Hammers hopeful of Bowen boost

Brian Jeeves

Sheffield United v West Ham United – Premier League – Bramall Lane – Sunday (2pm) – Preview

West Ham United hopes to have leading marksman Jarrod Bowen back for their Premier League clash with bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

A toothless Hammers side – without Bowen, Lucas Paqeta, Michail Antonio and Mohammed Kudus – were put out of the Emirates FA Cup by Championship side Bristol City on Tuesday evening, with boss David Moyes left to rue chances missed, both at Ashton Gate and in the original tie at the London Stadium.

“It’s a tough one,” the Scotsman told www.whufc.com.

“We probably should have won the tie at our place a week ago, but we didn’t and we put ourselves under pressure.

“We gave away a goal with a short pass, but we should have been in to score – we overhit a pass for Danny Ings to score in the same action – and it was a calamity in that minute.

“We had good periods and good control in the game, but we couldn’t take our chances when we got them.

“Tonight’s not about blaming anybody, tonight is about us as a team and a Club. We should have got the job done at London Stadium and even tonight I felt as if we would still have enough to get it done.

“We had enough chances to get something, but the games are tight. We’ve won a few and drawn a few tight ones, but tonight was tight and it went against us.”

Bowen missed Tuesday’s clash having picked up an ankle injury during the 1-1 draw with City in East London, and despite fears that the player could miss up to four weeks, he is now in line to return to the fray at Bramall Lane.

Moyes praised his opposite number ahead of the trip north, saying: “Chris Wilder has always done a really good job. He’s won a couple of Manager of the Year awards due to the level of work he’s done at Sheffield United, and he’s got a great history there.

“He’s back after a spell out and his teams have always been really hard to play against. He always had hard-working teams, and we know we’re in for a difficult game in a good atmosphere at Bramall Lane.”

The Scotsman added: “We’re looking forward to playing the game against Sheffield United. We’re going to be travelling up to Sheffield and we’re looking forward to it.

“We were disappointed with Tuesday but we’re getting on. We’re getting ready for the next game and want to be as prepared as possible. We’re back at it and hopefully, we’re ready for the game.”

West Ham will also be without defender Nayef Aguerd – who similarly to Kudus is away at the African Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, Said Benrahma is suspended following his needless red card at Ashton Gate.

Jeevesie’s prediction: Sheffield United 1-1 West Ham United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk