With first choice left back Arthur Masuaku suspended after his sending off against Aston Villa on Monday night, the England international looks set to start.
Cottee believes he could be pivotal: “I have a feeling that our left side and United’s right could have a key impact on the outcome of today’s game,” he wrote on the club’s official website. “With Arthur Masuaku suspended, Aaron Cresswell is likely to come in at left-back and he will certainly have a tough battle on his hands up, whether he comes against Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial.
“Aaron has obviously been out of the team in the last few games, but he is an experienced, top professional who will have trained properly every day and made sure that he is fully ready to be recalled to the team. His concentration levels will need to be extremely high for 90 minutes in order to deal with the threat Manchester United pose.”
You’ve got to think that how well Cresswell copes with United’s attacking threat on the left hand side of the Hammers’ defence will be crucial to the home side’s chances at the London Stadium. Luckily for the 29-year-old, United’s early-season star Dan James typically operates on the left side of the United attack. If Cresswell comes up against the ageing Juan Mata then he’ll probably be pretty happy, no disrespect to the Spaniard. The worrying thing for fans of the east London club is how poor Cresswell has been over the past year or so. The Englishman has been well below par on the most part, and his last Premier League start for the Irons saw him torn apart in the opening day mauling at the hands of United’s Manchester rivals. He will be hopeful of better on his own patch, but the loss of Masuaku is no doubt a worrying one heading into Sunday’s game.