Sheffield United kick off the opening Monday Night Football of the 2020-21 Premier League season as they welcome Wolves to Bramall Lane in an early evening kick-off.
Having finished ninth in their first season back in the top flight, Sheffield Utd will be looking to push on and challenge for Europe like Wolves, who finished seventh and missed out on Europa League qualification by virtue of Arsenal’s FA Cup win.
Sheffield Utd could be without strikers, Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick due to respective toe injury and knock, although the duo will face late fitness tests alongside Sander Berge (knee).
Goalkeeper, Simon Moore is doubtful with a broken finger but Jack O’Connell and Jack Rodwell are both match fit and available for selection.
Wolves have a near full squad available for selection as Jonny remains absent with a serious knee injury suffered in the second leg of their Europa League Last 16 tie against Olympiacos last month.
- Sheffield Utd are unbeaten in three of their last five meetings against Wolves (W2, D1, L2).
- Wolves have won just two of their last six trips to Bramall Lane (W2, L4).
- Across their two Premier League meetings last season, the Blades collected seven yellow cards to Wolves’ one, which was picked up by Leander Dendoncker at Molineux last December.
- Sheffield Utd have lost three of their last five opening weekend fixtures (W1, D1, L3).
- Wolves are unbeaten in their last five opening fixtures of a new season (W2, D3).
If last season’s two competitive clashes are anything to go by, this should be another thrilling encounter as the Blades adapt to life without Dean Henderson in goal as in comes Aaron Ramsdale, whilst Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle will provide added competition in the fullback positions.
Wolves have meanwhile added reinforcement in defence and up front but after a super long 2019-20 season in which the players were absolutely exhausted by the final whistle of their Europa League Quarter-Final loss to Sevilla, I am excited to see whether this Wolves team will turn up pumped for a new season or whether they will nurse a fitness hangover from a gruelling run of matches post-lockdown.
Either way, we are in for a tough encounter between two quality teams who should once again be in the hunt for European qualification but I am going for a Blades win purely because they look the better side at present in terms of fitness but don’t rule Wolves out.
Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Wolves
Result: Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves