After more than five years at the club, Anderson will receive yet another chance to kick start his Manchester United career against West Ham on Wednesday. The Brazilian big money signing from Porto has failed to establish himself at Old Trafford due to a mixture of injuries, inconsistent form and allegations of less than professional behavior off the pitch.

But the 24-year-old came off the bench around the hour mark against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, with Manchester United 1-0 down, and played a massive part in helping his side to a 3-1 victory.

"I thought Ando won the game for us," Sir Alex Ferguson told MUTV.

"His performance was outstanding. He took the game by the scruff of the neck and he was so positive and determined in his play that he picks himself on Wednesday.”

With there still existing plenty of doubts about the strength of United’s central midfield, Anderson could have a big part to play for United this season and beyond.

Anderson wasn’t the only United midfielder to make a mark against QPR, with Darren Fletcher scoring his first goal since returning from a long spell out with illness. Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes will be sidelined through injury against West Ham, though, while Antonio Valencia looks set to face a late fitness test.

With Manchester City just a point behind in the Premier League table, it is looking set for another tense battle between the two local rivals where every point could prove crucial.

The visitors to Old Trafford on Wednesday have had their preparations overshadowed by the deplorable actions of some of their fans in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday.  That result was a setback in what has been an impressive return to the Premier League so far for West Ham under experienced manager Sam Allardyce.

The former Bolton and Newcastle boss will have to do without suspended midfielder Mark Noble for the trip to Old Trafford, while defender George McCartney is a major doubt with an ankle injury.


Manchester United (probable)

G: De Gea

D: Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra

M: Carrick, Anderson

Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck

F: Van Persie


West Ham (probable)

G: Jaaskelainen

D: O’Brien, Collins, Reid, McCartney

M: Diame, Tomkins

Taylor, Nolan, Jarvis

F: Carroll


Prediction: There has to be huge hope among United fans that the performance of Anderson does not prove to be yet another false dawn. United’s midfield has often been overrun in recent times by dynamic opponents and the Brazilian has the potential to address this deficiency. West Ham’s Mohamed Diame is just the type of midfielder that could cause United problems and Anderson maybe crucial in limiting his threat.

If United can also curtail the aerial threat of Andy Carroll then they will have enough going forward to get a hard-fought victory.

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham

Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match kicks-off from Old Trafford at 3p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by ESPN2, with a live stream available on ESPN3.