After being part of the most boring Manchester derby in the modern era, Manchester United have lots to do against Sheffield United to regain their fans’ admiration. Getting a big win, for one, would give them a lot of momentum heading into the exhausting holiday period.
The Blades have only picked up 1 point this season and look destined for relegation. The Red Devils, meanwhile, have won every single away game in the Premier League. The outcome may seem obvious. But nothing is predictable when it comes to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s polarizing side, who will have to work hard & be clinical to pick up another big away win.
Sheffield United Likely XI
Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Jagielka, Baldock, Berge, Ampadu, Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick, Sharp
Defender Jack O’Connell is a long-term absentee for Sheffield. Striker Oliver McBurnie might also miss the clash after suffering a knock at the weekend.
Manchester United Likely XI
Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Telles, Matic, Fred, Bruno, Mata, Rashford, Martial
With so many games ahead, rotation is the need of the hour. Expect Solskjaer to make quite a few changes knowing Sheffield’s form. Edinson Cavani remains the only injury doubt.
Sheffield United vs Manchester United preview
Despite being winless in their last two games (in all competitions), United still have enough quality & momentum to get back to winning ways against Sheffield. Their opponents have only scored 5 (!) goals in 11 league games this season & managed a single draw till now. There really shouldn’t be much debating about this one.
However, OGS will not take things lightly & shouldn’t allow complacency to set in. With the future games in mind, he should make rotations but will still field a strong side to get another big away win. Bruno Fernandes, for one, needs to start despite working his socks off in the last few games.
The Portuguese midfielder has contributed in every single away game for United in PL this season, scoring 5 goals & providing 3 assists. Bruni will look to drive them forward with his clever forward passes & hunger for goal and run riot in attack.
Anthony Martial hasn’t scored a PL goal this season & will look to change that against the team he scored a hattrick in July. Marcus Rashford should use his blistering pace & penetrative nature to get back to scoring ways again. Juan Mata should start & will look to open up chances for his forward stars. Fred & Nemanja Matic are tasked to control possession but also open up channels for those ahead. While United should dominate the game, they must be wary of Sheffield’s threat.
The Blades still have clever midfielders & clinical strikers like Billy Sharp & Dave McGoldrick, while their unique style can cause the Red Devils problems. Harry Maguire & co can’t let their guard down and must stamp their authority to shut down the hosts. Dean Henderson, a former Sheffield star, will look to get a clean sheet at his former home.
Unless the Red Devils overcomplicate things, this should be a straight-forward win. OGS must ensure they don’t make silly mistakes, start the game strongly & most importantly take their chances – which should come aplenty knowing Sheffield’s woeful form.
While I don’t think this will be as easy as many think, United REALLY shouldn’t drop points here knowing their away form. They could make things difficult for themselves, but I think they’ll still get a compelling 3-1 win.