Tuesday, May 21, 2024

´It´s a poor season, not a poor football club´ – Blades boss Wilder

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Apr 2024

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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has defended Sheffield United, acknowledging it has been a bad season, but dismissing that the Blades do not have a positive future.

A midweek defeat to Manchester United means the Blades can be relegated back to the Championship should they lose to Newcastle United on Saturday.

The Blades are 10 points from safety with four games left, but even a point would not realistically be enough given they have a goal difference of -59, 41 worse than Nottingham Forest’s -18.

To make matters worse, the Blades will start their next season in the Championship with a two-point deduction for financial discrepancies.

“We’re not saying everything is great,” said Wilder.

“What we are saying is there is a load of optimism about the future of the football club.

“It’s a poor season, not a poor football club. We’ve been in far worse positions than this as a football club, certainly over my time as a supporter, player and manager.

“So, we’ll come again if the inevitable happens on the weekend. We’ll try our best, as we did, like we did on Wednesday night at Old Trafford, to get a result for our club and our supporters – who yet again were magnificent.”

Newcastle, meanwhile, are in the hunt for European football, and Eddie Howe wants a response following the 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace in midweek.

Howe said: “We must learn and absorb all the lessons from Wednesday. Every game is so difficult, it is up to us to go into the game with the right mentality and let our players express themselves in the right way. We have to finish the season strongly, we are under no illusions on how important these fixtures are.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Newcastle United – Alexander Isak

Isak has scored in each of his last six Premier League home games, with only Andrew Cole (eight in 1993-94) and Alan Shearer (15 in 1996-97) netting in more consecutively for Newcastle in the competition.

Sheffield United – Ben Brereton Diaz

Brereton Diaz scored in Sheff Utd’s 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford – his fifth Premier League goal of the season since he joined on loan from Villarreal in January. With Oli McBurnie set to miss the rest of the season, Diaz will be the Blades’ biggest attacking threat.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE UNITED WIN

Newcastle are overwhelming favourites, and it is no surprise given Howe have lost just one of their last 25 Premier League games kicking off at 3pm on Saturday (W16 D8), going down 1-0 at Luton Town earlier this season.

The Magpies have scored in all 17 of their Premier League home games this season, with their 43 goals in total their most at St James’ Park in a top-flight campaign since 1996-97 (54).

Newcastle have lost none of their eight Premier League home games against promoted sides under Howe (W3 D5), with their last such defeat coming against Leeds United under Steve Bruce in January 2021. They also beat Sheffield United 8-0 in the reverse fixture at Bramall Lane – the most goals they have ever scored against an opponent in a single Premier League campaign is 10, doing so against the Blades’ rivals Sheffield Wednesday in 1999-00.

The Blades have lost three of their four Premier League away games against Newcastle, failing to score in each defeat. The exception was a 1-0 victory under Neil Warnock in November 2006.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Newcastle United – 71.6%

Sheffield United – 9.7%

Draw – 18.7%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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