Sheffield United look to start the second half of their 2023/24 Premier League campaign with a win over a shaken West Ham United side at Bramall Lane on Sunday (January 21). Even though they have only won two of their first 20 matches of the campaign and are eight points away from safety, Wilder has vowed that his side will fight until the very end in the relegation battle.
David Moyes will, however, use this as a springing board to get his side back to winning ways after an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Bristol City to kick off 2024 in the worst way possible. The Hammers are still in the race for an ambitious top-4 finish, but need to regain their momentum with a big win at the expense of the Blades.
Having won their last three consecutive games over Sheffield, West Ham will be fancying their chances of winning this one. With that being said, after their recent shock against Bristol, the Hammers will know all too well how complacency can come back to bite them and will treat this clash just as highly as they do when facing prominent Premier League opponents.
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This game is likely to be a high-scoring one because of the recent trends concerning these two teams. Sheffield United have conceded 31 goals in their last 15 games and the Hammers have managed to score an impressive 26 goals away from home in the Premier League this season.
The Hammers might be missing Mohammed Kudus in this one (due to injury) and Lucas Paqueta is injured, but they still have enough depth in firepower to score goals. As a result, it’d be smart to bet for this game to have 2.5 goals or more and with both teams to score.
A major weakness of Sheffield United that West Ham might be able to is the Blades’ nature of conceding goals from crosses. Indeed, Wilder’s team has shipped 13 goals from crosses this season, the most in the Premier League.
This seems tailor-made for James Ward-Prowse to get more assists to his tally after he registered five assists from crosses this season. So it seems like a smart bet on Ward-Prowse to get an assist in this, especially from a set-piece.
This game could also be a scrappy, intense affair because of how desperate both teams are for a win. Sheffield United are averaging 3.2 yellow cards per 90 minutes this season, while West Ham have averaged 2.3 yellows per game. So to gamble on more than five yellow cards being brandished in this clash could be a smart one.
Moreover, Edson Alvarez is particularly prone to getting booked – having picked up seven yellow cards in 17 league games this season – so betting on him getting booked against a side that will look to torment West Ham on counter-attacks can fetch a nice return too.
As we’ve shown before, Sheffield United have this tendency to concede goals from crosses and West Ham set-piece experts – having converted so many of Ward-Prowse’s corners this season. Both West Ham and the Blades have conceded over six corners in their last 20 Premier League matches, so betting on this game having over eight corners can definitely be a logical bet.
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