Sunday, September 20, 2020

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Liverpool

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 27 Sep 2019

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Verdict: Total goals over 3.5

Best odds: 31/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Premier League newcomers Sheffield United will welcome league leaders Liverpool to the Bramall Lane on Saturday, as the two teams prepare to open the seventh round of the season against each other.

Sheffield United

The Blades are having a relatively good season. They pulled a few surprises out of the hat, most notably by staying undefeated at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea and beating Everton at Goodison Park, though a home win against Crystal Palace and a point away to Bournemouth aren’t to be scowled at either. They will have been disappointed by going out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday at home at the hands of League One side Sunderland, but no doubt all their focus is directed at securing Premier League survival at the end of the season.

Their results so far have brought them a total of eight points so far, as many as the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have gathered, placing them near the middle of the table.

Team News

Manager Chris Wilder rested his entire team midweek, clearly showing that the focus is on the league. He is, therefore, set to recall his preferred lineup on Saturday.

However, he will once more have to make do without Billy Sharp, who will thus complete his three-game ban. Fellow forward David McGoldrick may also miss this game due to a groin problem, but he hasn’t been ruled out completely yet.

Liverpool

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Champions League holders will look to keep their 100% record in league going at Bramall Lane. Last week they beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and before that, Norwich City, Southampton, Arsenal, Burnley and Newcastle all failed to steal a single point away from them. Having failed to win the title last season by a single point, they seem determined to end the three-decade wait this time around.

On Wednesday, they added the scalp of League One side MK Dons to their collection as they fielded a heavily changed side and still secured progress in the Carabao Cup.

Team News

Like Wilder, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also rested his team completely in mid-week with the Sheffield trip in mind, and he will now bring his main men out to play.

He still cannot put Alisson Becker between the posts, however, with the Brazil international goalkeeper out of action since suffering a calf injury in the opening round against Norwich. Defender Nathaniel Clyne has a long way to go in terms of recovery after he tore his ACL in the summer. Forward Xherdan Shaqiri is also out with a calf problem, and Divock Origi is a major doubt. Sadio Mane isn’t quite at 100% having suffered a dead leg at Stamford Bridge, but the Senegalese will likely still be involved. Midfielder Naby Keita is back after a long absence.

Conclusion

With all due respect to the Blades, this is a game which they’ll be playing for pride and the chance to cause an upset, or at least give a good account of themselves against one of the best teams in the world, but they won’t really be counting on points from it. That, however, takes a lot of pressure off their backs and will allow them to play more freely.

Liverpool, on the other hand, know what they must do to win the league. Defending champions Manchester City may be five points behind, but the Reds will be looking not to give them a foothold to climb closer at this point. A win is a must for the European champions, and the home side are looking at the prospect of their goal being besieged for 90+ minutes. If the deadlock is broken early, goals should be aplenty.

Verdict: Total goals over 3.5

Best odds: 31/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

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 four different football blogs.

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