Brian Dear: Blades will offer a sharper test

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Bramall Lane – Premier League – Friday 8pm

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Preview:

BACK-TO-BACK victories for West Ham United has made Brian Dear as happy as any Hammers supporter. However, the former frontman is fully aware that David Moyes’ men will need to step up a level when they take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Friday evening.

The Hammers moved out of the relegation zone and made Emirates FA Cup progress with victories over AFC Bournemouth and Gillingham respectively and will head to Yorkshire in an altogether more confident mood.

Meanwhile, Chis Wilder’s Blades have had a blip of late – taking just one point from the last nine on offer. A sequence which could prove costly in their bid to secure a Europa League berth next term.

But despite that dip, Dear expects the home side to provide a stiff test, particularly on their own patch.

“The results and performances have been much better, but this will be a step up,” Dear told Yellow Sport.

“As we witnessed when they came to the London Stadium, Sheffield are an honest, organised side. Blades fans certainly know that the players will give them everything they have in the tank.

“I think West Ham possess the better attacking players and that could be decisive. We haven’t been overly tested by Bournemouth or Gillingham, defensively. We’ve been able to cope with what they had to offer – I just think this will be an early measure of where we are and what David Moyes needs to focus on.”

Dear continued: “Before a ball was kicked at the start of the season, this was the type of games we were eyeing up as three points. However difficult the test, we have to maintain that mindset.

“It’s a game which could go either way just now. I think three weeks ago we’d have written it off. But if we can go there and get a point, that will be a reasonable return and will confirm further progress.

“But I’m feeling particularly positive at the moment – I’m backing the Hammers to win with a clean sheet to boot.”

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Head to head:

Sheffield United won: 37
Drawn: 21
West Ham United won: 30

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Last five meetings (all competitions):

February 13, 2005 – FA Cup fourth-round replay
Sheffield United 1-1 West Ham United
(Sheffield United won 3-1 on penalties)

November 25, 2006 – Premier League
West Ham United 1-0 Sheffield United

April 14, 2007 – Premier League
Sheffield United 3-0 West Ham United

August 26, 2007 – League Cup second round
West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield United
(Sheffield United won 5-4 on penalties)

October 26, 2019 – Premier League
West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield United

Brian Dear’s prediction: Sheffield United 0-2 West Ham United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Sheffield United 1-1 West Ham United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]