Match Preview: West Ham United v Sheffield United

Last updated : 24 November 2006 By @blades_mad1889

West Ham United v Sheffield United
Sheffield United will face three teams in the next three fixtures; all of whom occupy a bottom six position and are currently on two points better or worse off than the Blades.

A trip to West Ham United will hopefully test the Blades steel whilst a point claimed at Watford the following Tuesday won't go unduly done before a must win game at home to Charlton Athletic hits the Blades in the face.

In all at least five points from three games should be deemed acceptable with seven as very good and nine being excellent; any less and the Blades may struggle in future fixtures.

West Ham United should have seen the club complete a £85M takeover which will no doubt please the Upton Park faithful as recent results have yet to be convincing. In particular as in their last game they lost 1-0 at Chelsea with Geremi converting a free-kick.

The Hammers will be without keeper Roy Carroll who is out with a back injury. The former Wigan shot stopper joined Upton Park in the summer from rivals Manchester United.

The Boleyn Ground club will also be without Defenders James Collins (hamstring) and James Tomkins (dislocated shoulder) respectively.

Hammers boss Alan Pardew has recently been forced to change his attack - although it seems forever and a day the London faifthful have been without star striker Dean Ashton (broken ankle) since the beginning of the season after he broke down in training after being selected by the English national squad.

Possible Hammers Line-Up: Robert Green, Jonathan Spector, Anton Ferdinand, Paul Konchesky, Hayden Mullins, Danny Gabbidon, Nigel Reo-Coker, Matthew Etherington, Lee Bowyer, Carlos Tevez, Bobby Zamora.

Sheffield United started the brighter against leaders Manchester United; taking the lead on the 13th minute when Derek Geary's cross met the head of unlikely scorer Keith Gillespie who powered into the bottom corner. That was to be as good as it got though as Wayne Rooney struck back with two timely goals.

The Blades will travel to the British Capital once again without Michael Tonge (ankle) who may have to wait until the Blades face Aston Villa on 11 December for his return.

Other casualties on the United injury list are; Danny Webber, Leigh Bromby, Ade Akinbiyi (all hamstring) and Chris Armstring (knee).

A thought should be spared for United lone ranger Rob Hulse; last week he was forced to come up against Rio Ferdinand who was strong, poetic and invincible without rarely letting the former West Brom striker through. This weekend the forward will be up against his brother Anton who shares similarities to that of his brother.

Anton in fact will, on Friday be appearing in Court over an assault charge; the alleged incident occurred a few months ago. Should he be proven guilty then he could spend a few months in prison and work ultimately miss the clash with the Blades - though we believe that it won't come to that.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Rob Kozluk, Phil Jagielka, Claude Davis, Derek Geary, Mikele Leigertwood, Keith Gillespie, Nicky Law, Alan Quinn, Colin Kazim-Richards, Rob Hulse.

Man in the Middle: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

  • 29.11.1997 - Blades 1-0 Crewe Alexandra
  • 31.01.1998 - Portsmouth 1-1 Blades
  • 08.09.1998 - Blades 3-2 Grimsby Town
  • 27.11.1999 - West Bromwich 2-2 Blades
  • 08.01.2000 - Newcastle 4-1 Blades (FAC)
  • 08.09.2001 - Blades 2-2 Bradford City
  • 11.12.2004 - Rotherham 2-2 Blades
  • 08.01.2005 - Blades 3-1 Aston Villa (FAC)
  • 09.08.2005 - Burnley 1-2 Blades
  • 14.02.2006 - Blades 1-1 Reading

Blades-Mad Prediction: West Ham United 0-1 Sheffield United