West Ham United fans are feeling conflicted this afternoon as Sheffield United and Aston Villa get the Premier League back underway.
West Ham’s relegation battle has been on hold for three months as a result of the global health crisis.
Villa entertain Sheffield United at Villa Park in the early evening match and it could go a long way to deciding the survival landscape.
This is Villa’s game in hand on West Ham and the other five teams in the relegation battle.
Win and they would lift themselves out of the relegation zone, above West Ham. Lose and their hopes of survival look bleak given their daunting fixture list.
Nail biting resumes for West Ham fans
Hammers boss David Moyes has nine games in six weeks to keep West Ham up.
So West Ham fans find themselves hugely conflicted tonight.
West Ham and the Blades have a bitter rivalry over the infamous Carlos Tevez saga and all that entailed on both sides.
West Ham fans have worn Tevez masks to taunt their Sheffield United rivals during previous meetings.
But on the pitch it’s Sheffield United who are laughing.
But while West Ham were tipped for Europe only to find themselves in a season long scrap for survival, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have been the exact opposite.
Hammers and Blades reverse expectations
Most fans and pundits believed the Blades would be one of the three to drop.
But they have been a revelation in the top flight. And a win over Villa would put them above Manchester United and in the driving seat for a potential Champions League place depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against a European ban.
West Ham aren’t back in action until they face Wolves on Saturday evening.
But Hammers fans everywhere will undoubtedly be tuning in and somewhat reluctantly cheering on Sheffield United.
West Ham fans have been speaking on WhatsApp, radio phone-ins, podcasts and social media.
West Ham conflicted over Sheffield United support
Many feel the season should have been cancelled because football is not the same without fans.
But others are looking forward to the restart even if they find themselves having to cheer on Sheffield United tonight.
One West Ham feed on Twitter – West Ham Rambles – perhaps put it best today.
“Nice to focus on how supporting Sheffield Utd tonight makes me do a little bit of sick in my mouth, as opposed to all the serious stuff going at the moment,” West Ham Rambles said on Twitter.
“Welcome back football.”
Nice to focus on how supporting Sheffield Utd tonight makes me do a little bit of sick in my mouth, as opposed to all the serious stuff going at the moment. Welcome back football. ⚒
— West Ham Rambles (@WestHamRambles) June 17, 2020