It’s been a joyous ride so far for the Hammers who have defied the odds under David Moyes’ tutelage and are still pretty much in the hunt for a place in Europe. Despite being knocked out from the FA Cup by Manchester United, the former Red Devils boss is finally resurrecting his managerial credentials with some astounding results. However, a tricky test is awaiting on Monday evening when West Ham United will host bottom-placed Sheffield United at London Stadium.
The Blades are fighting back from early catastrophe and have grabbed a few victories of late to stay relevant in the survival battle. They are still rock-bottom in the Premier League standings but might get ahead of West Brom if three points are secured (unless the Baggies script an upset on valentine’s eve versus Manchester United).
Predicted 4-2-3-1 West Ham United Lineup To Face Sheffield United
Lukasz Fabianski had injury woes in the past but has overcome the same and brought back stability between the sticks with his calmness and composure.
However, the Hammers have a few concerns in the defensive line with Angelo Ogbonna [ankle] and Arthur Masuaku [knee] ruled out for the Sheffield United tie. Fabian Balbuena remains a doubt with his calf strain, but the gaffer is likely to have Issa Diop back to partner Craig Dawson in central defence.
Aaron Cresswell should keep on causing problems from the left-hand flank with his overlapping runs, crosses and set-pieces. In contrast, the presence of right fullback Vladimír Coufal would be crucial due to his balanced approach in terms of attacking involvements as well as defensive duties.
Tomáš Souček’s bizarre red card against Fulham has been rescinded, and the Czech midfield general was deployed in a slightly advanced role against Manchester United. However, he needs to be restored as the double pivot alongside Declan Rice deep down the pitch as his down the middle runs, aerial supremacy and the poaching instinct would be menacing for the Blades who have leaked goals far too easily.
West Ham have ample options down the wide areas, and the addition of Jesse Lingard (on loan from Man United) have certainly bolstered them in the attacking third. He should keep hold of his central attacking midfield slot, and the manager must retain Jarrod Bowen down the right despite him failing to leave an impact versus the Red Devils. Said Benrahma deserves the nod over Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini to occupy the left-wing spot.
The Irons lack enough depth high up the pitch and the injury problem of both Andriy Yarmolenko and Michail Antonio is indeed worrying. Antonio, however, is back and would undergo a late fitness test prior to the weekend encounter. Lingard as a ‘false 9’ could be the only feasible alternative otherwise.