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Manchester United vs West Ham: Three key battles to decide the game

Both sides will be hoping for far better Premier League campaigns this season. What will decide this opening tie?

Romelu Lukaku vs Jose Fonte

Manchester United’s big money new signing scored on his competitive debut for the club against Real Madrid and will want to net on his Premier League debut for the club as well.

Lukaku thrives playing against players he can physically dominate and will likely pull out to Jose Fonte, rather than the more imposing Winston Reid.

Romelu has made a name for himself being something of a flat track bully against sides outside the top six, and with Fonte somewhat struggling since his move to West Ham, the Belgian will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing the former Southampton defender.

Paul Pogba vs Pedro Obiang

Paul Pogba was very good last season, despite the criticism. He is one of the best midfielders in the world, with extraordinary technique and physical capabilities.

The Frenchman is capable of magic and had his team mates finished off more of his chances last season, or if he wasn’t so unlucky with his strikes against the woodwork, his season would have been appreciated far more.

Now, with United looking like real title contenders and the signing of Nemanja Matic, the shackles will be let loose from the Frenchman. He will show England what he is truly about and Pedro Obiang will have his work cut out trying to contain the former Juventus superstar.

Obiang is by all accounts a very good player himself and won’t give Pogba a moments rest on the ball. It will be interesting to see how tightly he sticks to Pogba. Give the Frenchman an inch of space and he’ll take a yard, however.

Javier Hernandez vs Victor Lindelof

A return to Old Trafford for West Ham’s new star striker. Javier Hernandez had a very solid spell at United, and was a consistent goalscorer from the bench.

A ruthless finisher inside the box, the Hammers may now finally have a man who can get them close, or maybe even more than 20 goals.

One of Chicharito’s key strengths is his movement in behind, and being in the right place at the right time to finish off his team’s moves.

Victor Lindelof is United’s big money new centre-back, but has had an indifferent pre-season. He is still an exceptional defender, but it’s looking as though he may need time to get used to the Premier League after a poor performance against Real Madrid in the European Super Cup.

Hernandez can certainly take advantage of any indecision from the Swedish international and will drive the centre-back mad with his constant harassment and movement.

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Harry Brooks

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

Manchester United vs West Ham: Three key battles to decide the game

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