Sheffield United vs Fulham | Sunday 18th October 2020, 12:00 | BT Sport Box Office
Sunday's Premier League curtain-raiser sees a duel of the dregs at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United welcome Fulham. Despite the season still dawning, this has been dubbed a six-pointer by some with both sides on the hunt for their first points of their respective campaigns.
The Cottagers were touted to make a swift return to the Championship and as of yet have done nothing to prove the critics wrong. Since their opening day drubbing courtesy of Arsenal, Scott Parker's men have lurched from one defeat to the next, shipping 11 goals in the process.
Their hosts are also winless and pointless, however, the consensus around S2 – spearheaded by Chris Wilder – is that the Bladesman have been a combination of unlucky and hard done by. Their performance versus Leeds certainly warranted at least a share of the spoils and they gave a decent account of themselves in their narrow defeat at the Emirates.
Nevertheless, there is no escaping the fact that Sheff Utd have lost their last seven Premier League games on the bounce and have only won three fixtures behind closed doors.
With importance in front of goal at the core of this dismal run, the Blades forked out £23.5m for Rhian Brewster. David McGoldrick and Oliver Burke return from international duty with injuries so the promising youngster may be in line to make his debut. John Fleck and John Egan are also doubts, this should see Ethan Apadu and Ben Osborn get the nod.
Fulham signed Ruben Loftus-Cheek (loan) and centre back duo Joachim Anderson and Tosin Adarabioyo on deadline day and all three are available for Sunday. Parker will also be hoping to have Kenny Tete, Mario Lemina and Harrison Reed back in contention as the trio were all carrying knocks going into international break.
Sheffield United to win (23/20 Betfair)
As a Sheff Utd fan, I try and remain as neutral as possible when writing the preview for their games, however, having seen plenty of both sides I cannot overlook this price.
In comparison with last season there has not been a great deal of difference in the Blades performances and whilst Jack O'Connell been a huge miss, they are still defensively sound, they have just struggled to convert chances.
Sheffield United have had higher xG then all of their opponents this season apart from Arsenal (0.64 vs 0.14). The acquisition of Brewster should give them some much needed attacking impetus.
Fulham Over 508.5 Passes (8/11 Boylesports)
Fulham have averaged 505.8 passes this season, hitting this line in every game they have played apart from against Leeds.
Sheffield United's opposition have averaged 555 passes per-game as all bar Wolves have met this line versus them. Given that Wolves scored two goals inside the first seven minutes I think game state was the only reason they fell short of half a century.
I think Boylesports have under shot their passing markets as a number of Fulham's players lines are much shorter in comparison to Ladbrokes – for example Tom Cairney's line starts at 57.5 on Boyles but starts at 80 on Ladbrokes – which is a good indication that this is a bet worth pursuing.
Sheffield United vs Fulham – Sheffield United to win (23/20 Betfair)
Sheffield United vs Fulham – Fulham 508.5 Passes (8/11 Boylesports)