By Danny Carrington
Last Updated: 9th January 2020
Friday night’s Premier League game sees West Ham travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United for the first time in the top flight since 2007 and it promises to be a lively evening under the lights.
Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United side won that game 3-0 thanks to goals from Michael Tonge, Phil Jagielka and Jon Stead but the Blades are unlikely to have it all their own way against a resurgent West Ham outfit under David Moyes.
West Ham can blunt Blades
West Ham fans voiced their concerns when Moyes was drafted in to try and stop the Manuel Pellegrini rot, but with six goals and two clean sheets from two games they have been silenced.
With Bournemouth having been a bit of a bogey team for West Ham, the 4-0 demolition of them at the London Stadium in Moyes’ opener was a big signal of intent and they will be full of confidence.
Sheffield United may be sitting safely in eighth in the table, but their home form gives cause for concern at the moment, having lost against Newcastle and drawn with struggling Watford.
They did beat Aston Villa, but that’s their only victory in four at home and the 10/11 on Sheffield United to win is pretty easily swerved despite the seven-point gap between the two sides.
Instead, the 19/20 available on West Ham winning or drawing the game looks a better play, especially as they have already beaten Southampton and Chelsea away in recent weeks.
Fornals key for travellers
After a slow start to life in east London, attacking midfielder Pablo Fornals has begun to show the West Ham fans just why the club’s owners forked out £24 million on the Spaniard in the summer.
Having grabbed a goal and three assists in his last six league games, Fornals came off the bench to secure West Ham’s progression in the FA Cup when netting the final goal against Gillingham last time out.
His form is keeping fans’ favourite Manuel Lanzini on the bench and with Moyes overseeing two wins from two since being placed in charge, he’s likely to play a big part in Friday night’s game.
It hasn’t been the best of seasons for West Ham so far but the little attacker looks like the club’s most dangerous player at the moment and Fornals to be named man of the match looks tempting at 16/1.
Snodgrass set to see yellow
Sheffield United welcoming West Ham to Brammall Lane doesn’t exactly jump off the page as a game for the neutrals and it would be no surprise to see a tight and scrappy game in Yorkshire.
One player who will thrive under those conditions is Robert Snodgrass, who has installed a bit of bite into the West Ham midfield alongside Declan Rice and Mark Noble in recent weeks.
The Scotland international, whose West Ham career looked all but over a season ago, likes to push forward but also doesn’t mind doing the dirty work for the likes of Felipe Anderson and Fornals.
However, with four yellow cards already this season, it would be no surprise to see him enter the referee’s notebook once again, and Snodgrass at 2/1 to be booked looks a great bet.