West Ham hopes to win the Premier League in a row against Sheffield United on Sunday
The Hammers will be looking to continue their encouraging Premier League run this afternoon on Bramall Lane.
David Moyes’ side secured a dramatic late win over Fulham in their final pre-international break game – a win that came after a bloody series of games in which they pushed Leicester aside and scored both Tottenham and Manchester City points decrease.
West Ham will no doubt cherish their chances of two consecutive wins against Sheffield United that are at the bottom of the table after a sad start to the 2020-21 season.
The winless Blades have only picked up a single point in their first eight games of this season and are twelve top games without an overall win going back to last season.
The clichéd « second season syndrome » seems to be a reality for Chris Wilder’s men, who admittedly survived their own horror games and actually took the lead against Chelsea last time around before they hit a 1: 4- Have lost defeat stamford bridge.
West Ham hasn’t won at Bramall Lane in 52 years – will that run end this afternoon?
If kick-off is scheduled for 2pm GMT, you can follow the build-up and match action with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog below …
So Antonio is completely missing out on West Ham again, and Moyes may decide that bringing him back early just isn’t worth the risk.
Ogbonna and Balbuena both start in an unchanged XI in defense, with Sebastien Haller again taking the lead.
On the bench, Ryan Fredericks and Andriy Yarmolenko will be replaced by Ben Johnson and Mark Noble.
The return of Mikhail Antonio in any form would be a huge boost for West Ham, but with another hectic period of play between now and New Years, there is little point in risking him if he’s not ready to play.
Sheffield United striker Lys Mousset and midfielder John Fleck are back in competition after returning to training after injury.
Mousset didn’t play at all in 2020/21 due to a tendon problem in the preseason, while Fleck had a back problem.
Former Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster and John Egan are both doubtful after early return from international service. It remains to be seen whether Enda Stevens will be fit after the left-back failed to join his Republic of Ireland team-mates during the break.
If you are up against Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester City and you haven’t lost to anyone, trust in the camp should be pretty high.
Regardless of the fact that West Ham hasn’t won a top match at Bramall Lane since 1968, they should approach this task in a positive mood.
The mood will get even better when Mikhail Antonio returns from an injury. The international break came at a good time for the striker and gave him a chance to shake off a thigh strain.
With their talisman in their side, the Hammers look different. However, Sheffield United are not playing as badly as their low position suggests.
Chris Wilder’s team was unlucky sometimes. Your first win of the season may not be far away.
Moyes must also evaluate Ogbonna’s defense colleague Fabian Balbuena before today’s encounter. The center-back did not return from international service with Paraguay until late Thursday.
This is how Jack Rosser of Standard Sport sees the Hammers line up on Bramall Lane this afternoon. Ogbonna starts and Balbuena is replaced by Issa Diop …
West Ham predicted line-up (3-4-3): Fabianski; Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Coufal, rice, soucek, masuaku; Bowen, Fornals, Haller
It remains to be seen if Antonio will play but West Ham is expected to have Angelo Ogbonna fit for today’s competition in South Yorkshire.
The Italian center-back was sent off in the 1-0 win over Fulham after colliding with Lukasz Fabianski and Aleksandar Mitrovic with a groin injury.
A subsequent scan did not reveal anything, however, and Ogbonna should be available to take his place on the West Ham backline this afternoon.
Sheffield United look doomed after just eight games without a win, while West Ham far better than most predicted on a tough schedule.
David Moyes has to decide if Mikhail Antonio is suitable for West Ham this afternoon.
The Hammers’ attacking talisman missed out on pre-international break meetings with Liverpool and Fulham after beating Manchester City in a 1-1 draw on Jan.. Sustained a hamstring injury in October.
Antonio has been back in training for the past fourteen days, however, and Moyes appeared to be hoping in his pre-game press conference that the 30-year-old would be ready to play a role today.
« He’s back and training quite a bit, » said Moyes. « We still have a few days to see how he’s doing. The truth is I couldn’t give a full answer, but he’s getting a lot closer, that’s for sure.
« What he has done for us over the past few months, his form has been so good. He gives us another exit, he can run after or hold up the ball. He is physically present, his all-round play as a center forward has improved a lot.
« If we can get it back, that would be great. He’s a really important player for the team and how we play and if we can get him well again, but I don’t want to say if we can because we can. « I’m not exactly sure if he’s still ready. «
West Ham United F. . C.. . , David Moyes, Premier League, Declan Rice
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