Saturday, November 28, 2020

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Manchester City


Verdict: Manchester City win and under 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to build off of their European victory in midweek, Manchester City will make the trip to a struggling Bramall Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

Sheffield United

Starting with the hosts, failing to hold onto their shock lead away at Anfield last weekend, Sheffield United eventually slumped to a 2-1 defeat against the defending champions and are a side really in the midst of a worrying extended spell. Along with signing off the extended 2019/2020 campaign by losing each of their final three Premier League appearances over the summer, Chris Wilder’s side have drastically struggled to find their feet this time around. While Wilder might have felt that his side made some much-needed improvements last weekend, the Blades have managed to collect just a single point from their opening six top-flight outings and they find only their goal difference stopping them from slipping to the foot of the table. It should also be noted, while Sheffield United might have converted from the spot at Anfield last time out, Saturday’s hosts have managed to record just a single Premier League strike from open play so far this season.

Team News

Sheffield United full-back Max Lowe is available to face Manchester City after passing concussion protocols.

John Lundstram’s refusal to agree a new contract is not expected to have an impact on his involvement.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, managing to pick up what was a routine 3-0 win away at French outfit Marseille while on Champions League duties earlier in the week, there is no doubt that Manchester City will be desperate to build off of that result. With many questioning whether this will be Pep Guardiola’s last season at the Etihad, the former Barcelona boss could only see his side come from behind and grab a 1-1 draw away at West Ham last weekend. Despite now finding themselves in the midst of a six-match unbeaten run across all competitions as we inch closer to November, the former Premier League champions have managed to collect just eight points from their opening five top-flight contests and open this weekend’s fixtures sat way down in 13th. With their thumping 5-2 defeat against Leicester at the Etihad really showing some of the underlying issues in the blue half of Manchester, they also find themselves in the midst of their worst domestic start since the 2014/2015 campaign.

Team News

City defender Nathan Ake could return from a groin problem, while Aymeric Laporte is under consideration for only his second league game of the season.

Manager Pep Guardiola remains without Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off back in January, Manchester City picked up a 1-0 win away at Bramall Lane.
  • Four of the last five meetings between Saturday’s opponents have finished with under 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
  • Sheffield United have managed to collect just a single point so far this year and have failed to win any of their last nine Premier League contests continuing on from last season.
  • Manchester City have won eight points from their five Premier League games this season – their lowest total at this stage of the season since 2014/2015.
  • The Sky Blues have also played out back-to-back 1-1 draws away from the Etihad against West Ham and Leeds.

Conclusion

While on paper Manchester City might open Saturday’s meeting as a landslide pick with the bookmakers given Sheffield United’s continued issues, the Sky Blues will simply be desperate to avoid a real banana skin this weekend. Managing to collect just eight points from their opening five Premier League contests, their lowest tally since the 2014/201515 campaign, it could be a cagey lunchtime at Bramall Lane. With the Sky Blues picking up a 1-0 win when they last faced off against the Blades at Bramall Lane back in January, we’re backing a similar outcome on Saturday.

Verdict: Manchester City win and under 4.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/1

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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