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Preview: After their Liverpool heroics it is now time to return to the Premier League and holding the Blades to account

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Manchester United -v- Sheffield United

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 27 January 2021, KO 20:15 GMT

Referee: Peter Bankes Assistants: Neil Davies, Nick Hopton

Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson

VAR: David Coote Assistant VAR: Marc Perry

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Wednesday evening as they host Sheffield United at Old Trafford. It will be the second time the two clubs have met this season, meeting at Bramall Lane on the 17 December 2020 winning 3-2. David McGoldrick scored a brace for the Blades, opening the scoring in the fifth minute with Marcus Rashford scoring an equaliser 21 minutes later. Anthony Martial then put United in the lead in the 33rd minute with Rashford completing his brace in the 51st minute, giving United a 3-1 lead. McGoldrick then pounced to complete his brace in the 87th minute of the match.

United are unbeaten in their last ten matches against the Blades, winning nine and drawing once. The last defeat came at Bramall Lane in the fifth round of the FA Cup back on the 14 February 1993, losing 2-1 with Ryan Giggs scoring United’s only goal. In the matches played against the Blades, in the history of both clubs, in all competitions, out of 96 matches being played, United have won 46, drawing 16 and losing 34 times. United will be the favourites but with teams in danger of relegation, at some point during the remainder of the season, they will need to fight for safety. This will be another cup final for the Blades.

Manchester United: WWDWWL

Liverpool 3-2 W, Fulham 2-1 W, Liverpool 0-0 D, Burnley 1-0 W, Watford 1-0 W, Manchester City 2-0 L

Sheffield United: WLWWLL

Plymouth Argyle 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 L, Newcastle United 1-0 W, Bristol Rovers 3-2 W, Crystal Palace 2-0 L, Burnley 1-0 L

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes has scored one more goal than Sheffield United have this season. That is an embarrassing situation for the Premier League strugglers. After their last match, United will need to be defensively aware of the struggling club.

Manchester United Goals: 16 – Bruno Fernandes, 15 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, 4 – Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, 2 – Daniel James, Juan Mata, 1 – Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United must now be respected for their improvement since Jose Mourinho was sacked by the club back in December 2018. Solskjaer has taken a lot of criticism from so-called supporters, wannabe pundits and pundits alike. He has been disrespect by many but seems to prove them wrong week after week whilst other manager’s were praised for doing a poor job and spending millions on players that have proven nothing so far. United are on the road to achieving something this season which will hurt the feelings of many ABU’s and so-called supporters of the biggest football club in the world.

Sheffield United Goals: 6 – David McGoldrick, 3 – Billy Sharp, 2 – Jayden Bogle, 1 – Chris Basham, Sander Berge, Oliver Burke, Oliver McBurnie

The Blades are a team struggling to fit into the Premier League this season. They have won once, drawn twice and lost 16 times in the league. Granted, they have beaten Newcastle United in the league and Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup this weekend, but all for all, it means nothing for them. United are a team in form right now and able to drive for the results they need to keep achieving something. Wilder will be worried of the threat of United and how much destruction another defeat could mean for the club who have just five points on the board as half the season has passed them by. This will be a worrying time for the Blades.

Team News: United sweating on the fitness of Rashford with three other players ruled out of the visit of the Blades. The Sheffield club will be missing up to six players, sweating on the fitness of Mousset.

Phil Jones (knee) and Marcos Rojo (calf) have all been ruled out of the clash with Liverpool. Brandon Williams and Facundo Pellistri who have both been out of actions recently have returned to training, giving United more strength in depth ahead of another important match for the club. Against Liverpool, Marcus Rashford came off with a knee injury and will require a scan to determine any damage. Because of this, he will have a 25% chance of being fit to face the Blades on Wednesday evening. Amad Diallo will have been training at the club for a week now, so might play a part, if fit.

John Egan (suspended), Ben Osborn (knock), Jack O’Connell (knee), Oliver McBurnie (knock), Sander Berge (thigh) and Jack Robinson (undisclosed) are all ruled out of the visit to Old Trafford to face United on Wednesday evening. Lys Mousset (knock) has a 50% chance of being available for the match. This is going to be an important match for the Blades, who still sit at the very bottom of the Premier League table, having earned just five points in the 19 matches they have played this season, winning once, drawing twice and losing 16 times. With United’s form this season, it could be a long 90 minutes for the South Yorkshire club.

Predicted Starting XI: Cavani, Martial, Fernandes and Greenwood to lead the line against the Blades. Could Diallo be fit enough to play a part in this match, which would be a good time to gain experience in the Premier League?

Solskjaer will be seeking to make some more changes ahead of a trip to London to face Arsenal on Saturday evening. I think Henderson will face his former club for the second time this season, which will help him raise his confidence after making his tenth appearance for United in their 3-2 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles will complete the defence. Fred and Paul Pogba could start in a two-man midfield with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial playing behind Edinson Cavani. United should have enough talent on the pitch and on the bench to get the win.

Match Prediction: Nine matches played in the Premier League with United winning seven times, drawing once and losing once. United were last beaten by the Blades in the FA Cup back in 1993.

United and the Blades have met nine times in the history of the Premier League. United have won seven times, drawing once and losing once. United have scored a total of 22 goals, conceding nine with neither team winning a penalty when facing each other. United have kept four clean sheets with the Blades keeping none against United. United have received 14 yellow cards with the Blades receiving 19 yellow cards with neither side seeing a player sent off in these matches. United are in great form both against the Blades and at this current time which should see United continue to pile the pressure on the teams below them.

In this clash at Old Trafford last season which was played on the 24 June 2020, it was a 3-0 victory for United. Anthony Martial scored a hat-trick, scoring in the seventh, 44th and 74th minutes in the match with Marcus Rashford assisting twice (seventh and 74th minute goals) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka assisting the other (44th minute). Earlier this season, United faced the Blades at Bramall Lane, winning 3-2, which is a better result than the visit last season – a 3-3 draw. David McGoldrick scored a brace for the Blades with Rashford also scoring a brace and Martial getting the other goal for United. It was a thrilling encounter for United.

Manchester United 3-1 Sheffield United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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