season and are currently 17th in the Premier League table after a 3-2 loss to Tottenham. However, a win could send them as high as 11th. The Hammers’ last away win came against Crystal Palace on October 15.

Mourinho, who is expected to recall goalkeeper David de Gea but remains without Eric Bailly (knee) and Chris Smalling (toe), must determine whether Michael Carrick can make a third start in nine days.

West Ham captain Mark Noble returns from suspension but defender Winston Reid serves a one-match ban. Midfielder Pedro Obiang is expected to be available despite missing training earlier this week due to an ankle injury.

Long-term absentee Andy Carroll has resumed training after his ankle injury but Reece Oxford, Sam Byram, Gokhan Tore and Arthur Masuaku are still sidelined.

Manchester United have lost just two of their last 23 league games against West Ham at Old Trafford, winning 20 (D1). West Ham haven’t won at Old Trafford since their 1-0 victory in May 2007, in which Carlos Tevez found the net to help the Hammers avoid relegation. They’ve lost eight of their 10 meetings in all competitions since there.

Mourinho has won seven of his previous nine Premier League matches against West Ham (D1 L1), losing 1-2 at Upton Park to Slaven Bilic’s Hammers. In each of his five full Premier League seasons as a manager, Mourinho’s league placing after 12 games has been his final league placing that season. Manchester United are currently sixth in 2016-17 after 12 games.

Anthony Martial has scored with all three of his shots on target for Manchester United against West Ham in all competitions. Rooney has been directly involved in 14 goals in his last 13 appearances against West Ham in all competitions (11 goals, three assists), but hasn’t scored or assisted in his last three.

Michail Antonio equalled the Premier League record for headed goals in a calendar year in his last appearance (11, joint with Tim Cahill in 2010).

Antonio’s last six Premier League goals have all been headers, but he’s still some way off the Premier League record of consecutive headed goals set by David Wetherall (12 in a row).

Dimitri Payet has created a league-high 43 goalscoring chances this season in the Premier League, but only four of these chances have been converted by the Hammers.

Manchester United have attempted 203 shots in total this season in the Premier League. After 12 league games last season, United had attempted 80 shots fewer (123).