Manchester United will be back in Premier League action five days after a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will welcome Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United to the Theatre of Dreams in what will be a must-win match for both teams. United will need to win to keep chase on Chelsea, who are now five points clear of United in fourth place in the Premier League. The Blades want to keep their chase in Europe too.
In the last match between these two teams, United came back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 with 11 minutes left after Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford overcame John Fleck and Lys Mousset’s first half goals. However, a late equaliser from Oli McBurnie led to both teams sharing the points. The Blades lost 3-0 against Newcastle United on Sunday so they will want to overcome United in this match.
United and the Blades have played seven times in the Premier League with United winning five times, drawing once and losing once. In total, United have scored 16 goals conceding seven. United have kept three clean sheets with the Blades having none. Neither United or the Blades have been awarded a penalty. In total, United have received 10 yellow cards. The Blades have received 16 yellow cards.
United will need to win this match to keep the chase on Chelsea for a fourth placed finish in the Premier League this season, which should provide UEFA Champions League football next season. The Blades are seeking the same, just two points adrift of United. If United do not win this match, they could be overtaken by Wolverhampton Wanderers of even the Blades, making a top four finish much harder.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Sheffield United in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The Spanish goalkeeper made yet another error which led to a goal against Spurs and for this reason, he will need to find a way to overcome these problems. United need to keep clean sheets if they are to win matches and to do this, the goalkeeper needs to be aware of the situation. De Gea is a great goalkeeper and has done a lot for the club and for this reason he should be backed as he will be able to overcome this.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw
Solskjaer utilised a back four against Spurs and a back three was predicted. In this case, he will play a back four again based on the fact that Axel Tuanzebe and Phil Jones are injured and Victor Lindelof received a knock against Spurs. I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luka Shaw will keep their places as will Harry Maguire. It looks like Eric Bailly could start against the Blades – he and Maguire might work well together.
Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba
Against Spurs, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay and Fred started in the midfield with Paul Pogba coming on late in the game and putting in a good performance. Nemanja Matic came on late too, adding something to the game. Against the Blades, I feel that Fernandes should keep his place but Pogba and Matic should start the game in a midfield three. This could be good for United, leaving three attacking players to find the goals.
Forward Three: Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both started against Spurs with Daniel James on the right flank. Against the Blades, the former two should keep their places with Mason Greenwood starting on the right. He looked lively against Spurs and his added muscle has helped him a lot. This will only be seen more when he played a lot of football. Greenwood has had a great season and it could be so more better for him.
Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Teden Mengi, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Odion Ighalo
From the bench, Solskjaer will have five substitutes for the remainder of the season, which is a good thing for the game. Granted, he can only have three substitution slots, for a total of five players, not five individual substitutes. Sergio Romero will be on the bench, should he be needed, as will Teden Mengi and Brandon Williams in defence. In midfield. Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and Scott McTominay could be called upon if needed with Odion Ighalo the only forward on the bench.