Thursday, September 16, 2021

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Everton

Verdict: Everton win

Best Odds: 10/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to immediately bounce back from their EFL Cup defeat in midweek, Everton will make the trip to a downbeat Bramall Lane on Saturday night.

Sheffield United

Starting with the hosts, while Sheffield United might have gained a string of plaudits from across the Premier League last season, it has been nothing short of a disaster this time around. Despite Chris Wilder praising his side’s display away at fellow relegation scrappers Brighton last time out, the Blades’ 10-man side eventually threw away the lead late on and had to settle for a 1-1 draw on the South Coast. Already seen as a landslide pick to be hit with a Championship return this season, United have remarkably managed to pick up just a pair of points since opening the 2020/2021 campaign, the lowest points tally ever recorded by a side entering Christmas Day. With many feeling that Wilder now has mission impossible on his hands at Bramall Lane, it should also be highlighted that the Blades signed off last year’s extended campaign by also losing each of their final three appearances on the bounce. Hit with a 1-0 loss when they last welcomed Everton to Bramall Lane back in July, Wilder’s men should face another stern test this weekend.

Team News

Sander Berge will be sidelined for approximately three months because of a torn tendon in his foot.

John Lundstram begins a three-match suspension as a result of his red card at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.

Everton

As for the visitors, after watching Manchester United snatch a late 2-0 win and ending their EFL Cup adventure earlier in the week, there is no doubt that Everton will be glad to make a return to Premier League duties at Bramall Lane. While Carlo Ancelotti’s side might have endured a torrid run of form during November, the former Napoli boss has seen his side bounce back in impressive fashion. With it no secret that fans around Goodison Park have their sights set on securing a European return this season, the Toffees open Christmas Day sat fourth in the table and the mood in their camp should still be at a high. Last seen on top-flight action picking up a 2-1 win against a struggling Arsenal on home soil, Everton are enjoying a three-match Premier League winning run and they have collected 10 points from their last four appearances. Also managing to pick up back-to-back victories against Chelsea and Leicester earlier in the month, Ancelotti’s side will be confident of extending on their European charge this weekend.

Team News

Everton will assess Richarlison, who was forced off with a head injury against Manchester United on Wednesday.

James Rodriguez, Allan and Lucas Digne remain out, but captain Seamus Coleman could make his first league start since 7 November after returning from a hamstring injury as a substitute last week.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off at Bramall Lane back in July, Everton picked up a 1-0 victory.
  • Managing to collect just a pair of points so far this season, Sheffield United hold the record for the lowest points collected by any side on Christmas Day.
  • More worrying, continuing on from last year’s interrupted campaign, the Blades have collected those two points from their last 17 top-flight matchups.
  • Including a 2-1 win against Arsenal last weekend, Everton have won each of their last three Premier League matchups on the bounce.
  • The Blues have also collected seven points from their last three away fixtures.

Conclusion

While Everton might have seen their EFL Cup adventure come to an end in midweek, the Blues should be smelling a golden opportunity this weekend. Now enjoying a three-match Premier League winning run and also collecting seven points from their last three matchups away from Goodison Park, Saturday’s guests should be looking to cash in on a woeful Sheffield United outfit. Managing to collect just a pair of points so far this season and breaking unwanted records by the week, it should also be noted that Everton picked up a 1-0 win when they made the trip to Bramall Lane back in July.

Verdict: Everton win

Best Odds: 10/11

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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