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Confirmed Starting XI: Three at the back for United with Jones, Maguire and Lindelof, Fred keeps his place, James, Martial and Rashford lead the line

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Manchester United will be pitted against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League this afternoon. It has been more than 26 years since United were beaten by the Blades and just under four years since the last match between the two teams. This may be considered a tough game for United, being that the Blades have been doing well so far this season, currently sitting in eighth place.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United currently find themselves in tenth position in the league with a lot of work to do in order to better that at this important end of the season which will see United playing 12 matches between now and the clash with Arsenal on New Years Day. United will be needing all of their injured players fit for the matches they have to play or there will not be enough players for match rotation.

On Thursday, United play in Kazakhstan, Solskjaer will not want the majority of his first team players travelling 7,000 miles on the round trip as they face Aston Villa at Old Trafford in the Premier League on the following Sunday, meaning in eight straight days, three matches will have been played, a similar story for each week until the end of the Christmas period. United could use this period to get a grasp on bettering their position this season, which needs to be done.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Maguire, Jones;

Wan-Bissaka, Pereira, Fred, Williams;

James, Martial, Rashford

Substitutes:

Grant; Young, Tuanzebe; Mata, Lingard, Garner; Greenwood

Sheffield United:

Moore;

Basham, Jagielka, O’Connell;

Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens;

McGoldrick, Mousset

Substitutes:

Verrips, Freeman, McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson, Osborn, Besic

United and Sheffield United have played 93 times in the history of both clubs. United has won 44 times, drawing 15 times and losing 34 times. In their last seven meetings, United have a 100% record, winning all seven matches, scoring 14 goals and conceding just one. Four of the matches were in the Premier League, the other three in the FA Cup. The last match came almost four years ago in the third round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford, a 1-0 victory for United with Wayne Rooney scoring a 90th minute penalty.

The last defeat to the Blades came on the 14 February 1993, a 2-1 defeat in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Bramall Lane with Ryan Giggs scoring United’s only goal of the game. The Blades will be seeking another good performance against United, more than 26 years after their last victory. Of course, at Old Trafford, the Blades last won on the 26 December 1973, almost 46 years ago, a 2-1 defeat which saw Lou Macari score the only goal for United.

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copyright: JW