Manchester United host West Ham United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night and with Jesse Lingard in fine form, he can once again impress against the club that he spent a valuable six months at earlier this year.
Jesse Lingard Can Continue Form With Starting Spot v West Ham United in Carabao Cup
Jesse Lingard Top Form Since Returning From London Stadium
Midfielder Jesse Lingard has been back to his very best in a Manchester United shirt since returning from West Ham United. The 28-year-old was struggling for first-team football before departing on loan, however, West Ham boss David Moyes provided him with the opportunity to refind his form, something he took advantage of.
Lingard was reborn at West Ham. A happy player again with performances even United fans hadn’t seen before. Many expected him to have a fruitful spell there, though, the outcome was truly better than anyone could have hoped for.
Having not featured in the Premier League for Manchester United in 2020/21, Jesse Lingard got cracking instantly with The Hammers, scoring a brace against Aston Villa in February. His league tally totalled nine goals and four assists in 16 games before the season was over. A remarkable output for a player who couldn’t get a look in with his parent club.
Now, back at Manchester United, Lingard is showing little sign of stopping. He has scored two goals in 45 minutes of Premier League action this season and previously impressed in pre-season too. Lingard will make his first competitive start since returning from West Ham on Wednesday night as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares to ring the changes in the Carabao Cup third-round.
A new contract is on the table for Lingard, though, he reportedly rejected Manchester United’s first approach. Solskjaer has since insisted talks are ongoing.
Lingard’s strike that eventually secured victory for Manchester United on Sunday was as clean as they come and, despite playing against his former loan club, he will be eager to add to his tally this season.
He is just two goals shy of Manchester United’s highest scorer in all competitions – with Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo joint on four.
Dean Henderson Could Return
David de Gea kept a fine start to the season going with his last-minute penalty save v West Ham United on Sunday, however, after sharing the number one spot with Dean Henderson last season, may lose his place on Wednesday night.
Henderson has featured for the U23s in their last two games after recovering from long-covid. Those appearances could have been with an eye to a return in this game. However, should Henderson not be ready, Tom Heaton will likely be in line to make his club debut after returning in the summer. The trio make for strong options in between the sticks.
Elsewhere, the likes of Anthony Martial, Diogo Dalot, Donny van de Beek, Eric Bailly, Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof will hope to feature.
Youngster Anthony Elanga is due to be involved within the first-team at any point, he scored v Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final league game of last season and impressed this pre-season before picking up an injury. He is back and scored a penalty v Brighton & Hove Albion U23s at the weekend. Though, there might not be many youngsters in the squad, with the U21s in action v Bradford City in the Papa John’s Trophy 24 hours before.
Edinson Cavani could too make his return after a training injury ruled him out of action. Like Dean Henderson, Phil Jones has been involved with the U23s too and could be available at any point.
West Ham United could welcome Michail Antonio back after he missed the 2-1 loss at the London Stadium through suspension. With their involvement in the Europa League, it’s not clear as to whether David Moyes will make changes.
Manchester United Have to Win Silverware
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have to win silverware this campaign, so although he will likely ring the changes, they really must win this game as the competition provides a real opportunity for a trophy. The Carabao Cup may not quite carry the prestige of other tournaments, but it could be crucial in Solskjaer’s job security come the end of the season and beyond. A club starved of silverware in recent years are longing for the return of it. With lifting the so-called ‘curtain-raiser’, it is the first winnable competition of the campaign, it could also provide a major boost for the rest of the season. United have struggled to get over the line under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and they will too be keen to prove they can.
Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 West Ham United
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