With points just so crucial at this stage of the season, Manchester United will return to the pitch on Wednesday afternoon, as they host Sheffield United. Both squads currently enter this gameweek quite close in the Premier League table, only separated by two points. Sheffield United can overtake Manchester United with a victory, but know they’ll definitely need to be better than their past two outings.
For Man United, they restarted their campaign with some good phases against Spurs, but were relatively underwhelming for the majority of the match against their old manager, Jose Mourinho. If not for a late penalty from Bruno Fernandes, Man U would’ve slipped even further down the table. Sitting in 5th still has them in striking distance for a coveted Champions League spot, but they need to start securing three points consistently.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have been tough opposition all season long. They’re an organized and well-structured group, and do excellent things without the ball. If they can stay disciplined, it will be tough for Man United to break them down. But, if there are lapses, it can get ugly – as evidenced by Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to lowly Newcastle.
With Sheffield slumping, surely Manchester United see an opportunity to seize a comfortable three points. In a battle for Champions League positioning, this clash should have big-time implications come the end of the season. Can the Blades rebound? Or will a healthy Manchester United squad wear them down with their pace in attack? Read on below for updated betting odds, as well as a match preview and betting prediction for Man U vs. Sheffield United.
Manchester United vs. Sheffield United Betting Odds:
Manchester United (-233)
Sheffield United (+660)
Over 2.5 (-105)
Under 2.5 (-115)
Manchester United -1.5 (+120)
Sheffield United +1.5 (-140)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Manchester United vs. Sheffield United Pick:
Though Manchester United couldn’t come up with bragging rights and the full three points against Tottenham last Friday, there was one definite positive sign for the Red Devils – the healthy return of Paul Pogba.
Bruno Fernandes is one of those attackers who has already emerged as one of the EPL’s top finishers in just a few short months. His pace on the left flank, along with his sublime trickery will be impossible for Sheffield’s defenders to handle. The Portguese international is also a deft passer, and should create all kinds of space and chances for the rapid Marcus Rashford, and the powerful Anthony Martial. While Sheffield United has been solid this year at limiting chances, they’ve struggled since the restart, and injuries haven’t been kind.
Speaking of the Blades, this could be another tough outing for them on Wednesday afternoon. Their loss to Newcastle was embarrassing and it wasn’t without further casualties – as John Egan and Jack O’Connell both won’t feature. Moreover, and perhaps most difficult, is the fact that star keeper Dean Henderson is ineligible to face his former club, and thus will watch from the sidelines. That’s going to put a ton of pressure on an aging and depleted defense to keep Man United out. Even with all the structure in the world, that seems like a tall task given recent form.
With Pogba dominating one flank, and Fernandes the other – Chris Wilder is going to have nightmares trying to think about how to limit that duo’s effectiveness in this fixture. Sheffield just aren’t talented enough with injuries and suspensions at the moment, and with Henderson not there to bail them out – another tough outing could be in the cards. Look for Man U to control the bulk of possession, stretching the Blades’ defense wide and creating a plethora of opportunities from the flanks. Eventually expect the Red Devils to wear Sheffield down, and emerge with a comfortable victory to nil. It’s a big price to pay, but a fully fit United will be full value on Tuesday afternoon.
Pick: Manchester United 2-0