Sheffield United vs West Ham United Predictions

Sheffield United vs West Ham predictions for this Premier League fixture at Bramall Lane. Sheffield United and West Ham, after varied FA Cup performances, return to Premier League play at Bramall Lane on Sunday. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.

Sheffield United
West Ham

Premier League | Gameweek 21 – Jan 21, 2024 at 2pm UK at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United vs West Ham United Predictions

MAIN BET 

£20 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Portsmouth, top contenders in League One, show consistency, tactical skill, and resilience. Colby Bishop's goals and strong defence play key roles in their title chase.

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DARK HORSE 1

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Reason for tip: Barnsley, a dark horse in the title race, boasts an extraordinary unbeaten run and strong away form, showcasing resilience and adaptability, making them a serious title contender.

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DARK HORSE 2

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Reason for tip: Bolton Wanderers, with strong defensive solidity and excellent home record, emerge as title contenders. Manager Ian Evatt's tactical flexibility and effective squad management boost their surprise title bid.

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A Tussle at Bramall Lane: Sheffield United’s Resilience vs West Ham’s Resolve

Key Stats
Sheffield United’s Home Form: They have scored in five of their last six home games, showcasing improved attacking output at Bramall Lane.
West Ham’s Away Scoring Record: The Hammers have found the net in nine of their 10 Premier League away games, indicating their consistent scoring ability on the road.
Cameron Archer’s Threat: Archer has taken nine shots in his last three home appearances, underlining his potential as a key offensive player for Sheffield United.

Sheffield United, under the stewardship of Chris Wilder, faces an uphill battle in their Premier League campaign. Despite a morale-boosting 4-0 victory over Gillingham in the FA Cup, their league form remains a concern, with just one point from their last four games. Contrastingly, West Ham United, having suffered an FA Cup exit, maintains a strong position in the Premier League, boasting a four-game unbeaten streak.

Analytical Breakdown of Both Teams
Sheffield United’s Struggles and Potential

Sheffield United, languishing at the bottom of the table, have managed a meagre 15 goals while conceding a staggering 49. Their reliance on counterattacks, as evidenced by their limited possession (35.8%), has not yielded the desired outcomes. The Blades have been particularly vulnerable to aerial threats, conceding 13 goals from crosses. However, their home form offers a glimmer of hope, with seven out of their nine points coming at Bramall Lane.

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West Ham United’s Defensive Solidity

West Ham, on the other hand, has shown remarkable defensive resilience, aiming for their fifth consecutive league clean sheet. Their midfield, led by James Ward-Prowse, has been instrumental in this solidity. The Hammers have also been proficient in utilising set-pieces, a weakness they might exploit against Sheffield United.

Key Player Showdowns and Tactical Battles

The match is likely to be decided in the midfield and defensive third. Sheffield United’s Gustavo Hamer and West Ham’s Ward-Prowse will be pivotal in controlling the game’s tempo. In defence, Sheffield’s vulnerability to crosses and West Ham’s aerial strength, particularly during set-pieces, could be the deciding factor.

Predicted Gameplay and Strategies

Sheffield United, under Wilder, might adopt a conservative approach, focusing on solidifying their defence and exploiting counter-attacking opportunities. West Ham, guided by David Moyes, is expected to control possession, using their midfield dominance to create chances and capitalise on set-pieces.

Managerial Mastery: Wilder vs Moyes

Wilder’s return to Sheffield United has brought a semblance of stability, but his conservative approach has been criticised for lacking offensive ingenuity. Moyes, with his balanced tactical approach, has successfully moulded West Ham into a formidable defensive unit, though their offensive output has been sporadic.

Team Improvements: A Critical View

Sheffield United needs to enhance their attacking play, especially in utilising possession more effectively. Their defence also requires tightening, particularly against aerial threats. West Ham, while strong defensively, must find consistency in their attacking play, particularly in converting chances.

Expected Lineups and Tactical Implications

Sheffield United Possible Starting Lineup:
  • Foderingham; Ahmedhodzic, Robinson, Trusty; Baldock, Hamer, Souza, Brooks; McAtee; Archer, Brereton Diaz

Sheffield’s lineup indicates a balanced approach, with a focus on a strong defence and utilising Archer and Brereton Diaz’s pace in counter-attacks.

West Ham United Possible Starting Lineup:
  • Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Emerson; Alvarez, Soucek; Fornals, Ward-Prowse, Cornet; Ings

West Ham’s formation reflects a focus on midfield control and exploiting Sheffield’s defensive vulnerabilities, particularly through set-pieces and crosses.

Predictions 

Prediction 1: Draw & Both Teams to Score

The prediction of a draw with both teams scoring is based on the tactical nuances and recent form of Sheffield United and West Ham United. Sheffield United, rejuvenated under Chris Wilder, have displayed a significant upturn in their attacking output, particularly in home games at Bramall Lane. This attacking resurgence, combined with their urgent need to gather points, suggests they’ll be proactive in their approach, seeking to exploit any lapses in West Ham’s defence.

Conversely, West Ham, under the astute management of David Moyes, has been consistent in scoring goals, especially in away matches. Their approach, characterised by controlled possession and a strong midfield presence, positions them effectively to challenge Sheffield’s defensive setup. Additionally, West Ham’s adeptness at set-pieces could be crucial, especially considering Sheffield’s difficulty in defending against aerial threats. This blend of Sheffield United’s home form and West Ham’s away scoring record, along with potential defensive vulnerabilities from both sides, points towards a score draw as a likely outcome.

Prediction 2: Correct Score – 2-2 Draw

A 2-2 draw is a reflection of both teams’ current form and tactical dynamics. Sheffield United’s recent home performances suggest an emerging confidence and ability to score goals. However, their defensive frailties, especially against teams that are strong in the air, might leave them exposed. West Ham, with their solid midfield and attacking options, are likely to exploit these weaknesses. However, the Hammers have also shown a tendency to concede goals, particularly in games where they dominate possession but face quick counter-attacks. This scenario sets the stage for a match where both teams are likely to score and concede, leading to a high-scoring draw.

Prediction 3: Goalscorer – Cameron Archer

Cameron Archer emerges as a likely candidate to score in this fixture. His recent form at Bramall Lane has been impressive, particularly his ability to take shots and create chances. In the context of Sheffield United’s offensive strategy, Archer plays a crucial role as a forward who can capitalise on quick transitions and counter-attacks. His agility and sharpness in the final third make him a significant threat to West Ham’s defence, which, despite its overall solidity, can be susceptible to quick-paced attacking plays. Archer’s knack for finding himself in goal-scoring positions adds weight to the prediction of him getting on the scoresheet.

Prediction 4: Team to Score First – West Ham United

West Ham United is predicted to open the scoring in this encounter. This expectation is based on their tactical inclination to establish control and create early opportunities. Moyes’ strategy often involves applying pressure from the outset, aiming to unsettle opponents and gain an early advantage. With players skilled in set-pieces and crosses, coupled with Sheffield’s known vulnerabilities to such attacks, it is plausible that West Ham will capitalise early in the game. Their midfield, especially with the likes of James Ward-Prowse, is adept at creating and converting chances, which further supports the likelihood of them scoring first.

MAIN BET 

£20 Returns £120

Reason for tip: Portsmouth, top contenders in League One, show consistency, tactical skill, and resilience. Colby Bishop's goals and strong defence play key roles in their title chase.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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DARK HORSE 1

£10 Returns £210

Reason for tip: Barnsley, a dark horse in the title race, boasts an extraordinary unbeaten run and strong away form, showcasing resilience and adaptability, making them a serious title contender.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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DARK HORSE 2

£20 Returns £65

Reason for tip: Bolton Wanderers, with strong defensive solidity and excellent home record, emerge as title contenders. Manager Ian Evatt's tactical flexibility and effective squad management boost their surprise title bid.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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Gram Dodd
15-year veteran in the sports writing industry who has written betting previews for NFL, golf, football, racing, and tennis. Sports event of all time: the Miracle of Istanbul.