Sheffield United travel to Craven Cottage, on Saturday, to face Scott Parker’s Fulham in the Premier League.
With both sides currently in the relegation zone, there is equal pressure for the teams to achieve 3 points. Fulham are currently 18th in the league, 6 points behind Newcastle, and so will be looking to win this home game to avoid relegation at the end of this season.
The Blades are at the bottom of the table with 11 points but with 14 games still to play, they still have a small chance of avoiding the championship, however a clean sheet in this match is essential to increase the team’s chances.
In the match against West Ham, John Egan is likely was stretchered off the pitch and is likely to be out for two months with a dislocated toe that requires surgery. John Fleck was absent in this game and was admitted to hospital. Wilder is not optimistic he will return for the match against Fulham. Jack O’Connell, Sander Berge and Jack Robinson are also off injured. This long list of injuries is a huge blow to Wilder’s Premier League campaign and the additional absence of John Egan will make improving the Blades’ defence more difficult.
The two teams last played each other in October in a match that ended in a draw at Bramall Lane. Billy Sharp scored in the 49th minute, just 4 minutes after coming on, but the team will need a better overall performance, particularly in defence, if they want to secure a win.
One to Watch
A player to keep your eye on is David McGoldrick. Having scored 5 of the 15 goals on Sheffield’s tally it will be interesting to see if he can add it.
Billy Sharp will be looking to score his second goal against Fulham this season to bring his total up to 7 and a place on the team sheet for this match will also bring the Englishman’s total appearances to 40.
The 2020/21 season has been a disappointing one for Chris Wilder with 19 loses in his last 24 matches. Also, with only 1 clean sheet this season, better defensive play is a definite necessity to increase the team’s success.
Sheffield United have lost their previous two matches in this league including their 0-3 defeat to West Ham at the London Stadium last weekend. The Blades did create 8 shots on target and held 54% of the possession against the Hammers, therefore if this side can turn these chances into goals, this will give themselves a lot more opportunities to progress in their upcoming matches.
Unfortunately, with a large number of injuries, any improvement this season is quite unlikely and to come out of this match with a point will be an achievement for this side. However, until it is mathematically impossible for the Blades’ to be relegated there is still hope. If Sheffield United manage to put on a good performance and take the chances that they do seem to be able to create, a 1-0 win is possible.
If you are looking to watch the match, it will take place behind close doors due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, it will be streamed live on Sky Sports at 8pm on 20th February.