It must feel good being a Manchester United player right now. Sitting on top of the Premier League and having knocked out rivals Liverpool from the FA Cup, the Red Devils are flying high. But to continue this run, they must not let complacency set in.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faces Sheffield United next, the team sitting rock-bottom in the table. However, that shouldn’t mean the players take this for granted. This is the Premier League. If Burnley can defeat Liverpool at Anfield, ANYTHING can happen. Having won their last few games with a 1-goal margin, United must put out their best form of attacking soccer to get a necessary big win.
Manchester United Likely XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, Greenwood, Bruno, Martial, Cavani
Marcus Rashford could be rested for this after suffering a slight injury scare against Liverpool.
Sheffield United Likely XI
Ramsdale, Basham, Jagielka, Ampadu, Bogle, Lundstrum, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick, Burke
To compound on their misery, Sheffield have a big injury list. First-teamers Sander Berge, Oliver McBurnie, Jack Robinson, John Egan & Jack O’Connell are all ruled out.
Manchester United vs Sheffield United preview
There isn’t much time for United to celebrate their win against Liverpool because the games just keep on coming. However, OGS’ side doesn’t look too aggravated by the intense schedule & their recovery from each game has been commendable.
Having been able to rest some key players on Sunday, Ole will have a fresher first XI to play Sheffield United. Bruno Fernandes has recharged his batteries and after his masterclass against Liverpool, he’ll be playing with a spring in his step. The Portuguese midfielder loves being absolutely everywhere in the attack, so he’ll be vital in breaking open Sheffield’s shape & creating all the good stuff for his side.
The last time Anthony Martial played Sheffield at Old Trafford, he scored his first-ever United hattrick. The Frenchman is longing for more goals & can do that against the relegation dwellers. While Martial should cause trouble with his movement down the left, he needs to be more clinical to get among the goals.
Edinson Cavani will have to put in another hard-working shift in the attack on Wednesday & his clever movement & predatorial instincts can terrorize the visitors. Mason Greenwood has his confidence back after his heroics against LFC, as he’ll look to continue his momentum by tormenting the visitors.
The duo of Paul Pogba & Fred should start again to help the Red Devils dominate the possession. Pogba is on cloud nine & will be the x-factor in United’s attack with his clever passes and goal-scoring unpredictability. Fred should cause the Blades problems with his houndish style.
Chris Wilder’s men might be toiling at the bottom, but shouldn’t be written off. Dave McGoldrick has goals against 4 top PL teams this season (including 2 vs United), so he’ll be a terror in the attack. The Blades are also dangerous in set-pieces, which is, unfortunately, the Red Devils’ weakness.
The Red Devils will aim to keep another clean sheet, but the back four must be their sharpest & David de Gea needs to turn up when needed. As long as United dominate possession & keep testing the visitors with persistent, diverse attacking moves, they should get the job done and retain their spot at the top of the league for the time being.
United’s recent surge in home wins & the fact that Sheffield United have 1 league win this season makes this easy to predict. I think the Red Devils should get a comfortable 3-1 win because of their high confidence levels right now.