• Manchester United v West Ham, FA Cup

Fergie: It's time United won the FA Cup again

ESPN staff
January 16, 2013
Manchester United v West Ham preview

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Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate to get past West Ham on Wednesday as he plots Manchester United's first FA Cup win since 2004.

United take on the Hammers at Old Trafford in a third round replay, after drawing the first match 2-2, with a fourth-round tie against Fulham the prize for the winners.

The Red Devils have lifted the trophy a record 11 times, but a failure to win it in the past nine years means only Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher have winners' medals, along with Robin van Persie, who was victorious with Arsenal in 2005.

"We want to try and have a go at this FA Cup,'' Ferguson told MUTV. "We haven't had a run for a long time, two or three years, and we have had some bad draws.

"We're at home tonight and we have got to take advantage of that. If we get through, we have got another home tie so there's a big incentive for the club to make sure we get through.''

Captain Nemanja Vidic is expected to miss the game after suffering a concussion in Sunday's 2-1 win over Liverpool, while Johnny Evans continues to nurse a hamstring strain. Ashley Young is ruled out by a knee injury, although the damage sustained in a collision with Daniel Agger at the weekend is not as bad as first feared.

"Young has got a dull knock, a little bit of a strain on the knee, but it's nothing serious,'' Ferguson said. "I think he'll be back next week. Maybe not for Tottenham on Sunday but, the week after, he should be okay.''

Elsewhere, Wayne Rooney and Nani return to the side after recovering from injuries. Rooney has been out since suffering a knee injury during training on Christmas Day, while Nani has been out for over two months.

"Wayne coming back is good news,'' Ferguson said. "He's been training for a week and looking good.

"Nani came back from his spell abroad and is really looking very good."

Key battle: West Ham's major threat in the first encounter between the two sides came from the left flank, chiefly through the floating Joe Cole. Whether Ferguson opts for Chris Smalling, Phil Jones or Rafael at right-back, communication will need to be good to stop the Hammers having more joy in the replay.

Player to watch: Wayne Rooney is fit to play in Wednesday's match, so it will be interesting to see if he can instantly regain match sharpness to boost United's attack.

Talking point: Patrice Evra has spoken of a Treble push from United, but are they really that good? The Red Devils were hanging on in the victory over Liverpool and still looked hugely suspect in defence.

Bet of the day: Get full value for your bet across the 90 minutes by taking United to miss a penalty at any time, returning odds of 12/1 with bet 365.

Prediction: 3-1

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