After a week of cup action, the Premier League returns and it kicks off with West Ham’s trip to Sheffield United on Friday night.
The Hammers have enjoyed a mini-revival since David Moyes replaced Manuel Pellegrini, beating Bournemouth 4-0 to move slightly away from the relegation zone and following up with an FA Cup third round win over Gillingham.
But they face tough opposition in Sheffield United who have been excellent under Chris Wilder this season, currently sitting eighth in the table and being mentioned as an outsider to qualify for European football – just two points behind Manchester United in fifth.
There’s also the added rivalry between the two sides, built from West Ham’s controversial signings of Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez, which helped them stay up in the 2006/07 Premier League season at the Blades’ expense.
Read on for our Sheffield United vs West Ham preview, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Sheffield United vs West Ham and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Bramall Lane
Date: Friday, 10 January 2020
Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event
Last five meetings: Sheffield United vs West Ham
26 October 2019: West Ham 1-1 Sheffield United (Premier League)
26 August 2014: West Ham 1-1 Sheffield United (League Cup)
14 April 2007: Sheffield United 3-0 West Ham (Premier League)
25 November 2006: West Ham 1-0 Sheffield United (Premier League)
13 February 2005: Sheffield United 1-1 West Ham (FA Cup)
Aggregate Score: Sheffield United (DDWLD) 6-4 West Ham (DDLWD)
Ones to watch
Sheffield United: Lys Mousset
Sheffield United haven’t been the most prolific goalscorers in the Premier League this season, with 23 in 21 games. But Lys Mousset has done his part to add to that.
Joining from Bournemouth in the summer, Mousset has five Premier League goals so far, more than any other player – and netted in the 1-1 draw with West Ham at the London Stadium.
Unfortunately the Frenchman hasn’t been in the best form of late, going seven games without a goal since the start of December, but he will be hoping to test West Ham’s defence under Moyes.
Key stat: Lys Mousset has been directly involved in eight Premier League goals this season, more than any other Sheffield United player.
West Ham: Mark Noble
At the heart of West Ham’s revival against Bournemouth was Mark Noble, who scored twice in the 4-0 win.
But it wasn’t just his goals that saw the West Ham captain stand out. The midfielder lead the way for West Ham in implementing Moyes’ game plan, which was to press high when Bournemouth had the ball in their own half and focus their attacks down the right flank.
And on the rare occasions when Bournemouth did manage to get at West Ham’s defence, Noble was the man organising the team to block the Cherries out perfectly. Should he return from a slight foot injury, the captain will be key for Moyes to continue his run.
Key stat: Mark Noble (35) has scored more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player since the start of 2010.
Sheffield United have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Friday’s game, with Simon Moore in contention to return from a groin problem, though he would only be on the bench as back-up goalkeeper.
After being able to rotate in the FA Cup against Fylde, expect Wilder to field a full-strength XI to put pressure on the teams around them.
Predicted XI: Henderson; O’Connell, Basham, Egan; Baldock, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, Stevens; McGoldrick, Mousset.
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West Ham will be hoping to have Michail Antonio, Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell back for the trip to Sheffield United with the trio sitting out off the FA Cup win.
Moyes is expected to return to a four-man defence after testing three at the back against Gillingham with some frustration in the first half.
However, Ryan Fredericks, David Martin, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko remain out.
Predicted XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Noble; Snodgrass, Anderson, Antonio; Haller.
This is a tough one to call with West Ham showing signs of improvement under Moyes, particularly in that 4-0 win over Bournemouth.
But Sheffield United are certainly not Bournemouth and will be looking to get back on track after two difficult league games.
It was a draw the last time these two met and while that result could be a possibility again, the Blades may just edge it to hand Moyes his first defeat back at West Ham.