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West Ham vs Sheff Utd: Hammers to grind out victory

Kick-off: 1800, 15/02/2021

Stadium: London Stadium

TV: BT Sport

West Ham are fancied to press their claims for a surprise top-six finish in the Premier League by seeing off basement dwellers Sheffield United.

The Blades are doing their best to pull off a great escape but will come up against a team playing with plenty of confidence and self-belief at present.

Past meetings between these sides have been low-scoring affairs, with only four goals netted in the last three encounters.

That points us towards 5/4 for a home win and under 3.5 goals in the game for our first West Ham vs Sheff Utd prediction.

A Look At West Ham United’s Betting Odds

West Ham have had a frustrating week, drawing 0-0 at Fulham in the league and then losing Tuesday’s FA Cup tie at Manchester United 1-0 in extra-time.

However, defender Ben Johnson is confident they can quickly get back on track, having previously rattled off seven wins from eight games in both competitions.

“We’re doing really well this season,” the full-back told club media. “The dressing room we’ve got helps so much with the characters we have got in there.

“The players we have got are top, top players and I don’t think you realise the calibre of players we have.

“Dec (Rice) is a top international player, we brought in Tomas (Soucek), Vlad (Coufal), Daws (Craig Dawson) and Said (Benrahma).

“We have Michail (Antonio) playing up front, and Cressy (Aaron Cresswell) and Angelo (Ogbonna) are having top seasons, so we’ve got a lot of top players in our team.

“We go onto the next one on Monday. We bounced back from the Liverpool game against Villa, so we’re just looking for that reaction again.”

Antonio was rested in midweek but has been working his way back to peak fitness since a pre-Christmas lay-off.

Looking at the West Ham vs Sheff Utd odds, the powerful 30-year-old appeals at 4/1 to net first, having struck in home wins over Burnley and West Brom last month.

Last West Ham line-up: Fabianski, Cresswell, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Rice, Noble, Fornals, Soucek, Yarmolenko, Bowen.

Angelo Ogbonna is ruled out with an ankle injury but Issa Diop, who had to come off following a clash of heads at Manchester United, is fit and is in the squad alongside loan signing Jesse Lingard, who was ineligible against his parent club.

Michail Antonio (fatigue) could also return, but Andriy Yarmolenko (knee) and Fabian Balbuena (calf) are likely to miss out.

A Look At Sheffield United’s Betting Odds

Sheffield United scraped through to the FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to a 1-0 victory over Bristol City at Bramall Lane.

Billy Sharp’s 66th-minute penalty proved decisive after Alfie Mawson saw red for deflecting a goalbound effort from David McGoldrick onto the crossbar with an arm.

Chris Wilder said: “I thought we played well and were in control against stubborn opposition.

“I felt we were always comfortable in possession and we deserved to get through to the quarter finals.

“Getting through to the last eight for two years on the spin is good for us and now we have to use that momentum going into an incredibly competitive next few games.

“The FA Cup has put belief and confidence into the boys and we will hopefully use another win to go and get some more results in what is a very challenging period for us.”

Wilder’s men recently pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, but their overall away record makes poor reading.

They have lost on nine of 11 road trips in this competition, with just six goals scored on their travels.

The Hammers began 2021 with a hat-trick of 1-0 victories and 11/2 for them to oblige by that scoreline here completes our West Ham vs Sheff Utd betting tips.

Last Sheff Utd line-up: Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Lowe, Bogle, Ampadu, Fleck, Lundstram, Sharp, McGoldrick, Brewster.

The Blades could be boosted by the return from injury of right-back George Baldock, who limped off in the win against West Brom earlier in the month.

Wilder is also set to welcome back Enda Stevens following a calf problem but Sander Berge (toe) and Jack O’Connell (knee) are set to miss out again.

Additional stats

Last result:

Man Utd 1-0 WEST HAM (AET)

SHEFF UTD 1-0 Bristol City – Billy Sharp (pen)

Head-to-head: Sheff Utd 0-1 West Ham, Sheff Utd 1-0 West Ham, West Ham 1-1 Sheff Utd

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