Friday, August 7, 2020

Prediction: Leicester City vs Sheffield United

Verdict: Sheffield United double chance

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

With the chance to pick up another scalp and move one step closer to a top-six finish, Sheffield United will make the trip to a downbeat King Power Stadium on Thursday evening.

Leicester City

Starting with the hosts, likely to still be reeling from what was a dramatic collapse against Bournemouth on Sunday night, Leicester have drastically struggled to find their feet since returning from the break. Eventually leaving the Vitality on the wrong end of a 4-1 drumming, the Foxes now find only their goal difference keeping them in the top-four. Making a string of costly mistakes against the relegation scrappers over the weekend, Brendan Rodgers’ side have managed to win just one of their seven contests since making a return to action last month. With it appearing that their 3-0 victory against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace was just an ever so minor bounce for the former Celtic boss, his men have already dropped points against the likes of Brighton, Watford and Everton since the season resumption. For a side low on both confidence and form, the Foxes could take some solace from what is an eye-catching record against Thursday’s guests. Landing a 2-1 win when they made the trip to Sheffield earlier in the campaign, the Blues have won each of their last four straight meetings against the European chasers.

Team News

After being shown a straight red at the Vitality over the weekend, defender Caglar Soyuncu will be banned for the remainder of the season.

Elsewhere, Marc Albrighton, James Maddison and Ben Chilwell face fitness tests.

Sheffield United

As for the visitors, while the mood around the King Power might remain at a season-low, the same cannot be said for a high-flying Sheffield United. Putting in what was another rampant display on Saturday evening, the Blades managed to land Chelsea’s top-four ambitions a real blown with a stunning 3-0 romp at Bramall Lane. With a real reputation for their recent clinical displays of late, Chris Wilder’s side have really bounced back from what was a worrying return from football’s enforced break. Now sat just a single point adrift of breaking back into the top-six and with a remarkable European finish at the top of their agenda, Thursday’s guests find themselves in the midst of a four-match Premier League unbeaten run, collecting 10 points. Even more impressive, making the trip to the King Power with the mood in their camp only continuing to skyrocket, United also picked up victories against Wolves and a clinical 3-1 win against Spurs on their most recent purple patch. Enjoying a fairy tale Premier League return this season, there is no doubt that Thursday’s guests will be looking to pick up another scalp in midweek.

Team News

Sheffield United’s John Fleck could return after a groin injury but Leon Clarke and Luke Freeman remain out.

Chris Basham, who was substituted after taking a ball to the face against Chelsea, will be assessed.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including a 2-1 win earlier in the season, Leicester have won each of their last four meetings against the Blades.
  • However, including their 4-1 hammering against Bournemouth over the weekend, the Foxes have recorded just one win since returning from the enforced break.
  • Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matchups, collecting 10 points.
  • Leicester have managed to record just a single clean sheet in their last five matches across all competitions.
  • The Blades have conceded just a single goal from open play on their four-match unbeaten run.

Conclusion

While Leicester might open Thursday’s meeting as a top pick with the bookmakers, there is no doubt that a high-flying Sheffield United will be smelling a real opportunity in midweek. With the Foxes likely to still be reeling after what was a stunning collapse against relegation scrappers Bournemouth on the South Coast, the top-four chasers have managed to land just a single victory since returning from the enforced break. Picking up a thumping 3-0 win against Chelsea on Saturday evening and already picking up victories against both Spurs and Wolves on their four-match unbeaten run, don’t be surprised to see the Blades leave with something to show in midweek.

Verdict: Sheffield United double chance

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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