By Saikat Mandal

21st Jan, 2022 | 5:30pm

Sky Sports expert predicts result of Manchester United v West Ham

West Ham travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday (22 January) where they will be looking to bounce back to winning ways.

The fierce clash between the two top-four contenders is expected. West Ham lost 3-2 against Leeds in their previous game, and Lewis Jones has predicted a 3-1 defeat for the Hammers while writing in his column for Sky Sports.

United are going through a stuttering form as well, and it’s hard to separate between the two.

Jones said: “One of the key parts of this predicting lark is pre-empting when a team is about to spike into form or hit a rocky patch. Get that right and you’re likely to be in clover as you should be ahead of the market.

“I’m taking the view that the Hammers will struggle to match their impressive form from the last 18 months between now and the end of the season. It’s based around their over-reliance on Michail Antonio. His pace, power and running ability is absolutely essential to the way West Ham bulldoze teams.

“Ralf Rangnick hasn’t exactly found a magic formula at United, but results are papering over some fragmented performances thanks to their devastating array of finishers. A high-scoring home win it is.”

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Big game

The defeat against Leeds (16 Jan) came after four wins in a row in all competitions, including three in the Premier League.

The Hammers are fourth in the table, just two points ahead of United having played a game more.

Another defeat for David Moyes’s side would be a blow.

Moyes, however, will be boosted by the return of Kurt Zouma, Mark Noble, and Tomas Soucek.

The Red Devils have won just two of their last five league games and it remains to be seen if the Hammers can raise their game.

Having said that, it’s high time the Hammers signed players this month, especially a striker.

West Ham are heavily reliant on Michail Antonio. He needs protection and rest, and Jones is absolutely spot on that he looks a different player when the games pile up.

Another worrying feature is that the Hammers are conceding a lot of goals. It will be a tough game and Moyes needs to get his tactics spot on.

In other West Ham news, the price tag for this European star is proving a problem for the club.