A first home goal for striker Lys Mousset gave Sheffield United a crucial 1-0 victory over the Gunners, which, as a result, has moved them up to ninth in the Premier League - level on points with this weekend’s opponents West Ham.
While Chris Wilder’s side are starting to really find their feet in the Premier League, West Ham have just won once in their last five league games, losing their last two games meaning early season optimism has been dashed.
They still sit on 12 points however due to good results in August and the start of September, meaning if they can find that sort of form again, they will rise up the league, with manager Manuel Pellegrini hoping they can start this run on Saturday by beating the Blades.
Here is 90min’s preview of what should be a tight encounter on Saturday.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 26 October|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||London Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BBC Sport Final Score/BT Sport Score (UK)|
With all outfield options available then, Jack Wilshere could start for the first time since August 17th after playing well when he came on against Everton.
Alongside this, Andriy Yarmolenko is expected to come back into the side after he came on at half-time last weekend, with Pablo Fornals likely to drop to the bench if the Ukrainian does start.
Sheffield United have no injury problems themselves, and it is expected that Wilder will start with the same side that beat Arsenal, meaning that Mousset - who has two Premier League goals to his name this season - is in line to partner Republic of Ireland international David McGoldrick again.
In terms of the defence, the Blades have kept the same personal each week, sticking to a back five which has been effective, with the club boosting the joint best defensive record in the league alongside Liverpool, conceding just seven goals this term.
|West Ham||Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Wilshere; Yarmolenko, Anderson, Haller.|
|Sheffield United||Henderson; Baldock, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Stevens; Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck; McGoldrick, Mousset.|
Head to Head Record
Saturday’s encounter will be the 88th meeting between the sides, with Sheffield United holding a slightly better record with 37 victories compared to West Ham’s 30. This therefore means there has been 20 draws between the sides.
This will be the first time the two have faced each other in the Premier League since 2007 though, with Sheffield United trouncing the Hammers 3-0 in April that year. They have only met once since then, back in 2014 in a Carabao Cup clash which West Ham again lost, but this time on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
A late turnaround by Crystal Palace in the Hammers last home game at the London Stadium at the start of October was another disappointing result. This had followed an entertaining draw away at AFC Bournemouth in September, which came just days after West Ham were humiliated in the Carabao Cup by League One side Oxford United.
Without a win since beating Manchester United 2-0 on the 22nd of September, which is now over a month ago, victory on Saturday is a real must.
This will be far from easy though for West Ham, with Sheffield United performing excellently on the road this term, picking up three draws and a victory, which included tough games against Chelsea and Everton.
On top of this, the coaching staff, squad and supporters will go into Saturday’s game in buoyant mood following that superb result against Arsenal and there will be belief in the group now that they can beat anyone in this league.
Here are how the teams have performed in their last five games.
|West Ham||Sheffield United|
|Everton 2-0 West Ham (19/10)||Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal (21/10)|
|West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace (05/10)||Watford 0-0 Sheffield United (05/10)|
|AFC Bournemouth 2-2 West Ham (28/09)||Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool (28/09)|
|Oxford United 4-0 West Ham (25/09)||Sheffield United 0-1 Sunderland (25/09) .|
|West Ham 2-0 Manchester United (22/09)||Everton 0-2 Sheffield United (21/09)|
Considering Sheffield United are yet to lose on the road this season in the Premier League, they will feel confident that they can pick up at least a point against a West Ham who have been turgid in their last two games.
While Pellegrini will hope that his changes to the side - bringing the likes of Wilshere and Yarmolenko back into the team – will give the east London outfit extra spark and enable them to create more opportunities for forward Sebastien Haller, Sheffield United are compact and defensively organised meaning it will be difficult for the Hammers to break them down.
It will be a tight affair, and one that Sheffield United should be able to pick up a point in.
Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Sheffield United
Source : 90min