West Ham United begin their League Cup campaign with a game against Sheffield United at Upton Park this evening

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough. Picture: Action Images

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

West Ham United kick-off their League Cup campaign with a second-round visit from Sheffield United this evening (7.45pm).

There is history between the Hammers and the Blades, with the two clubs entangled in a lengthy legal battle following the Carlos Tevez affair during the 2006/07 season.

The Argentine striker, along with midfielder Javier Mascherano, was signed from third party investment companies MSI (Media Sports Investment) and Global Soccer – a type of deal prohibited by the Premier League.

As a result, the Hammers were fined £5.5m by the Premier League but were not docked any points – a decision the Blades contested in court before being placated with a £30m compensation package.

The Blades were eventually relegated on the final day of the Premier League season, going down on goal difference following a 2-1 defeat by Wigan Athletic.

In 2011, the Yorkshire outfit slipped into League One and are now entering their fourth season in the third tier after failed attempts to return to the Championship.

Nigel Clough’s side have begun in mixed fashion in the league this season and sit in 12th place after winning two and losing two of their first four fixtures.

There have been a number of additions at Bramall Lane, with defender Craig Alcock signing from Peterborough United, utility man Chris Basham joining from Blackpool and forward Michael Higdon joining from NEC Nijmegen..

The Hammers could hand full debuts to new signings Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, as well as midfielder Diego Poyet.

James Collins in back from suspension but Kevin Nolan will miss out with a shoulder injury.

For Clough’s side, midfielder James Wallace and winger Stefan Scougall are both doubts.

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