West Ham will resume their Premier League campaign on Sunday when they take on a struggling Sheffield United side.
The International break is over, and the Premier League is set to return, West Ham will be hoping that the break has not disrupted their rhythm. The Hammers are currently 12th in the League table after a difficult start to the season.
David Moyes side won their last game against Fulham because of a dramatic late goal and penalty save from Tomas Soucek and Lukasz Fabianski. The win was crucial to keep positivity around the club after such a tricky start.
Sheffield United, however, seem to be suffering from second season syndrome. The Blades are currently rock bottom of the Premier League with one point and a negative goal difference of -10. At the same point, last season the Blades were 13th in league with nine points and a significantly better goal difference of zero.
West Ham will be without Andriy Yarmolenko after the Ukrainian tested positive for COVID-19 while away on international duty. The forward will have to be in self-isolation during the match, so he does not infect the other players in the team.
David Moyes will mainly be focusing on the fitness of first-choice players Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio. Ogbonna picked up a knock against Fulham, but is believed to have recovered well and should be available for Sunday.
Antonio has been missing for a few weeks after damaging his hamstring against Manchester City, but it is believed that the forward is ahead of schedule. Sebastien Haller has been playing in the Englishman’s absence but has struggled to replicate his impact. The hope is that Antonio will be able to play some part in the match against the Blades, most likely from the bench.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder will be more concerned over his club’s injury crisis. The Blades could be without as many as four first-team players for the match against West Ham. Jack O’Connell and Lys Mousset will definitely be out of the game. O’Connell is out for the season after ongoing surgery, and Mousset will most likely return to the bench in the following fixture.
John Egan and Enda Stevens should be fit to return to the Sheffield United line-up. Egan suffered a concussion against England in the international break and should be over the effect of it by Sunday. Stevens, on the other hand, suffered a knee injury against Chelsea but should have recovered for the clash against the Hammers.
West Ham United Formation: 5-2-3
Fabianksi, Masuaku, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Diop, Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Fornals, Bowen & Haller.
Sheffield United Formation: 3-5-2
Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Stevens, Baldock, Berge, Lundstrum, Lowe, Brewster & McGoldrick.
Last season Sheffield proved to be a difficult opponent for the Hammers. The clubs drew at the London Stadium, and the Blades won the fixture at Bramall Lane after West Ham had a goal ruled out for handball by VAR.
This season the two sides come into the game in different circumstances. West Ham have had a strong start to the season whereas the Blades have struggled to replicate their form from last season. Moyes’ side has addressed the weaknesses that the Blades exposed last season and should be able to overcome the Yorkshire side.