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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League Yorkshire derby between Sheffield United and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

For the first time since May 2001, the Premier League plays host to a Yorkshire derby on Sunday when Sheffield United welcome Leeds United to Bramall Lane.

The Blades are yet to get off the mark in terms of points or goals so far this season, whereas Leeds have had no shortage of goals and picked up their first Premier League win since April 2004 last time out.


Match preview

Leeds United players celebrate scoring against Fulham on September 19, 2020© Reuters

Say what you will about Leeds' return to the top flight - it has been entertaining so far.

Back-to-back 4-3 scorelines - one which went against them and one which went for them - have ensured that their much-anticipated Premier League comeback has been an explosive one, with promising signs in attack but plenty of concerns defensively too.

The 14 goals from those two games is the most for a top-flight team's opening two outings since Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1962-63, and should there be four or more goals in this weekend's game then it would break the Premier League record for the highest-scoring first three fixtures of a single team's season.

Furthermore, Leeds are the first top-flight side to have both scored seven and conceded seven in their first two outings since Liverpool in 1932-33.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on September 19, 2020© Reuters

Not all of these statistics will be pleasant reading for meticulous manager Marcelo Bielsa, but what he will be pleased about is the three points which now sit next to their name following last weekend's victory over fellow promoted side Fulham.

One can only imagine the noise which would have greeted the occasion had Elland Road been full for Leeds' first home game in the Premier League in 16 years, particularly as they stormed into a 4-1 lead before holding on for the points.

The signing of Spain international defender Diego Llorente this week should help to tighten things up at the back, and if they can do that while continuing such a threat going forward then that is a recipe for success this season.

Sheffield United could not be further from Leeds in that regard, with Sunday's hosts the only team yet to score a goal in the Premier League this season.

Another blank on Sunday would see them fail to score in their first three games of a season for the first time in their history, and their league-low tally of 13 shots so far will not exactly encourage supporters.

Ezri Konsa scores the winner for Aston Villa against Sheffield United in the Premier League on September 21, 2020© Reuters

Should Leeds be as open as they have been in their first two games then the Blades will fancy their chances of at least getting off the mark in terms of goals, although Chris Wilder will know that points on the board is the only thing which will quieten the 'second-season syndrome' talk which is already beginning to grow.

Including the tail end of last term, Sheffield United have now lost their last five league games - their longest such streak under Wilder and since September 2013, when they were still in the third tier.

The Blades have only ever begun a league campaign with three defeats in a row twice before in their entire history, but Monday's 1-0 loss at Aston Villa will have severely dented their confidence - even more so than the opening-weekend 2-0 home defeat to Wolves.

A poor start to the season naturally leaves fans looking at where their first points might come from and, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea to come in four of their next five league games, Wilder will know the importance of getting something from Sunday's match.

Sheffield United Premier League form: LL
Sheffield United form (all competitions): LLL

Leeds United Premier League form: LW
Leeds United form (all competitions): LLW


Team News

Sheffield United's John Egan protests to referee Graham Scott after being sent off against Aston Villa in September 2020© Reuters

Sheffield United's hopes of keeping a free-scoring Leeds attack at bay have been hit by John Egan's suspension following his controversial red card against Aston Villa last time out.

The experienced Phil Jagielka could replace Egan at the heart of their three-man defence, but summer loan signing Ethan Ampadu appears more likely to do so.

Lys Mousset is the home side's only other guaranteed absentee due to a toe injury, leaving Wilder with one fewer option if he wants to shake up his misfiring attack once again.

Billy Sharp, who scored five goals in 33 league games for Leeds six seasons ago, and Oli McBurnie are options to replace David McGoldrick and Oliver Burke up front.

Leeds, meanwhile, are still without Pablo Hernandez and Adam Forshaw, neither of whom are expected back before the international break next month.

Hernandez was a late withdrawal from the starting lineup to face Fulham last weekend as record signing Rodrigo Moreno came into the side, although Patrick Bamford still looks to be above the Spain international in the centre-forward pecking order having again scored last time out.

Llorente is eligible to make his debut but may have to settle for a cameo in this first game, meaning that captain Liam Cooper should make his 200th appearance for the club.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Basham, Ampadu, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Berge, Stevens; McGoldrick, McBurnie

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Costa, Klich, Phillips, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford


SM words green background

We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Leeds United

The last time these two sides met in the top flight was more than 26 years ago, and they played out a draw on that occasion - a result we can see repeating itself this time around.

Leeds are scoring plenty but conceding too many whereas Sheffield United have made a poor start to the campaign, but despite the stats pointing towards an away win we think this one will end all square.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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

Sheffield United
Draw
Leeds
Sheffield United
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Leeds
0.0%
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Chris Wilder pictured on June 17, 2020
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Everton5410147713
2Aston Villa44001221012
3Liverpool53111313010
4Leicester CityLeicester530212849
5Arsenal53028629
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves530257-29
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs522115878
8Chelsea522113948
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham521211747
10Leeds UnitedLeeds52129907
11Manchester CityMan City42117707
12Southampton521289-17
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle521279-27
14Crystal Palace521268-27
15Manchester UnitedMan Utd4202912-36
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton5113911-24
17West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom5023513-82
18Burnley401338-51
19Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd501427-51
20Fulham5014412-81

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