The absence, through injury, of West Ham striker Diafra Sakho for Wednesday night’s EFL Cup quarter final, might see the return of Andy Carroll, who has been sidelined for weeks
Sakho put Manchester Utd on the back foot in the Irons 1-1 draw and so would have been high on the list of contenders for the second clash but his injury may see the return of the striker who started the season well before, almost inevitably, crashing and burning with a knee injury.
Manager Slaven Bilic said: “It’s a little bit tight between the games but I don’t approach it that way. We decide on Andy based on can he bring us something. The Arsenal game is more important but this one is also important for us. They are both important.
“Andy also has to train. We are talking about a player who hasn’t played since August. For Andy Carroll it should be good to play 20 minutes, half an hour here, for Saturday.”
Back in the ranks too are Winston Reid, back from suspension. Manchester Utd too are forced to shuffle the pack with Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini out due to suspension.
Bilic is conscious of a tough match against Arsenal at the weekend and may be tempted to field a weakened side with Havard Nordtveit, Edimilson Fernandes, Sofiane Feghouli and André Ayew in line for starts and Adrián likely to replace Darren Randolph in goal.
The summer signings have been misfiring in a stuttering season and would be keen to put on a show ahead of a transfer window which might see some of them shipped out. Jonathan Calleri and Simone Zaza don’t even register such is their lack of impact.
The last team to record a victory at Old Trafford included in its ranks Carlos Tevez who scored a controversial goal that kept the east London side in the Premier League.
Alongside Tevez was Mark Noble who said : “It was a tough game on Sunday, especially after we took the lead so early on. We knew they were going to come at us and they did during the opening 45 minutes.
“But in the second half I thought it was more even and both teams had chances to win the game.
“Sometimes you just need that bit of luck and Darren made some great saves for us. I thought the defence played really well and we were really resilient as a team.
“You need that when you come to a place like Old Trafford and it is a special place to play but I thought we matched them man for man.”
Manchester Utd v West Ham, 8pm, Wednesday, November 30