A trip to Bramall Lane kicks off the weekend's football action as Sheffield United welcome West Ham. Tom Carnduff has two best bets.
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A result that may have been a straightforward victory before the Christmas period but David Moyes has brought out a mini-revival from this West Ham side.
They hammered Bournemouth 4-0 on New Year's Day and followed that up with a 2-0 away win in a tricky FA Cup tie against Sky Bet League One side GIllingham.
The Christmas period wasn't so kind to Sheffield United, although they did pick up a win away at Brighton before earning a point at home to Watford.
They were beaten away at Manchester City and Liverpool in back-to-back contests; results that can't draw too much criticism given the harsh fixture scheduling.
Despite recent results, the Blades find themselves as 10/11 favourites while West Ham can be found at a price as big as 17/5. The Asian Handicap having the Blades at -0.5 shows that the backing is there for a home win.
It doesn't have the makings of a high-scoring classic - more like a contest where Moyes will be satisfied for his side to be leaving with a point.
They are likely to just be outdone by a hard-working Blades side, one who will be eager to return to winning ways and have a full squad to choose from according to their boss Chris Wilder.
That should mean involvement for John Lundstram - a regular start for United since their promotion to the Premier League.
His return has been one of the biggest stories in a season of tales for the Bramall Lane club. He had next-to-no involvement in their promotion-winning campaign but is now a permanent part of the midfield.
He carries a big attacking threat which makes him a popular player in Sky Sports Fantasy Football. A great points-getter at a cheap price.
That's not just down to his goal-scoring exploits but his efforts on goal that make him such a threat. He's registered a shot in each of his previous six Premier League appearances.
Prior to that, there were four shots against Manchester United, four against Tottenham and five against Burnley - a game in which he scored a brace.
There's little reason to believe that a halt to that run will come in a home contest against a side in the bottom-half - even with their recent managerial change.
The best price available on at least one shot on target in this game is 13/8 which looks generous given his track record. Even the 9/1 on two or more provides great appeal.
Both are worth a play here. It's a game where the near even money widely available on a Blades win is also the best outright selection.
Score prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 West Ham (Sky Bet odds: 6/1)
- Sheffield United have won both of their Premier League home games against West Ham, winning 3-0 in April 2007 and 3-2 in March 1994.
- West Ham are winless in their last eight top-flight away games against Sheffield United (D2 L6), though they have won twice at Bramall Lane in the second tier in that time.
- West Ham have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games in Yorkshire (D3 L6), beating Huddersfield 4-1 in January 2018. Meanwhile, London sides have lost their last seven Premier League games against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
- Sheffield United have only lost three consecutive league games under Chris Wilder once previously, losing three in a row in the Championship in December 2017.
- Sheffield United are the only Premier League side yet to give a single minute to players aged 21 or under this season, with their youngest player the goalkeeper Dean Henderson at 22.
- Two of the first three Premier League goals Sheffield United conceded this season were via set pieces – since then, they’ve only conceded once from a set piece, against Norwich City last month.
- West Ham captain Mark Noble’s two goals against Bournemouth took him to 45 Premier League goals, just two behind the Hammers’ record scorer in the competition, Paolo Di Canio (47).
- West Ham manager David Moyes has won none of his last 24 away Premier League games against teams starting the day in the top eight of the league (D8 L16), with this run spanning four different teams (Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and West Ham).
- West Ham’s Robert Snodgrass registered his 20th Premier League assist against Bournemouth, becoming the 12th Scotsman to reach that figure. Snodgrass has been involved in four goals in five league games against Sheffield United (2 goals, 2 assists).
- Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick has had 35 shots without scoring in the Premier League this season, more than any other player. The longest a player had to wait in terms of shots for their first goal last season was Harvey Barnes, who netted his first goal with his 38th effort for Leicester City in 2018-19.
Odds correct at 1320 GMT (09/01/20)
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