Manchester United vs Sheffield United | Wednesday 27th January 2021, 20:15 | BT Sport
Old Trafford is the venue as the club at the summit of the division, Manchester United, take on the club at the foot, Sheffield United, on Wednesday evening.
The hosts have been in fine fettle as of late. Their FA Cup victory over Liverpool meant they have tasted defeat just once in their last 13 games in all competitions, therefore, it is no surprise to see them as heavy favourites here.
Sheffield United’s peril looks set to intensify as they pit their wits against both Mancherter clubs, away from home, in the space of four days. If Chris Wilder’s men are to stand any chance of beating the drop, they must concour a side that they have not bested since the turn of the century. If that was not bleak enough, the Blades could be heading to Stretford with as many nine key players absent.
Sheffield United have been infamously woeful when it comes to finding the target, or even attempting to find the target, this campaign as they have scored the joint-fewest goals (10) and have one of the worst shots per game average amongst the English elite (9.2). However, in their last four fixtures in all competitions, the shackles appear to be off with the Blades attempting a total of 69 shots and scoring six times.
Tonight- as usually is the case when it comes to the Red Devils opponents- the bookies have been a little over generous with pricing, especially in the team shots department where Sheffield United are available at 2/1 to attempt over 9.5 shots with Boylesports. Due to this bookies low liquidity in these markets the price may go and if this is the case I think Sky Bet’s prices for shots- 9 at 5/6, 10 at 11/8 and 13 at 11/2- are all worth a punt.
The Blades have met this line of ten in both of their home fixtures vs Man Utd during their current tenure in the EPL. In fact during that time, they have had at least nine efforts in 58% of their games, which means they should give us a run for our money this evening. This season they have hit ten shots in 45.5% of their games which includes bouts with Liverpool (at Anfield), Spurs and Everton.
Sticking with shots, I also like the price of Shirecliffe academy graduate Harry Maguire to register a headed SoT. Betfair and Paddy Power have this at 7/2. This season, slabhead, as he was affectionately christened by campatriot Jamie Vardy, has averaged 1.21 shots per 90 minutes played with 74% of which coming via his head.
Tonight, he opposes the second most vulnerable side from set pieces. In their last five Premier League games, the Blades have conceded 42 shots, over a quarter have come via set pieces and corners and 21% have been headers. In fact, half of the goals they have conceded in that time have come via a players head, directly from a corner.
The final angle I like for this game is John Lundstram to be booked at 22/5 with Betvictor. As I say every time I preview Sheffield United’s games, as long as he is over 4/1 I think he must be backed. Lundstram has picked up four yellows and a red card in eleven Premier League starts this season and was sent off when tonight’s referee last oversaw a SUFC game. While he didn’t appear in the clash at Bramall Lane this season, he was booked when the sides met there last campaign.
Manchester United vs Sheffield United – Sheffield United Over 9.5 Shots (2/1 Boylesports)
Manchester United vs Sheffield United – Harry Maguire Headed Shot on Target (7/2 Betfair)
Manchester United vs Sheffield United – John Lundstram to be carded (22/5 BetVictor)