The Blades are returning to Bramall Lane on Sunday and looking to recover from their 0-1 loss against relegation-battling Fulham last Saturday. Currently at the bottom of the table with 11 points, Sheffield United are looking to close in on the 14 points gap to Newcastle who are 15th in the table. 

They face no easy task against Liverpool, who have also been struggling with their form recently. Jürgen Klopp’s side lost four out of their last five BPL matches, having recently been defeated in the Merseyside derby for the first time since 1999 after beating Red Bull Leipzig in the first leg of UEFA Champions League Round of 16. This places the Reds 6th in the league table, just 3 points behind Chelsea. 

Team news

Chris Wilder might need to fill in for all of his first-choice centre backs ahead of Liverpool’s visit. Chris Basham’s appearance is doubtful due to a suspected hamstring at Craven Cottage while John Egan and Jack O’Connell are still unavailable. Midfielder John Fleck however made a successful return against Fulham after his illness.

Meanwhile, Liverpool fans were shocked to learn about yet another injury, as Captain Jordan Henderson will be out until at least April due to a groin injury. Adding to the club’s defence problems will join Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Fabinho on the sidelines. There is hope for the Reds, as midfielder Naby Keïta was back on the bench against Everton and could make a return soon. Portuguese Diogo Jota, who scored eight goals in his last 11 matches before a knee injury sidelined him for three months, has also re-joined full team training on Wednesday. 

Previous Meetings

In their first match in this season, Liverpool defeated Sheffield United 2-1 at Anfield. The Blades have not managed to win a single match against Liverpool for the last 18 years, with one draw and five losses overall.  

Statistics

The Blades have picked up more points in the Premier League in 2021 (nine) than the Reds (seven) so far. Liverpool have lost four consecutive matches for the second time in their history, and for the first time since 2002. If they lose their fifth consecutive match against United on Sunday, it will be the first time since 1953.

One to Watch

Mohamed Salah: Despite Liverpool’s poor form, Salah remains the top scorer in the league. With 17 goals in 24 matches and 0.76 goals per 90, the team will look to him in particular for securing the win and taking the three points back to Anfield.

Manager’s comments

Speaking about the previous fixture against Liverpool this season, Wilder said: “We got off to a fabulous start at Anfield and there were opportunities there to take something from the game.” He also said that the players know they “have to go into every game trying to get something from it” and that has been their attitude throughout.

Klopp on the other hand has acknowledged that with Liverpool now in sixth place, pushing into the top four will be a ‘big challenge’. However, he also insists that his players will be ready to battle at Bramall Lane. 

Coverage

Kickoff is at 19:15 on Sunday 28th February. The match will be shown on Sky Sports as the Sky Sports Main Event.

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