Sir Alex Ferguson has handed Portguese winger Nani a starting berth for Manchester United alongside Wayne Rooney for the visit of Sam Allardyce’s struggling West Ham in tonight’s FA Cup third round replay at Old Trafford.
The two sides shared a 2-2 draw in a pulsating encounter at the Boleyn Ground with Robin van Persie’s last-gasp equaliser earning United a second crack at the resilliant Irons this evening, but the Dutchman drops to the bench tonight in favour of Rooney.
Ferguson has also chosen to include Nani, who has recently fallen down the pecking order of late while David De Gea makes way for Anders Lindegaard. The Red Devils will be hoping to extend their excellent domestic run of late, which was extended to 11 games after a 2-1 win over Liverpool last Sunday.
Aside from defeats in Europe to Galatasaray and CFR Cluj respectively, United’s last defeat came at Carrow Road against a resurgent Norwich and the Canaries are the only team to be beaten at the hands of Allardyce’s side in their last seven attempts.
The Hammers make the journey to a bitterly cold Manchester following a disastrous run of late, managing just one win in their last seven outings after an impressive 3-1 win against Chelsea early in December.
The former Blackburn and Newcastle boss will be hoping his side can arrest their current slump, but he has decided to drop Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison and Matt Jarvis to the bench.
Ricardo Vaz Te returns to the fray, as does Senegal international Mohamed Diame after recovering from the hamstring injury he sustained in the 3-2 defeat against Liverpool.
Manchester United starting XI: Lindegaard, Rafael, Smalling, Jones, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Hernandez, Rooney
Subs: Amos, Ferdinand, Carrick, Scholes, Van Persie, Kagawa, Welbeck
West Ham starting XI: Jaaskelainen, Spence, Reid, Tomkins, Potts, Diarra, O’Neil, Diame, Taylor, Vaz Te, C.Cole
Subs: Spiegel, Demel, Jarvis, Collison, Nolan, Lletget, Lee