Preview of Sunday’s match: Sheffield United v Tottenham Hotspur
17 JAN 202 at 2pm.
Venue: Bramall Lane
In my previous blog (about our draw with Fulham) I let rip. I was totally annoyed. These are games we are supposed to win if we want to challenge for the title. After resting through the night and rethinking what I said in the morning, I thought of it differently (well, you’ve to be optimistic, at least until the fat lady sings).
If somebody had said at the beginning of the season that we would be in all the Cup competitions, and in one of them, we had reached the Final and only six points behind League leaders at this time of season, one would have bitten their head off to accept that. And on top of that, we’ve only lost 3 games. Yes, those draws we had we should have won.
We also must remember that it took Bill Nicholson 3 seasons to win any silverware and of course the great Alex Furgeson, after five years, was close to getting the sack. So maybe we are expecting too much here. Saying all that, though, we must start getting back to our winning ways. We need to beat Sheffield United this Sunday, and it wouldn’t hurt if United and Liverpool did us a favour and drew their match. And maybe one or two other results go our way, and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle and aunt Fanny is just that… a fanny (or is that funny? We could do with a laugh from Bob’s wife!).
So, with a positive mind, to the game on Sunday and starting with Team News:
Sheffield United have seven players missing for our visit.
Their Enda Stevens, Oli McBurnie and George Baldock will be assessed, while Jack Robinson remains sidelined.
We expect Steven Bergwijn to be available – he has not featured since the win against Leeds on 2 January. Gareth Bale could feature after appearing on the bench against Fulham, but Giovani Lo Celso is still out.
My thoughts and prediction
The Blades seem to be on an uplift, while we drew our last game against a lowly side. However, this is more of a blip for both teams, and I expect to see us in a better condition than the Sheffield team. Granted, we have dropped quite a few points from winning positions, including Wednesday’s draw with Fulham (and of course Newcastle, the Spammers, Wolves, Palace and Chelsea). It isn’t a huge surprise that we are not getting the goals to finish teams off, however, everybody is aware of this, therefore I have no doubt they’ve been working on it to correct this problem. We’ve got two world-class forwards in Harry Kane and Son who can deliver the goods. So I am going to continue with my confidence here and go for a big win.
We’ve got to keep our eyes on their forward Billy Sharp, who has lost just one of the 53 league games in which he has scored under Chris Wilder (W41, D11), a 3-2 defeat against Bristol City in March 2019
Prediction: 2-0, 3-0 or higher
Yes, I might get egg on my face (again), but I do believe that what we’ve gone through is more of a blip, rather than a raging concern. If we haven’t got hope and optimism, then what else have we got left?
Sheffield United won and drew against us last season and have lost just two of the past 11 top-flight meetings.
We have not won at Sheffield United in seven attempts since 1975.
There has not been an away victory in any of the eight Premier League meetings.
Sheffield United’s biggest Premier League win is 6-0 versus Tottenham at Bramall Lane on 2 March 1993.
Sheffield United have won consecutive games in all competitions, after 21 matches without a victory.
Their 1-0 win against Newcastle United was a first clean sheet in 21 attempts.
Only Brighton & Hove Albion have dropped more points from winning positions than the 11 by Sheffield United.
The Blades could lose eight home matches in a top-flight season for the first time since 1975-76.
United have scored nine Premier League goals in this campaign, a joint-league low alongside Burnley.
David McGoldrick has scored four and set up one of those nine league goals.
We have won just once in six Premier League games, drawing three and losing two.
We are winless in four away fixtures, scoring three goals in total during that run. We had won our previous four away matches while scoring 13 goals.
No Premier League side has scored more first-half goals than our 19, including an unrivalled eight goals in the opening 15 minutes of games.
We have conceded just four first-half goals, the best record of any Premier League side.
Harry Kane (24) and (19) have combined for 43 of our 81 shots on target in the Premier League this season – just nine fewer than Sheffield United have managed as a team.
Kane has set up nine goals for Son and needs just one more to set a new Premier League record for assists for one team-mate in the same season, and I am expecting he will get in on Sunday afternoon (God bless him!).
So, there you have it; my team news, thoughts, predictions with statistics all thrown in to whet one’s appetite. See you Sunday… ok, I won’t, but we will be all there in spirit (even if it is only the bottle type). I am off to have a quick rub down with an oily rag, and then do the twist to the accompaniment of Chubby Checker’s famous song, “Lets Twist again like we did last summer”. Actually, not last summer, as we all were in hibernation (lock-down), and the only twisting we were probably doing was trying to avoid the Stasi (police). Nothing has changed really, has it?
Take care and stay safe,