Will it be more of the Bournemouth set up for David Moyes, or more the Gillingham formation? For Sheffield, expect the latter as Moyes gets the team comfortable with his formation.
The team used to dispatch Bournemouth was extremely effective against the misfiring Cherries. The balanced 4-4-1-1 team saw Felipe Anderson embrace the free-roaming secondary striker role, the fullbacks get forward from wide positions, and the midfield overloading the box for more offensive pressure.
Against Gillingham, we saw more of what we had in the past under Moyes, three at the back with wingbacks patrolling the flanks. The team was certainly unsettled in this formation, but as the game carried on so to did the players who eventually took over the tough cup tie.
Now, Sheffield lie ahead of West Ham and with it, an opportunity to match their wingback formation with one of our own. Look for Moyes to stick with the Gillingham model and team as much as possible heading into this game.
Predicted XI to play Sheffield
Diop – Balbuena – Ogbonna
Zabaleta – Noble – Rice – Lanzini – Masuaku
Bench: Roberto, Sanchez, Snodgrass, Fornals, Ajeti, Rosa, Ngakia
The Hammers have a few new names featuring in the teamsheet with Bernardo Rosa and Jeremy Ngakia getting promoted from the U23 squad. These players are undoubtedly the benefactors of the loan move to Nathan Holland and injury to Ben Johnson, but both have impressed in the undefeated run of the development squad.
Rosa, the Brazilian midfielder will be an option for the mid-three, and Ngakia is a versatile player that can fill in at right-back or rightwing, making him a great in-house option for wingback depth. Outside of this, Pablo Fornals is the odd man out for the Hammers.
Fornals’ form does put him in contention for the Manuel Lanzini position in the mid-three, but David Moyes seems to like the idea of Lanzini playing on both sides of the ball, while Fornals seems to be a more attacking option. He provides great depth off the bench, though, for an offensive injection.
It’s a strong team for West Ham, despite injuries to Fredericks, Michail Antonio, Andriy Yarmolenko and Cresswell. Moyes has enough firepower here to score a few goals, it’ll be down to his management and defensive drilling to keep a tricky Sheffield team out of Fabianski’s area to keep the clean sheet streak alive.