This week’s edition of uninspiring Friday night football comes from Bramall Lane as one of the Premier League’s overachieving sides host one of the Premier League’s underachieving sides.
It’s hard not to be enamoured of Sheffield United’s success this season – they have a likeable manager, play decent football, have quickly adapted to how Premier League life works and they have lovely jerseys.
This is yet another game where each team has very contrasting managerial fortunes this season. Chris Wilder has already seemingly achieved cult status among the Blades faithful, whereas the West Ham fans voices were finally heard when the board sent Pellegrini packing after a dismal start to the season which has seen them flirting with the relegation spots for the first half of the season.
There were many sceptics out in force when they reappointed the Ferguson-following, (very broken) Spanish-speaking Scottish heartthrob David Moyes. However, he has already steadied the ship somewhat with a drubbing of fellow strugglers Bournemouth and a solid away victory in the cup.
While Sheffield United’s away form has been excellent – their only two away defeats came in their most recent league games at Man City and Liverpool – their home form has been a little more patchy. They’ve only won once in the league at home since November 2nd, and that was against Aston Villa who have picked up just seven points on the road this season.
This run includes a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle, who we wouldn’t rate better than the Hammers, and making a balls of a 2-0 lead with 20 minutes to go against a dire United side.
What I’m trying to say is – West Ham have a very good chance here and look decent value at 16/5.
It’s hard to believe Sheffield United are odds-on at home to this West Ham side – if this was the first game of the season the odds would be reversed – and given that neither squad has changed a lot, and West Ham are in the new manager-new approach-new results stage, you get the drift…
You’d expect Sheffield United will still nick a goal, so I would not put anyone off backing West Ham to win and both teams to score at 7/1, while in the player markets, Sebastien Haller looks a big price both to score first at 15/2 and score anytime at 13/5. Felipe Anderson leads the way for West Ham in the assists charts and is 9/2 to add another in this game, which is definitely worth a look if this game goes in the visitors’ favour.