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Sheffield United logo
Premier League | Gameweek 15
Dec 6, 2023 at 7.30pm UK
Bramall Lane
Liverpool logo
Sheff Utd
0 - 2

Bogle (90+6'), Norwood (90')
FT(HT: 0-1)
van Dijk (37'), Szoboszlai (90+4')
Endo (34'), Konate (62'), Nunez (84')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom and Chris Wilder's homecoming, Sheffield United return to face the disgruntled Bramall Lane faithful when they host Liverpool in Wednesday's Premier League clash.

While the Blades were humiliated 5-0 by Burnley over the weekend, Liverpool prolonged their perfect home record with a mesmerising 4-3 victory over Fulham at Anfield.

Match preview

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom before the match on November 4, 2023© Reuters

Prior to Saturday's visit of Sheffield United, Burnley had taken to the Turf Moor turf seven times in the 2023-24 Premier League season, and seven times the Clarets had fallen to defeat, setting a new unwanted losing record in the competition in the process.

However, within just 15 seconds of kickoff in Lancashire, the demolition job commenced, as Jay Rodriguez netted the quickest goal seen in the Premier League this season before Zeki Amdouni, Luca Koleosho, Josh Brownhill and Jacob Bruun Larsen also breached Wes Foderingham's net in front of a pained Heckingbottom.

The Blades board had continued to back Heckingbottom in the face of increasing adversity this season, but Saturday's five-goal embarrassment drove the final nail into the manager's coffin, as Sheffield United confirmed that Heckingbottom had been relieved of his duties on Tuesday.

Chris Wilder - the man who guided Sheffield United back to the top flight and to a memorable top-half ranking in 2019-20 - has been tempted back for a Blades homecoming, as the 56-year-old returns to his old stomping ground with the hosts rooted to the foot of the Premier League table.

With a four-point gap to make up to 17th-placed Luton Town, Sheffield United will remain below the dotted dreaded line even if they can claim an unexpected scalp over Liverpool, but failure to keep a single clean sheet in the 2023-24 top-flight season could put paid to that idea.

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Defences did not come out on top when Liverpool hosted Fulham in Sunday's Anfield affair either, where Jurgen Klopp admitted that his side were punished for being "a bit dumb" in the defensive third, but they made up for their rearguard shortcomings with a quartet of glorious goals.

As Harry Wilson, Kenny Tete and Bobby Decordova-Reid all found a way past Caoimhin Kelleher, Bernd Leno's own goal, Alexis Mac Allister's thunderbolt, Wataru Endo's fine finish and an 87th-minute Trent Alexander-Arnold strike propelled the Reds to an 11th win from 11 home games in 2023-24, while also adding to the ever-growing list of unforgettable Premier League contests this term.

The unbridled Merseyside elation would not have died down later in the evening either, as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur's extraordinary 3-3 draw means that Klopp's side enter the midweek round of fixtures sat second in the rankings, two points below leaders Arsenal before the Gunners take on Luton Town on Tuesday.

The walls of the Anfield fortress remain unsullied, but only one of Liverpool's last six games on the road in all competitions has ended in victory - a 2-1 EFL Cup success away to Bournemouth - and each of the Reds' 10 away matches this season has seen the visitors both score and concede.

Liverpool's four-game winless run away to promoted teams in the top flight also offers Sheffield United a much-desired glimmer of hope, but the Reds have five successive Premier League wins to boast against the Blades, whose last success in this fixture came all the way back in a 2003 EFL Cup tie.

Sheffield United Premier League form:

Liverpool Premier League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Team News

Liverpool's Joel Matip pictured on September 30, 2023© Reuters

Wilder's first game back in charge will see the Blades boss cope without striker Oli McBurnie, who was given his marching orders for a pair of elbows in his side's crushing loss to Burnley.

Right-back George Baldock also lasted just 25 minutes of that match before succumbing to a hamstring issue, which will likely render him unavailable for Wednesday, while Chris Basham (ankle), Tom Davies (thigh), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh), John Egan (ankle), Daniel Jebbison (illness) and ex-Liverpool attacker Rhian Brewster (thigh) are definitely out.

Unless Baldock makes an unexpectedly quick return from the medical bay, Jayden Bogle should be introduced into the hosts' XI, where James McAtee is the most likely candidate to return in place of the banned McBurnie.

Liverpool also have a new defensive injury concern to contend with, as Joel Matip was forced off in the second half of their seven-goal spectacular with Fulham due to an apparent knee problem, and Klopp has conceded that the Cameroonian will not be a short-term absentee.

Matip joins a quintet of stricken teammates in the Liverpool infirmary, as Alisson Becker (thigh), Diogo Jota (muscle), Andrew Robertson (shoulder), Thiago Alcantara (hip) and Stefan Bajcetic (calf) remain in the recovery phase too.

Thankfully for Klopp, a fit-again Ibrahima Konate is ready to come straight back into the XI, and with the likes of Joe Gomez, Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo all pushing for recalls, the Reds boss should not be averse to a few tweaks here and there.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson; Bogle, Souza, Norwood, Larouci; Hamer, McAtee; Archer

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

SM words green background

We say: Sheffield United 1-4 Liverpool

Liverpool's efforts to keep the opposition at bay on the road have been futile so far this season, and the Reds were punished for a few sequences of sloppy play against Fulham, where Alisson Becker was not available to come up with his customary match-saving moments.

An anticipated change of management could breathe new life into a depleted Blades XI, but their defensive issues will not be solved overnight, and another chastening afternoon awaits the hosts against Liverpool's rampant attacking contingent.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS
2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves26115104040038
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle26114115445937
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
13Crystal Palace2677123144-1328
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2666143448-1424
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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