Card happy referee Mike Dean did Manchester United a favour last night without the Red Devils even playing.

He sent off West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku for two harsh bookings last night against Aston Villa.

This now means the left-back will likely be replaced by Pablo Zabaleta against Manchester United this Sunday, with Aaron Cresswell out of favour.

If ever there was a case to switch Dan James back to the right wing for match, it is this one.

Zabaleta is 34 and pace has never been his strongest asset. James has the capability to really expose him.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Welsh wonder

James came into the Premier League this season touted by some as a ‘speed merchant’.


His pace remains, yet it is the end product to his game which has surpassed expectations. He has three goals in five games to start the season.

James has been more productive on the left, but having the opportunity to go up against Zabaleta this weekend is too tempting to ignore.

Zabaleta came on as a substitute on Monday and that was the only 21 minutes of Premier League football he has had all season.

West Ham are in good form, unbeaten since the opening day of the season, and they won at the London Stadium against United last year. It will be a tough test, so this tactical advantage could give us an edge.

If Anthony Martial is passed fit for the fixture, it will give United the ability to play him up front, Marcus Rashford on the left and Dan James on the right. It’s a match-up United must try to take full advantage of.

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