Sheffield United vs Manchester City | Saturday 31st October 2020, 12:30 | BT Sport
Saturday's Premier League action begins at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United welcome Manchester City for what is an equally pivotal game for both sides.
MD7 and the Blades are still without a win whilst City dwell in eighth following a stuttering start which is yet to see them win back-to-back league games. There is no getting away from the fact that this has been a dismal start for both teams. Chris Wilder and Pep Guardiola will be desperate to ignite their respective seasons.
Sheffield United recently reviled that John Lundstrum will not be signing a new contract with the Blades, however, Wilder insisted it would not mean Lundstrum will be exempt from selection. That been said, if he was to get dropped, Ben Osborn would come in at LCM with Max Lowe slotting in at LWB.
Elsewhere, following a stellar performance at Anfield, Ethan Ampadu should get the nod over Ollie Norwood in CDM and Rhian Brewster should get his home debut partnering Ollie McBurnie up top.
Man City will be hugely bolstered by the return of Aymeric Laporte and Kevin De Bruyne. Both started in the Citizens’ midweek UCL clash versus Marseille having missed City's last domestic fixture game against West Ham.
Last season, at Bramall Lane, Pep matched Sheffield United and deployed three centre backs in 3-4-2-1. It remains to be seen how he'll set up on Saturday afternoon, however, he could opt for a 4-2-3-1 with an attacking quartet of Riyad Mahrez, De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.
Sander Berge 2+ Shots (4/1 Betfair)
After enduring a bit of a turbulent start to life in South Yorkshire, the big Norwegian has found his feet this season. Sheff Utd signed Berge as a holding midfielder and the ex-Genk man struggled at first when asked to play a more advanced role as a right-sided centre midfielder. However, based off his five starts this term, you would think this was his natural position.
He is no doubt the most gifted player that the Blades have on their books and he has started to show why it cost £22m to secure his signature. Playing on the right of a trio of centre midfielders, Berge has license to attack which means he can impose his physicality in both boxes. He is also deceptively quick considering he is 6” 4’.
The statistics for this angle are not flattering but this is precisely why the price is so chunky. Berge has averaged just 0.5 shots per-game during his time as a Blade, registering two or more shots in just three out of his 20 appearances.
However, two of those three came in his five appearances this season, one of which in Sheff Utd's most recent game; their trip to Anfield. It is also important to know that Berge is on shooting free kicks and penalties.
Sander Berge To Be Booked (6/1 Bet365)
I was surprised to see Berge this long for a card considering he is as short as 13/5 to be cautioned elsewhere.
As outlined above, Berge has developed massively since arriving at Sheffield United, this campaign he has played with a lot more tenacity. Prior to this season, he had averaged just 0.08 cards per-game (11 yellows in 131 appearances)! This season, in he has already received two bookings in five Premier League starts, averaging 1.3 fouls per-game.
As a RCM he will have to contend with the likes of Sterling, Foden, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne. When the sides last met at Bramall Lane, all three of Sheffield United's centre midfielders were cautioned.