Team news, stats and prediction ahead of West Ham vs Sheff Utd in the Premier League on Monday (kick-off 6pm).
Angelo Ogbonna suffered an ankle sprain in a challenge with Anthony Martial at Manchester United and will miss this encounter for West Ham, but Issa Diop escaped a concussion in that FA Cup tie and will step in.
David Moyes also confirmed forward Michail Antonio is on track to be involved after recovering from the fatigue that saw him miss Tuesday’s trip to Old Trafford.
Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu is set to return for Sheffield United after he missed the Chelsea defeat due to being ineligible to face his parent club.
Enda Stevens (calf) remains a doubt and George Baldock will be assessed after a knock forced him off in the win against West Brom.
How to follow
Follow West Ham vs Sheff Utd in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Jones Knows prediction
Ah, West Ham, how you trouble me. Trying to predict match outcomes and results in the Premier League is a tough job at the best of times but West Ham make it an impossible one.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, my relationship with them must be what it’s like to be single and dabbling on dating apps – it’s been a while for this married man. It’s pure mind-games when it comes to the Hammers. One week, they flutter their eyes at me and rip through teams like Aston Villa and Crystal Palace with no problem. Do they want something long-term?
Then, they blank me. Putting in turgid displays like the one at Fulham last weekend where they looked a run of the mill mid-table team that are not capable of scoring many goals. I do not know where I stand.
My gut is telling me to take them on at 4/6 here with improving and now reliable Sheffield United at the door, who have won six of their last nine games in all competitions. But to save more heartache, I will play the draw.
One area of interest from a punting perspective revolves around Declan Rice’s chances of scoring. Despite playing every minute of every game this season for the Hammers, Rice has yet to find the net and you can tell it’s something that is bothering the West Ham skipper, who has admitted he wants to become a goalscoring midfielder. He’s good enough, too.
The England midfielder goes up for every set-piece, has had seven shots in his last seven Premier League games and there is an outside chance he just might be on penalties in the absence of Mark Noble and maybe Michail Antonio, although West Ham have yet to be awarded one this season. I think 28/1 underestimates his chances of opening the scoring here.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Declan Rice to score first (28/1 with Sky Bet)
- West Ham United are looking to complete a league double over Sheffield United in the top-flight for the first time since the 1967-68 season under Ron Greenwood.
- Sheffield United have won one of their last 12 away games against West Ham in all competitions (D6 L5), a 2-0 win in the Championship in January 2005.
- Coming into this weekend’s fixtures, only Manchester City (24) have won more Premier League points than West Ham so far in 2021 (16), with the Hammers winning five of their seven league games so far this calendar year (D1 L1).
- After a 20-game winless run in the Premier League, Sheffield United have now won three of their last six in the competition. The Blades have alternated between victory and defeat in those six games, losing against Chelsea last time out.
- Sheffield United have won just 7.7% of their Premier League games in London (P26 W2 D8 L16) – among teams to play more than 10 times in the capital, only Derby County (2.6%, P38 W1) have a lower win percentage than the Blades.
- Excluding their loss at Newcastle on the opening day of the 2020-21 season, each of West Ham’s last 15 Premier League defeats have been against sides in the top half of the table. Since losing 1-2 at 12th place Crystal Palace in December 2019, the Hammers are unbeaten in their last 19 league games against sides in the bottom 10 (W11 D8).
- West Ham have scored 12 goals from corners and indirect free-kick situations in the Premier League this season, more than any other side. Meanwhile, no side has conceded more goals from such situations than Sheffield United (10, level with Leeds).
- West Ham already have as many points after 23 Premier League games this season as they had in the whole of 2019-20 (39). Indeed, the last time the Hammers had this many points at this stage of a top-flight campaign was in 1985-86 (45) when they ended up finishing third.
- West Ham manager David Moyes has a 100%-win ratio in home games against Sheffield United in all competitions, winning all six of his previous games against the Blades. However, he hasn’t faced them at home since a 3-1 League Cup win for Everton in August 2011.
- Since their return to the Premier League last season, Billy Sharp’s six league goals have been worth 10 points to the Blades. In their Premier League history, only Brian Deane’s goals have been more valuable to the Yorkshire side (11).
Pitch to Post Preview – Guardiola v Mourinho, Arsenal’s dip and development, and how far away are Man Utd?
In this week’s Pitch to Post Preview Podcast Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour and Sky Sports feature writer Nick Wright to look ahead to Saturday’s clash between Pep Guardiola’s Man City and Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham, with the league leaders’ imperious form and Gareth Bale’s continued absence from the Spurs XI on the agenda.
We also hear from Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith on Arsenal‘s inconsistency, how Mikel Arteta is building for a better campaign next season, and whether Leeds striker Patrick Bamford can make it into England’s squad for the Euros.
Plus, Nick Wright delivers his verdict on why Manchester United should be ready for a title tilt, Sam Allardyce‘s struggles to turn things around at West Brom, and shares his Pitch for what will happen in the Premier League this weekend.
Listen to the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox