West Ham United v Sheffield United
Premier League, London Stadium, Saturday 30 September 2023, 3pm BST
West Ham United make a return to London Stadium and Premier League action when Sheffield United visit east London on Saturday.
The Irons face a newly-promoted side for the second time this campaign, having been the first visitors to Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road at the start of September, and welcome the Blades to east London for the first time since February 2021.
David Moyes’ side sit seventh in the top flight with ten points from six matches played, while Sheffield United are 20th after collecting one point in their opening six league outings.
Tickets for this sold out game are still available on the Ticket Exchange, with Season Ticket Holders who cannot attend this fixture relisting their seats for other supporters to buy. Click here to check availability or relist.
TfL Jubilee, Central and Elizabeth line services are scheduled to operate to Stratford with a good service on Saturday. The Docklands Light Railway is also anticipated to run as normal, with a good service.
Part closures are anticipated across the Piccadilly line and the London Overground, and fans are advised to check their journey before travelling to Saturday’s fixture.
However, due to industrial action, there will be no c2c or southeastern services, while Greater Anglia services will be reduced, and supporters are strongly advised to check their travel before departure.
How To Follow…
Saturday's 3pm kick-off will NOT be broadcast live in the UK, but will be shown across the world by the Premier League's international broadcast partners.
You can follow the action via our live blog on whufc.com and our app and across our social media channels. We will also have highlights and exclusive reaction for you after the final whistle across our website and social media.
Live audio commentary will be available in the UK on BBC Radio London and worldwide on our official website and app.
The 116-page publication is the largest in the Premier League and, at just £4 per issue, represents superb value for money for supporters wanting exclusive interviews, attention-grabbing opinions and eye-catching photographs, plus the regular news, columns and statistics and insightful content from across all areas of the Club.
The Official Programme is the definitive Claret and Blue publication for West Ham fans and the latest issue can be ordered here.
The Hammers are in the midst of a busy run of Autumn fixtures and, having played away to Lincoln City on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, manager David Moyes will likely once look to refresh his starting XI.
The likes of Alphonse Areola, Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paquetá, Kurt Zouma and James Ward-Prowse were not involved in the Carabao Cup win over Lincoln City on Wednesday but will likely return to the squad.
Aaron Cresswell was substituted at half-time in West Ham's UEFA Europa League win over FK TSC last week, due to a hamstring problem, and has since missed out in the matches away to Liverpool and Lincoln City.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, are dealing with a number of injury setbacks, but will be hoping that George Baldock and John Egan are nearing a return to action.
Oli McBurnie, meanwhile, is available against after a suspension, which he picked up in the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur two weeks ago.
The Blades also have several players out with longer-term injuries. Max Lowe, Ben Osborn, John Fleck and Rhian Brewster remain unavailable for the visitors.
Thirty years ago, Sheffield United made history when Brian Deane scored the first goal in Premier League history, five minutes into a 2-1 win over Manchester United.
Despite their defeat at Bramall Lane, Manchester United recovered to win the inaugural Premier League title and, in the three decades since, have been crowned champions on 13 occasions.
For Sheffield United, however, victory over Alex Ferguson’s side proved to be something of a false dawn. While they finished a respectable 14th – of 22 – in 1992/93, Dave Bassett’s Blades were blunted the following season and, following a final-day defeat at Chelsea, relegated.
It would be 12 years until Sheffield United returned to the Premier League, for the 2006/07 season, and again it ended in a dramatic relegation on the final day, this time confirmed by a home defeat by Wigan Athletic.
The Blades dropped into the third tier in 2011 and, after three near-misses in the Play-Offs, returned to the EFL Championship in 2017.
Former Sheffield United player and manager Chris Wilder masterminded that promotion, then another to the Premier League in 2018/19, and a ninth-place finish – their best since 1991/92 – in 2019/20.
Wilder’s departure in March 2021 was followed by relegation two months later. Following that demotion, the man who replaced Wilder as interim manager, Paul Heckingbottom, returned to his previous role as the club’s U23 lead coach.
However, when the Blades parted ways with his replacement Slaviša Jokanović after just six
Heckingbottom led the Blades to promotion last season, with a top-two place never in doubt following a run of eight wins in ten games either side of Christmas.
The challenge for the 46-year-old now is to establish today’s visitors as a Premier League club for the long-term, rather than just a season or two.
The transfer window saw big squad players in Illiman Ndiaye and Sander Berge depart, to Marseille and Burnley respectively, but Sheffield United supporters will be hoping the likes of midfielders Vinicius Souza and Gustavo Hamer, and attacker Cameron Archer, can put in the performances to keep the Blades fighting in the Premier League.
The Hammers and the Blades have played each other on 91 occasions, since a first meeting between the two sides on New Year’s Day 1924. The Irons ran out 2-0 winners against Sheffield United that day almost 100 years ago.
The South Yorkshire side actually have the slight edge over West Ham, claiming 38 wins to the Hammers’ 32, but David Moyes’ side did the double over the Blades when the two sides were last in the same season, during the 2020/21 Premier League campaign.
A 1-0 win at Bramall Lane in November 2020, secured thanks to Sébastien Haller’s finish on 56 minutes, was followed by a 3-0 win at London Stadium in February 2021. Declan Rice, Issa Diop and Ryan Fredericks got the goals for the Hammers that evening.
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistant Referees: Timothy Wood & Mark Scholes
Fourth Official: Keith Stroud
VAR: Darren Bond
Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt
Graham Scott will take charge of West Ham United's next Premier League game, when the Irons welcome Sheffield United to London Stadium on Saturday.
The 54-year-old from Oxford has been part of the Select Group of Referees since 2015, having taken up refereeing in the lower leagues in 1997 after his time playing football came to an early end, due to a back injury at 27.
He most recently officiated the Hammers in the Premier League back in December 2021, refereeing the Irons' 0-0 draw at Burnley.
So far this campaign Scott has taken charge of two EFL Championship matches, serving as the man in the middle for Leicester City's 2-1 home win over Cardiff City and the Foxes' 2-0 win at Norwich City.