MX23RW : Monday, December 16 01:17:46| >> :600:1975045:1975045:
Nov 24, 2019 at 4.30pm UK at ​Bramall Lane
Attendance: 32,024
Sheff UtdSheffield United
Man UtdManchester United
Fleck (19'), Mousset (52'), McBurnie (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Williams (72'), Greenwood (77'), Rashford (79')

Preview: Sheffield United vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Manchester United face a tough test on Sunday as they travel to fifth-placed Sheffield United, who have had an impressive season thus far.

United did win last time out against Brighton & Hove Albion by a 3-1 scoreline, but the newly-promoted Blades have claimed five points from their four meetings with the Premier League's 'big six' this season and will not be rolled over.

Sheffield United

Sheffield United's George Baldock celebrates scoring their first goal with Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick on November 9, 2019© Reuters

Sheffield United were tipped by many to go straight back down and spend the majority of the season languishing at the foot of the Premier League table when they secured automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

However, the Blades have defied all expectations and sit fifth in the league standings, above Sunday's opponents Manchester United, who are seventh.

Chris Wilder's side boast the second-best defence in the league and have claimed an impressive 17 points from their opening 12 league games to find themselves just eight points adrift of last season's champions Manchester City.

The Blades are on a five-game unbeaten run in the league - a run which saw them face both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. In fact, in four meetings with top-six sides, Wilder's side have lost just once - a 1-0 defeat against champions-elect Liverpool - and even that was down to a goalkeeping error that robbed them of a respectable point.

Wilder's side visited North London for what was to be Mauricio Pochettino's final game in charge of Tottenham, where they held Spurs to a 1-1 draw and would perhaps have felt aggrieved not to come away with all three points.

Of their three league losses this term, two were against the top two sides in the division - Liverpool and Leicester City - although the third was a shock 1-0 reverse at home against struggling Southampton.

One concern for Sheffield United, however, is that they have not been particularly potent in attack this season. Their stern defence has offset that to this point, but only two sides outside the relegation zone - Crystal Palace and Newcastle United - have netted fewer than that Blades' tally of 13.

Despite that, Wilder will be more than pleased with the way his side have started the campaign and their primary objective - securing safety - looks to be a formality at this point.

Recent Premier League form: LDWDWD

Manchester United

Manchester United's Andreas Pereira celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 10, 2019© Reuters

Manchester United find themselves seventh, two places and one point behind their newly-promoted opponents after what has been a disappointing season by their expectations.

Five wins and one defeat from their last six games across all competitions tells a false story, with only two of those coming in the Premier League, as well as the loss - a 1-0 reverse against Bournemouth.

Two wins in their last seven league games explains their domestic position, with just three in the 11 games that have followed their impressive 4-0 victory over Chelsea that started their campaign with a bang.

Even outside the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been far from convincing. Penalties were needed against League One outfit Rochdale in the EFL Cup, while their first three Europa League group games saw the Red Devils grinding out results.

However, there have been some signs of improvement of late and Solskjaer will be hoping to win back-to-back Premier League games for the first time this season at Bramall Lane.

The manager would not have wished for the Blades as opponents, though, given their impressive record against top six teams this term and miserly defence.

Additionally, the Red Devils have won just once away from home in the league this term in six attempts - a 3-1 victory over rock-bottom Norwich City - losing three of the other five.

Manchester United may find it tough to breach a Sheffield United defence that have shipped just two goals in their last five league fixtures, particularly given that the Red Devils drew blanks in three of their last four away games in the league.

Recent Premier League form: DLDWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Team News

Dean Henderson in action for Sheffield United on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Blades boss Wilder will be unable to call on first-choice shot-stopper Dean Henderson as he is ineligible to face his parent club, meaning that Simon Moore is in line to start.

John Egan is in contention to start but must pass a late fitness test if he is to be involved. The defender is a key player for Wilder and the head coach will be sure to include him in the team if at all possible,

For Solskjaer, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba and Timothy Fosu-Mensah have all been joined on the sidelines by Scott McTominay and Marcos Rojo to further deplete the Red Devils' ranks.

Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot are all closing in on comebacks, but none are match fit yet and are unlikely to be involved in any great capacity.

The raft of injuries means that Phil Jones is the only centre-back cover available and James Garner may have to partner Fred in midfield.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Moore; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Mousset, McGoldrick

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Garner, Fred; James, Pereira, Rashford; Martial

Head To Head

This is the first Premier League meeting between these two sides since 2007, when Manchester United claimed a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford.

In fact, the Red Devils have not been beaten by the Blades since a 2-1 reverse in the FA Cup in 1993, and not in league competition since 1992 - also a 2-1 loss in Sheffield.

Manchester United have won the each of the last seven meetings with Sheffield United by an aggregate scoreline of 14-1.

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We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Manchester United

The Blades are a stubborn outfit and will prove a tough test for Manchester United, who will certainly not feel confident of claiming a point at Bramall Lane. The absence of Henderson may make things tricky for the hosts, but their organisation should still prove enough to earn them another impressive point against a top-six opponent.

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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Manchester United?

Sheffield United
Manchester United
Sheffield United
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Dean Henderson in action for Sheffield United on August 10, 2019
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