Is THIS the West Ham starting XI for the Sheffield United clash?

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Elliot LeeThe time has come, it is West Ham United vs Sheffield United, time for revenge, time to settle this once and for all. The Carlos Tevez derby is finally upon us after years of waiting.

Whilst the Sheffield United fans may well be playing it down, the 1,000 odd fans making the trip from up north will be welcomed by a sea of Carlos Tevez’s, as the Hammers plan to give them a gentle reminder of how their Argentinean hero helped to relegated the Blades.

The Capital One cup gives the gaffer an opportunity to blend a perfect mix of experience and youth, and it is time for me the play, your the gaffer!

Now it is a lifelong dream of mine to stand next to the hallowed turf and with microphone in hand shouting “and this is the way we line up, West Ham United!”

My starting XI vs Sheffield United – (formation 4-2-3-1)

In goal number Twenty Two – Jussi Jääskeläinen

The Hammers have always had a cup keeper, last season it was Adrian who has now turned into number 1, so it is time for Jussi to a step up to the plate. The experienced former Bolton Wanderers number one is more than capable of calming the nerves of an inexperienced back four that will be infront of him.

At right-back: Guy Demel

Guy Demel has been missing for the Hammers squad due to compassionate leave, this game gives him the opportunity to get back amongst the boys. Guy is an experienced player, and would add calmness down the right hand side of defence. My back four will constitute of a blend of youth or experience and Demel will add his wealth of experience and quality to the back four.

Right sided centre-half: Reece Burke

The importance of Guy Demel at right back, will allow youngster Burke to be comfortable at centre half. Burke has impressed all pre season, and the Essex born man deserves his chance with the first team. The club have high hopes for the youngster and chances like this on the big stage at Upton Park will only further develop him as a player.

Left sided centre half: James Tomkins

My team will consist of as many “West Ham through and through players” who understand the rivalry between the Hammers and the Blades. James Tomkins has plenty of experience and will have played with Burke before, and Burke will look up to Tonks as a player who has come through the academy just like Burke is trying to do now. It will also please the fans to see two academy products next to each at the heart of the back four.

Left back: Dan Potts

Aaron Cresswell has played a lot of football over the last few weeks and picked up a niggle against Spurs, so a break here will help to prepare him fully for Southampton on Saturday. Mercifully the Hammers have an excited young prospect in Dan Potts who can step up to the mark. Dubbed as a prospect for a while now, it is time Pottsy started to show his true potential on the big stage. He needs to show that he can properly compete with Cressy for the left back berth.

Centre midfield: Mark Noble (captain)

Mark Noble is one of the sole survivors of the survival season which left Sheffield United so up in arms. Nobes is an experienced player now and will remember all the worries and rows between the Hammers and the Blades during that time. He is one the Hammers best passers and his extra class will unlock Sheffield United defence.

Centre midfield: Diego Poyet

Having only played a handful of minutes of first team football, Poyet deserves his big chance in front of a large crowd at Upton Park. Poyet is dubbed to one of the most exciting young midfielders in the countries. It is time for Poyet to show the West Ham faithful just what he is all about, and if he impresses it will force Allardyce to think about giving him more playing time in the league.

Left wing: Matt Jarvis

Having missed much of the early season through injury, Jarvis will be itching the get back on the park. His trickery and pace will cause the Blades back four all sorts of problems and a game like this gives him the perfect opportunity to gain match fitness back and force his way back into the starting XI in the coming weeks.

Right wing: Enner Valencia

His brief cameo against Spurs got the Hammers faithful to the edge of their seats, his hard working nature has won over a number of fans and having missed out against Palace on Saturday the Ecuadorian will be desperate to prove a point to Sam Allardyce. If he can play anything like he did at the World Cup he will cause the Blades all sorts of problems.

Centre Attacking Midfield: Ravel Morrison

Having been on the bench against Crystal Palace the former United man will want to prove he has put his trouble behind him. With his pending trial around the corner Morrison will just want to get some minutes under his belt and play well to force Allardyce to choose between Zarate and Morrison whilst Nolan is injured. We all know Morrison has the quality and this is a prime opportunity for him to show his class.

Striker: Elliot Lee

With plenty of experience in midfield it gives the perfect opportunity for Sam Allardyce to have a proper look at Lee. Elliot has plenty of experience at youth level, and is itching to prove to Sam that he could step up to first team level. He is cool as a cucumber in front of goal and having impressed in pre season he deserves his chance in front of a big crowd at Upton Park.

Agree? Tweet me @Bowdenwhu with how you would line up tonight!

Come on you Irons!

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