Manchester United vs Sheffield United Preview

Manchester United vs Sheffield United
Image source: The United Devils

Manchester United are back in action on Wednesday night and this time the hurdle in our race for top 4 is Sheffield United. After drawing 1-1 to Spurs on Friday night and Chelsea beating Aston Villa, we are now 5 points off of the Champions League spots. However, with Chelsea playing Manchester City on Thursday night, we have a chance of closing that gap down to 2 points. Chelsea are also yet to travel to Anfield where they could potentially drop more points. The only constant in all this is that Manchester United have to win consistently. Having failed to do that against Spurs, we go again tomorrow night and hopefully, we get all three points.

Teams: Manchester United vs Sheffield United
Date: Wednesday, 24th June 2020
KO Time: 6pm GMT
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Chris Wilder
Stadium: Old Trafford
Referee: Anthony Taylor

Team News:

In his press conference, Solskjaer mentioned that there are no fresh injuries which are a relief as Victor Lindelof hobbled off the pitch against Spurs. It still remains to be seen if Paul Pogba starts as the manager wants him to ease into his rhythm. However, his performance against Spurs will make it a really difficult choice for him to make. The same can't be said for David De Gea, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw as their error led to the opening goal on Friday. We could see Brandon Williams featuring over Shaw, and even Sergio Romero over De Gea but it's unlikely that Eric Bailly will replace Maguire in the lineup. 
Sheffield United have some major players missing the game. Dean Henderson will not be eligible because he's a United player on loan to Bramall Lane. John Egan got sent off in their embarrassing  3-0 defeat to Newcastle over the weekend and their reliable defender Jack O'Connell is ruled out due to injury. With 3 major players missing, Ole and his me will have no excuses and anything less than a win is unacceptable.

Interesting Stats:

  • Manchester United are just 2 points above Sheffield United and a win will put us 5 points clear of them and a loss will see them leap over us with a point's advantage.
  • Sheffield United have conceded the second least goals in the season and Premier League and are only behind league leaders - Liverpool.
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in the last 12 games in all competitions. Our last loss came in a 2-0 defeat at home to Burnley in January.
  • Manchester United loanee to Sheffield United, Dean Henderson, is joint first in the Premier League Golden Glove Award race with 11 clean sheets.
  • Manchester United have been awarded 11 penalties this season which is 2 less than the record of 13 held by Crystal Palace (2004-05) and Leicester City (2014-15).
Team Selection:

Last week, Daniel James had a poor game and I believe he should be benched in favour of Mason Greenwood. Paul Pogba showed why he doesn't need to earn his place in the side as he walks into most of the best teams in the world. The game completely changed after Pogba and Nemanja Matic came on so I believe both of them will start in midfield alongside Bruno Fernandes. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford will keep their places up top due to lack of better options as they too were poor and tightly marked in the Spurs game. I feel Sheffield will go all out against us and not sit back as they have nothing to lose. This season has been a fairytale for them and they'll try to hurt us as much as possible. They might play a low block while defending - something we find very hard to break - and a fast transition while attacking.

Predicted team: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Matic, Pogba, Fernandes; Greenwood, Martial, Rashford

Predicted Score: 
As mentioned before, nothing less than a win will be acceptable as we're already 5 points behind 4th spot. A convincing win will be a bonus as it'll put us in that momentum that we had before the lockdown. 

Predicted Score: 3-1 to United

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