Best foot forward
Le Tiss feels United can now march towards title
Manchester United could have put the title to bed last weekend and I simply can't fathom why some of their best players were left on the bench against Chelsea.
I understand that Sir Alex Ferguson's priority is to win the Champions League - he proved that by leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez out of his team at Stamford Bridge - but I feel you've got to start with your best players in every game at this stage of the season.
As it is, there's still everything to play for in the title race and Ferguson has kept things very interesting for the neutral, so I suppose we can't criticise him too much!
United are still in the box seat in the Premier League with their superior goal difference and they've made it through to the Champions League Final so Sir Alex will be happy with the position he's in.
I thought they played a risky game against Barcelona in midweek because an away goal would have put them in real trouble. I think they should have pushed harder for a second, but they got through and as an Englishman, I'm delighted that we've got an all-English final.
But Moscow is a few weeks away so United must put that to one side and completely focus on the Premier League as the two games they've got left are both very winnable.
It would be foolish to rest players again and I fully expect Ferguson to play the strongest team he's got available against West Ham - and also against Wigan in seven days time.
They've had plenty of time to recover from the Barcelona match and while Wayne Rooney may miss out, Ferguson's got to go with all of his fit first-choice players.
West Ham fans won't be slow to remind him that they've won the last three Premier League meetings between these two teams. They memorably beat United on the final day of last season and picked up a good victory at Upton Park earlier this year, so there will be some confidence in the Hammers ranks.
West Ham may have won at Old Trafford last season, but the big difference now is that Tevez will be playing against them, not for them. He was the key last year and I simply can't see them making it four wins in a row.
In fact, I think United will be delighted to be playing West Ham this weekend, despite their recent record against them. Alan Curbishley's side can't move up the league to pick up more prize money and they're very unlikely to be overtaken by Spurs. Rarely has a team had less to play for.
There has been some disgruntlement among the West Ham supporters and I don't really understand why. They had to go and win at Old Trafford to stay up last season and now they are sat comfortably in mid-table. I don't think you can ask for much more improvement than that.
I feel Curbishley has been very unfairly treated by the West Ham fans, especially when you consider the amount of injuries he's had to deal with this season.
It would be grossly unfair if he was to lose his job in the summer. He took them on a miracle run to keep them up last season and he's taken them to 10th place in his first full season in charge. The least he deserves is another season to see if he can improve with a full squad next year.
But Saturday's game is all about the title race and while United have looked a little shaky in the last seven days I still expect them to go on and win the Premier League.
The Wigan game is going to be trickier than this one and I can see United scoring a few goals. Once they've done that then Ferguson will be fully justified in taking his key players off and giving them a rest.
Le Tiss Predicts
- This will be a comfortable 3-0 win for United and that will set them up to go on and take the title.
Matt's Main Man
- It was fantastic to see him score that wonderful goal in midweek, especially after he missed the final in 1999. It was fitting that he was the man to take them to Moscow and I'm sure he'll be the first name on Sir Alex's team sheet when that match comes around.