Sunday, February 23, 2020

Prediction: Sheffield United vs Watford

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

Sheffield United and Watford will play one of the most uneven Premier League matches during the Boxing Day schedule. While Sheffield are in Europa League zone, Watford sit dead last in the standings, but a win could ease their scenario considerably. This match will kick-off Thursday at 15:00 GMT at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United have been one of the most surprising teams in the Premier League this season, and it’s fair to wonder if this push might actually last a few more months so they can contend for a UEFA Europa League berth just like Wolverhampton Wanderers did last season. The Blades own the second-best defence in the league this season with only 16 goals conceded and they have lost just four games all season long, quite a surprising stat for a promoted team if we consider Norwich City and Aston Villa sit both in relegation zone. Plus, Sheffield United have lost just once game over their last five, and enter this matchup on a three-game winning streak following their 0-1 away at Brighton the last time out. They are clearly on a great run of form, and they will aim to extend that with another positive result here.

Team News

Sheffield United do not have injuries ahead of this game. They are at full strength entering this contest.

Watford

Watford, on the other hand, have had a dreadful season thus far and they have won just two games this season, meaning they sit at the bottom of the standings with 12 points. There are some positive signs going forward, however, as they are coming off a surprising win over Manchester United the last time out, and that means they have lost just one of their last three Premier League matches (W1, D1, L1). That’s not very encouraging, but it’s certainly a step forward considering the awful season they have had so far. The Hornets own the league’s worst attack with only 11 goals scored, and they have also conceded 32 goals already. They are only one of four teams to conceded 30+ goals and, not surprisingly, all four sit 17th or below in the standings. Can they turn things around by securing the win here?

Team News

Watford will have several absentees ahead of this match. Unfortunately for them, several of these players are experienced ones. Tom Cleverley (heel), Jose Holebas (ankle), Daryl Janmaat (knee), Sebastian Prodl (knee) and Danny Welbeck (thigh) will all miss this game.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last six matches between these two sides in all competitions have seen one – or none – team scoring.
  • Four of the last six games over that span have featured under 2.5 goals in total.
  • The same thing happened in four of Watford’s and Sheffield’s last five games.
  • Sheffield United own the league’s second-best defence with only 16 goals conceded.
  • Watford have the weakest attack in the league. They average just 0.61 goals scored per game.

Conclusion

The previous meeting between these two sides this season ended scoreless. Plus, four of the last five matches – for both teams – have featured under 2.5 goals. Expect that trend to continue here. Given Watford’s poor attack and Sheffield’s strong defence, this game should feature under 2.5 goals in total.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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