Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Arsenal

Verdict: Sheffield United to score over 0.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Desperate to find some much-needed stability this weekend, Arsenal will make the trip to an empty Bramall Lane when they face off against Sheffield United on Sunday night.

Sheffield United

Starting with the hosts, parting ways with long-standing boss Chris Wilder last month, Sheffield United have only continued on what has been a Premier League nightmare. Freefalling their way to a Championship return this year after shocking many across the top-flight last season, The Blades find themselves sat 15 points adrift of safety and their fate all but confirmed. Briefly under the guidance of Paul Heckingbottom until the end of the 2020/21 campaign, Sheffield United have really failed to build off of that 1-0 win against Aston Villa on March 3rd. Marking their return from the international break last weekend, the Premier League’s rock-bottom outfit were hit with a 2-1 defeat against bitter rivals Leeds and they have now lost each of their last four matchups across all formats. More worrying, along with losing seven of their previous eight matchups on what has been a horror run, it should also be noted that Sunday’s hosts have lost three of their last four contests at Bramall Lane.

Team News

Jayden Bogle and George Baldock could both feature for Sheffield United after head injuries sustained against Leeds.

Chris Basham, Billy Sharp, Sander Berge (hamstring) and Jack O’Connell (knee) are all still sidelined, however.

Arsenal

As for the visitors, while the mood around Bramall Lane might be at a continued low, Arsenal also find themselves in the midst of what has been a worrying rut. Throwing away the lead in dramatic fashion and watching Czech outfit Slavia Praha snatch what could be a crucial last-gasp equalizer at The Emirates earlier in the week, the pressure is firmly on Mikel Arteta’s shoulders. Knowing that they’re now in a real uphill battle if they’re to secure any kind of European football for next season, The Gunners were last seen on Premier League duties getting hit with a 3-0 drumming against Liverpool on home soil. Falling out of the top-half of the table, Pep Guardiola’s former right-hand man will have a real headache over his side’s extended issues at the back. Including shipping a trio of strikes in back-to-back top-flight meetings against Liverpool and West Ham, Arsenal have failed to record a single clean sheet across any format in any of their previous 14 matchups.

Team News

Arsenal are set to remain without Martin Odegaard, who missed the first-leg tie against Slavia Prague with an ankle injury.

David Luiz is recovering from a minor knee procedure, while fellow defender Kieran Tierney is expected to miss between four and six weeks with his own knee problem.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides faced off back in October, Arsenal picked up a 2-1 victory on home soil.
    • However, without a win in their last four matchups across all formats, The Gunners have failed to record a clean sheet in any of their last 14 matchups.
    • Along with losing their last four matchups on the spin, Sheffield United have lost seven of their last eight contests across all formats.
    • Each of Arsenal’s last five away fixtures across all formats have finished with both teams finding the net.
    • Sheffield United have failed to find the net in just two of their last eight matchups at Bramall Lane.

    Conclusion

    While Arsenal might open Sunday’s meeting by thinking they have a golden chance on the road, The Gunners have continued to show a host of issues over the past month. Without a win in their last four straight matchups and likely to still be feeling the effects of their Europa League heartbreak earlier in the week, Mikel Arteta’s side could face a banana skin at Bramall Lane. Simply looking to end what has been a horror campaign with some respect, The Blades will be hopeful of testing a leaky Arsenal defence. With Sunday’s hosts now failing to record a single clean sheet in any of their last 14 straight contests, don’t be surprised to see the Premier League’s rock-bottom side nick a goal this weekend.

    Verdict: Sheffield United to score over 0.5 goals

    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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