In recent seasons, Manchester United have developed a wonderful habit of making light work of assignments in London. It's a great habit considering some of the league's finest sides reside in the capital. Bar Stamford Bridge, United have a more than decent record at Spurs, Arsenal, QPR and Sunday's opponents West Ham United.
Having already come away from the Emirates with maximum points, United were desperately unlucky to get just the one point from White Harte Lane. That our last away win this season was from Loftus Road---another London ground should just about put us in confidence mood ahead of the trip to the Boleyn Ground or Upton Park or whatever its called these days.
In the grand scheme of things, this weekend seems pivotal in the race for the Champions league places. In fact, most of the sides in that particular race are up against each other with the North-London and Merseyside derbies taking place a day before our game against Sam Allardyce's side. With just 3 points between us in third and 6th placed Spurs, the league table could easily adopt a new look by Sunday bed time.
For Manchester United though, the task is much more than a game of football. Pundits have come to accept that Manchester United are a different proposition at home and indeed away. The away form this season makes it a bother going to places like Upton Park and expecting three points. You get the feeling though that if the manager sticks with the recent reversion of a four man defence, we should be good to go. Unfortunately, the more likely set up could be a 3 at the back formation simply because van Gaal might be daunted by the prospect of a physical battle at the back. Fingers crossed he goes with the no holds barred approach.
West Ham enjoy the comfort of a smaller, tighter pitch and hence find it easy to defend and attack in numbers consistently. United will have to move the ball a lot quicker and be more decisive in the final third if they are to catch them out.
In all probability, we could be looking up at more than two sides above us come kick off, so the pressure is very much on to defend the last automatic qualification spot for the Champions League.