Sheffield United look to continue their top five bid as they welcome a relegation battling Bournemouth to Bramall Lane in this weekend’s opening Super Sunday clash.
A win will send the Blades fifth ahead of Tottenham, whilst Bournemouth can climb above Brighton into 16th with victory to move six points clear of relegation.
Team newsEmbed from Getty Images
David McGoldrick is Sheffield United’s only injury concern as he faces a late fitness test, having missed recent games with an ankle injury.
Bournemouth could have Joshua King and Jack Stacey in contention after overcoming respective hamstring injuries.
Jefferson Lerma is suspended for this match after being sent off in the Cherries’ win over Aston Villa last weekend, whilst Arnaut Danjuma (foot) is expected to return after the winter break.
Lloyd Kelly (thigh), Charlie Daniels, Chris Mepham (both knee) and David Brooks (ankle) remain sidelined indefinitely.
Sheffield United enter this match with eight points from their last seven league games (W2, D2, L3), whilst scoring once in each of their last four matches (W2, D1, L1).
Bournemouth come into this game with consecutive league wins for the first time since mid September after defeating Brighton and Aston Villa, yet have kept just a single clean sheet in their last 14 league games.
- Sheffield United have lost just once in 16 previous meetings against Bournemouth in all competitions (W10, D5, L1).
- Bournemouth have taken five points from seven previous visits to Bramall Lane (W1, D2, L4).
- Both teams have scored in their last three clashes at Bramall Lane.
- Bournemouth’s Simon Francis and Charlie Daniels are the two sole survivors from their last visit to Sheffield United in September 2012, who still remain with the club.
- There has been just one penalty awarded in five previous meetings this century between these teams, which was scored by Nick Blackman in the 90th minute for the Blades in September 2012.
Bournemouth seem to have rediscovered their mojo at a crucial stage of the season, which is crucial coming into a game like this because Sheffield United’s style has proven tricky for many teams to unlock at Bramall Lane this season.
I therefore am expecting the Blades to make life tough for Bournemouth who can’t stop conceding goals, so the first 15 minutes will be key because if Bournemouth can get a foot in then anything could happen.
If they don’t and United can assert their authority then I just can’t see the Cherries snatching anything but a consolation goal.
Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Bournemouth
Result: Sheffield United 2-1 Bournemouth