nday Manchester United and West Ham United will conclude the opening weekend of Premier League football when they meet at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have played out many memorable games over the year and fans on both sides are hoping to see their teams start the new campaign in strong fashion. Here's a look four key battles all over the pitch which should help determine the outcome... A lot is expected of both Joe Hart and Romelu Lukaku for their respective clubs over the...
Nemanja Matic vs Marko Arnautovic or Robert Snodgrass
Nemanja Matic wasn't the glamorous midfield signing that many United fans were hoping for this summer, but the Serbian has already shown his importance in just two games already.
He can control games by shielding the back four and cutting off the supply to whoever plays centrally as a #10 for West Ham in place of the the injured Manuel Lanzini will go a long way to a home win. If the Hammers' creative force and is limited, so will the whole team.
Javier Hernandez vs Eric Bailly
In an interesting twist of fate, Javier Hernandez's return to English football will see him meet his former club on his official West Ham debut.
The Mexican will have a point to prove after the way in which in his United career came to a disappointing end in 2015 and it will be up to Eric Bailly, available after a European ban, to keep the former Old Trafford favourite in check.
Staying aware of Hernandez's movement in the penalty area will be key for the Ivorian, with the striker the most obvious West Ham goal threat.
Paul Pogba vs Pedro Obiang & Mark Noble
For West Ham, finding a way to keep Paul Pogba quiet will be important if they are to return to east London on Sunday with a positive result.
Pogba is expected to be the beating heart of Jose Mourinho's team this season more than he was in 2016/17, while the arrival of Matic should allow him more freedom all over the pitch. The disciplined roles played by Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble in central midfield are crucial.
Joe Hart vs Romelu Lukaku
A lot is expected of both Joe Hart and Romelu Lukaku for their respective clubs over the course of this season.
Hart has a job to rebuild his reputation after a disappointing spell in Italy last season, while Lukaku must justify the price tag that made him the most expensive striker in Premier League history by some distance.
If the Belgian can find the net and make his mark - he has scored regularly against West Ham in the past - United should win the game. Equally, a strong display from Hart in his first Premier League game since May 2016 will give the Hammers a chance of a result.