Sheffield United -v- Manchester United
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Sunday 24 November 2019, KO 16:30 GMT
Referee: Andre Marriner Assistants: Simon Long; Sian Massey-Ellis Fourth Official: Andy Madley
VAR: Graham Scott Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Manchester United will be pitted against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League on Sunday 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.
Form: Five wins and a defeat for United in the last six matches puts them in better form than the Blades, who have two wins, three draws and one defeat in the same number of matches.
Manchester United: WWLWWW
Brighton And Hove Albion 3-1 W, Partizan Belgrade 3-0 W, Bournemouth 1-0 L, Chelsea 2-1 W, Norwich City 3-1 W, Partizan Belgrade 1-0 W
Sheffield United: DWDWDL
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D, Burnley 3-0 W, West Ham United 1-1 D, Arsenal 1-0 W, Watford 0-0 D, Liverpool 1-0 L
Top Scorers: Marcus Rashford has scored three times as many goals as Blades top scorer John Lundstram this season. United has scored 24 goals this season with the Blades scoring just 13.
Manchester United: Solskjaer’s side set to show their worth and put the Blades to the sword in Bramall Lane encounter.
Goals: 9 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Mason Greenwood, Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira
United have improved their form most recently and in the past six matches, winning five of them and losing once shows a bit of form developing. It will be better when the injured players come back and strengthen the team for the busy festive period. In January, transfers may arrive to further bolster the club, which would set them in the right direction, which needs to happen.
Sheffield United: In with a chance against this United side but without Dean Henderson, will they be as good?
Goals: 3 – John Lundstram, Lys Mousset, 1 – George Baldock, John Fleck, Oliver McBurnie, Oliver Norwood, Callum Robinson, Billy Sharp, Richard Stearman
The Blades have done well this season and are currently seventh in the league, although that could change after Saturday’s matches have been played. They are the highest newly-promoted club from the Championship last season and are in a similar form to Wolverhampton Wanderers last season, which is good for them. The Blades have been exciting at times and play a good, strategic game of football.
Team News: Injuries will continue for United with youth getting another opportunity to impress in places, covering for injured and unfit players. Solskjaer needs to allow these players to develop.
Solskjaer will be boosted with an end in sight to some players who have been on the sidelines through injury. Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw, and Nemanja Matic are all back in training, however, they are not match fit. Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah have both returned to training from their knee injuries and could be ready next month.
Scott McTominay will be out for a fortnight, Marcos Rojo being added to the injury list and facing the timescale on the sidelines and with Paul Pogba nearing the end of his injury spell, which last saw him play in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford at the end of September. Diogo Dalot will be out for a few weeks yet also.
Chris Wilder will be without goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who is not injured but ineligible to face his parent club as he is only on loan at Sheffield, meaning Simon Moore could make his third appearance of the season, his first in the Premier League. Defender John Egan is a slight doubt, who may be subject to a late fitness test, having played 12 times in the league this season.
Predicted Starting XI: James Garner and Angel Gomes to be tested against the Blades with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needing to find a more creative way of playing after Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard fail to show their worth in this team.
Solskjaer will need to make some changes to his squad, especially with Scott McTominay out of action for a few weeks. This could see the pivot of Fred and James Garner in midfield, which would be good for Garner and his rise into the first team this season. Angel Gomes could see himself back in the first team after an assist hat-trick whilst playing for England U20s during the international break. He might be able to offer more than Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard in the number ten position.
Match Prediction: United have a seven match unbeaten record against the Blades which covers the majority of the past 26 years and are undefeated at Old Trafford against the Blades for almost 46 years.
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.
Sheffield United 1-2 Manchester United