Blades to Test Hammers Steel

Last updated : 16 January 2004 By @blades_mad1889

Paul Peschisolido: Hero at Gillingham
United come into the game having beaten Gillingham 3-0 at the Priestfield Stadium last Saturday, all the goals came from Canadian international Paul Peschisolido.

All eyes will be on Neil Warnock as Blades fans will want to know the all important question, which formation will he play?

The previous two games (both away) have been made up of a 4-3-3 formation, allowing one midfielder in the centre and a striker sitting just behind the front two. So far it has worked and as allowed United to attack more freely.

Striker Dean Sturridge missed the game against Gillingham through injury but is expected to be fit again for selection, but with his hat-trick the Wolves forward will have to battle with Peschisolido for a place.

Alan Wright should make his first team start for the Blades since he signed a permanent contract earlier this week while new £75,000 signing Paul Shaw could make his debut.

Blades Possible Team Line-Up
Hammers Possible Starting Line-Up

The Hammers go into this game having lost 2-1 at home to Preston North End, David Connolly took a 19th minute lead for the Irons but Ricardo Fuller equalised on 64th minute while Colin Healy put the

Brian Deane: Blades legend
Visitors ahead three minutes later.

Upton Park manager Alan Pardew will have to do without goalkeeper David James, the England international was sold to Manchester City in midweek to replace David Seaman who retired from the game.

Former Aston Villa keeper Stephan Bywater could play his first game in three years, but the Hammers did sign Arsenal shot stopper Rami Shaaban on loan so he could make his first start.

Another star player missing is highly rated striker Jermaine Defoe who is serving one of his five match suspensions. This will mean that Brian Deane will play against his old club along side former Nottingham Forest hitman Marlon Harewood.

Loan signing Anthony Barnes has been called back to Bolton Wanderers despite failing to kick a ball while at West Ham. Former Sheffield United and Liverpool midfielder Don Hutchinson will sit out the game at the Lane as he suffers with a knee injury, the Scot as yet to play at Bramall Lane since he left for Everton in 1998.