Thursday, February 20, 2020

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

With their fading title hopes taking yet another major dent over the weekend, Manchester City will make the trip to Bramall Lane on Tuesday night.

Sheffield United

Starting with the hosts, putting in yet another rugged display and snatching a late point away at the Emirates over the weekend, Sheffield United still find themselves flirting with the European positions. Three-and-a-half years on from plying their trade in League One, Chris Wilder’s men have firmly cemented their spot as the Premier League’s surprise package. Including picking up a 1-0 win against West Ham in their last matchup at Bramall Lane, the Blades have an ever-growing reputation for their performances on home soil. Unbeaten in their last four matches across all formats in front of their own supporters, Wilder’s men have lost just a single matchup in Sheffield in their previous eight appearances, a run that stems back to the 28th of September. One man to potentially keep an eye out for in midweek could be Saturday’s hero, John Fleck. Bagging the equalizer in North London, the Scotland international has bagged four goals in his last five matches at Bramall Lane.

Team News

Sheffield United will assess the fitness of forward David McGoldrick, who missed Saturday’s draw at Arsenal with a foot injury.

Mo Besic has impressed as a substitute in recent games and is pushing for his full Premier League debut for the club.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, despite battling from behind so dramatically over the weekend, Manchester City could only muster a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace and have seen their fading title hopes take what could be a final dent. Opening the midweek fixtures sat 16 points adrift of the runaway leaders, Pep Guardiola’s men have continued to show some worrying issues at the back. While leading marksman Sergio Aguero may have bagged yet another brace at the Etihad to extend on what has been a stellar purple patch, the former Barcelona boss has seen his side record just a single clean sheet across all competitions in their last nine matchups, a run that stems back to the middle of December. Now with their sights firmly set on simply extending their Champions League status for next season, the reigning champions should be boosted by their most recent performances outside of Manchester. Including hitting Villa for six last week, Guardiola’s men really caught the eye in their dominant 3-1 victory away at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup.

Team News

Manchester City could be without John Stones because of a leg injury, and Benjamin Mendy, who has muscle fatigue.

The game will probably come too soon for Aymeric Laporte but he is close to a return from a lengthy knee injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off at the Etihad last month, Manchester City came away with a 2-0 win.
  • However, the Sky Blues have managed to record just a single clean sheet in any of their last nine matches across all competitions.
  • Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his last four matches on the bounce, recording seven strikes.
  • Sheffield United have lost just one of their last eight matches at Bramall Lane.
  • Midfielder John Fleck has four goals in his last five matches at Bramall Lane.

Conclusion

While City might open Tuesday’s contest as a landslide with the bookmakers, Pep Guardiola’s midweek trip to Sheffield could prove to be another tough test. With the Blades continuing to shine at Bramall Lane, Chris Wilder’s men will be no pushover in midweek. While we do expect the guests to come out on top, we’re backing what could be a cagey encounter on Tuesday. With City picking up a 2-0 win when the two sides faced off last month, a similar outcome seems like the smartest bet at Bramall Lane.

Verdict: Manchester City win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

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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