Sunday, April 21, 2024

Prediction: Liverpool vs Sheffield United

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Liverpool will aim to maintain their momentum as they face Sheffield United at Anfield, seeking to secure another three points against the bottom-placed team.

Having already defeated the Blades earlier in the season, the Reds will be eager to replicate their success and continue their pursuit of the Premier League title.

Liverpool

On Easter Sunday at Anfield, Liverpool once again demonstrated their remarkable comeback prowess, securing a 2-1 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, marking their seventh such turnaround this season in the Premier League.

The initial blow came from Danny Welbeck, who swiftly put the Seagulls in the lead just two minutes into the match, momentarily surprising the Kop faithful. However, the Reds swiftly seized control of the game, with goals from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah, the latter recording his 16th league goal of the campaign, after unleashing 12 shots throughout the match – the highest by any player in a single top-flight game this season.

With nine matches left to play, Jurgen Klopp’s side currently leads the enthralling three-way title race. Going into the mid-week games, they held a two-point advantage over second-placed Arsenal and are three points ahead of reigning champions Manchester City, who settled for a goalless draw against the Gunners on Sunday.

Despite Pep Guardiola’s acknowledgment of Liverpool’s ascendancy as ‘clear favourites’ for the title, the competition at the summit remains fierce. The Reds could potentially surrender their position if either Arsenal emerge victorious against Luton Town on Wednesday night.

Liverpool enter Thursday’s match with confidence, having lost just once in their last 22 Premier League outings. Their formidable record at Anfield, where they remain unbeaten in their last 28 top-flight matches, winning 17 of those encounters, further bolsters their optimism. Additionally, their recent dominance over Sheffield United, having won each of their last six league meetings by an aggregate score of 13-1, adds to their favorable prospects.

Team News

Klopp is still facing the challenge of managing his squad without key players such as Alisson Becker (hamstring), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Ben Doak (all recovering from knee injuries), Thiago Alcantara (muscle injury), and Stefan Bajcetic (calf injury).

Jurgen Klopp has disclosed that Wataru Endo sustained a knock and will undergo assessment before the kickoff. However, both Andrew Robertson and Curtis Jones are set to make their return to the matchday squad following recoveries from knee and shin injuries, respectively, having participated in training this week.

Ibrahima Konate could make a comeback in central defence in the place of Jarell Quansah, but the France international will probably be saved for the clash against Manchester United on Sunday.

Ryan Gravenberch, Harvey Elliott, and Cody Gakpo are vying for starting positions after coming off the bench in the previous match. Gakpo, in particular, could step in for either Diaz or Darwin Nunez if Klopp decides to inject freshness into his attacking lineup.

Sheffield United

Last weekend, Sheffield United appeared poised to secure just their fourth Premier League victory of the season when they led 3-1 at home against Fulham, courtesy of goals from Ben Brereton Diaz (two) and Oli McBurnie, with only four minutes of normal time remaining.

However, Bobby De-Cordova Reid narrowed the gap for Fulham before in-form striker Rodrigo Muniz scored a stunning acrobatic goal in the 93rd minute, leveling the score and snatching a point from the Blades in dramatic fashion.

Defensive lapses once again proved to be Sheffield’s downfall, and surrendering a two-goal lead so late in the game was “a difficult one to take” for manager Chris Wilder, who has just nine matches left to help his team narrow the seven-point gap to safety.

One minor positive from last weekend’s outcome is that the Blades avoided defeat for the second consecutive game, having drawn with both Fulham and Bournemouth. Heading into Thursday’s clash at Liverpool, they have accumulated four points from their last three away fixtures, double the number they amassed in their first 11 games away from Bramall Lane this season.

However, success has been elusive at Anfield; the visitors have lost 10 of their last 12 away league encounters with Liverpool. The exceptions were a goalless draw back in March 1975 and a 2-1 victory in April 1994, which makes it three decades since they avoided defeat at Liverpool’s iconic ground.

Team News

Sheffield United’s treatment room remains crowded with key players, including Chris Basham, John Egan, and Max Lowe (all nursing ankle injuries), as well as Rhys Norrington-Davies, Rhian Brewster, and Tom Davies (all dealing with hamstring issues). Additionally, George Baldock is recovering from a calf injury, while Daniel Jebbison is currently battling illness.

Vinicius Souza, who suffered from cramps in the draw against Fulham, and Oliver Arblaster, who picked up a knock in the same game, will undergo assessment before kickoff. Meanwhile, Cameron Archer’s availability is uncertain despite showing positive signs in his recovery from a calf problem.

Following their goalscoring contributions last weekend, both McBurnie and Brereton Diaz are anticipated to start upfront, with Will Osula ready to provide backup from the bench. Everton loanee Mason Holgate and former Liverpool youngster Jack Robinson are set to join Anel Ahmedhodzic in the back line.

Conclusion

Sheffield United scored five goals in their last two games, and they might well be able to find the back of the net at Anfield. That would, however, likely spark a furious retaliation from the Merseysiders, who shouldn’t have any problem with earning fresh three points to further their chances of becoming the champions of England for the 20th time.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best odds: 20/21

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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