Sheffield United vs West Ham
The Blades enjoyed the novel experience of a handsome win at the weekend, albeit against a Gillingham side that play in League Two. Chris Wilder’s side eased to a 4-0 win in the FA Cup tie – but will that feel-good vibe continue against West Ham on Sunday?
Sheffield United have won one league game since Wilder’s return, two all season, while West Ham are up to sixth in the league, having won three of their last four games.
That said, the Irons exited the FA Cup this week, losing to Bristol City. The side are also currently without the influential Mo Kudus, who’s away at the Africa Cup of Nations. Lucas Paqueta, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen are all injured too. Although there’s talk Bowen could be fit in time for this encounter.
More positively, David Moyes’ side haven’t conceded a league goal in four matches since that unexpected 5-0 defeat to Fulham.
The Irons have also successfully kept Sheffield United at bay on the last three occasions the sides have met. West Ham have won each encounter, without conceding a goal in that run.
And the east London club have been decent on the road of late, with wins against Burnley, Spurs and Arsenal since late November.
In other words, FA Cup setback aside it could still be worth backing West Ham to win – and throw BTTS No into the mix, too. That double is available at 49/20. The standard West Ham win is a 23/20 shot.
Bournemouth vs Liverpool
Top of the Prem, with one league defeat all season, a trip to the south coast doesn’t look an obvious banana skin for Liverpool at first glance. But Bournemouth have been a team transformed since a very shaky start for manager Andoni Iraola.
The Cherries were beaten 3-1 away to Tottenham last time out, it’s true. But that defeat ended a seven-match unbeaten run, where Bournemouth claimed six victories – including wins over Man Utd and Newcastle, and a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa.
As well as missing the injured Trent Alexander Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai, Liverpool are also without their most potent striker Mo Salah, scorer of 14 league goals this campaign. No other Liverpool player has managed more than five, with both Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez on that number. Cody Gakpo and Luis Diaz have just three each.
Both Nunez and Gakpo scored here in the League Cup back in November, in fairness. But Bournemouth are revitalised, and maybe the hosts could get something here; they won against Liverpool in this fixture last year, after all.
Perhaps backing the Cherries at 6/5 to win or draw in the Double Chance market is a decent possibility.
Another possibility could be Dominic Solanke finding the net again; he’s done so eight times in his last eight league games. The Bournemouth striker has also scored at the Vitality in each of his last three home appearances, too. Solanke is 6/1 to score the opener against his old club.
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