Brighton vs Sheffield United | Sunday 20th December 2020, 12:00 | Sky Sports
Sunday's Premier League curtain-raiser has all the ingredients to be the worst fixture of the weekend as two of the more conservative sides duel at midday.
With Christmas on the horizon, Sheffield United still await their first win. After a spirited end to their midweek defeat versus Manchester United, Chris Wilder may opt to put David McGoldrick in the free role from the off. This is a move the Blades faithful have increasingly yearning for as their season has meandered into the abyss.
‘Didsy’ is detrimental to linking defence to attack and with him in a deeper role it could accommodate two strikers up top. This would likely see Brewster start alongside Mousset in uncharacteristically formidable front-line.
If McGoldrick does start as a number ten Ladbrokes passing lines certainly take appeal. They have him to attempt 30 passes at 7/5, 35 at 10/3 and the high line of 40 at 15/2 also takes appeal. Vs Manchester United he completed 37 passes, averaging one every two minutes and 25 seconds, almost hitting the high line of 40.
Around the 65th minute mark, Wilder switched him from ST to CAM and despite only playing a third of the game their he attempted just under 40% of his passes in that role.
After a brace, the former Republic of Ireland international will be brimming with confidence and this will no doubt encourage him to assert himself on the game even more so than usual. Thus making Ladbrokes lines a very tantalising price.
Since the dawn of last season no side has drawn more EPL games then today's hosts. With honours even the conclusion of 19 of their fixtures they have took a point from just under 40% of their games. Sheffield United hold a slightly less impressive but have still drawn over a quarter of their games during the same period.
Both sides play quiet restrictive football. Defensively, Brighton have limited sides to just 8.6 shots per game this season and averaged 1.15 goals pG. This decreases to 0.67 in their last six as they've failed to score in half of those.
As everyone is well aware, the Blades have not offered much offensively during the tenure in the English top flight. Their 2-3 midweek defeat to Manchester United was the first time in 15 EPL games that they have scored more than once and was the first time this season they have scored from open play. Sheff Utd rank 20th for shots per game (8.8) and only Burnley have scored fewer than their total of seven goals.
With the goal line a little bit to short for me I've took a draw (Unibet at 14/5) as I think it is a result both sides would take prior to KO and their similarly dull styles should cancel each other out. Despite the fact that Sheffield United started well midweek, I've also took the half time result to be a draw (Bet365 at 11/10). It what will no doubt be a cagey affair and I think the game will get of to a sluggish start as neither side makes the first move.
Finally, sticking along the same lines, under Bet365's Bet Builder you can combine a draw with the game to feature under three goals at odds of 7/2 which takes appeal. Of the sides combined total of draws since the start of last season, only 12.5% have seen over three match goals with this bet landing in 28/32!
Given how I expect this one to play out it makes sense to tip up both keepers in the WhoScored MOTM market. Originally, I only planned on taking Aaron Ramsdale. The Blades stopper is 14/1 and after dropping a bit of a howler midweek he is exactly the type of character to bounce back with a big performance. At the price available though, I have also took Sanchez to win it 40/1.
It's worth noting that the keepers are listed as ‘Brighton Goalkeeper' instead of by their actual name.
Brighton vs Sheffield United – David McGoldrick To Attempt 30 Passes (7/5 Ladbrokes)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – David McGoldrick To Attempt 35 Passes (10/3 Ladbrokes)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – David McGoldrick To Attempt 40 Passes (15/2 Ladbrokes)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – Draw (14/5 Unibet)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – Half-Time Draw (11/10 Bet365)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – Sheffield United Keeper WS MOTM (14/1 Betfair)
Brighton vs Sheffield United – Brighton Keeper WS MOTM (40/1 Betfair)