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Manchester United logo
Premier League | Gameweek 29
Apr 24, 2024 at 8pm UK
Old Trafford
Sheffield United logo

Man Utd
4 - 2
Sheff Utd

Maguire (42'), Fernandes (61' pen., 81'), Hojlund (85')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bogle (35'), Brereton Diaz (50')
Holgate (37')

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

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

After surviving an almighty scare in their unforgettable FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, Manchester United hope for a more stress-free experience against Sheffield United in Wednesday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have an FA Cup final with Manchester City to look forward to despite an atrocious collapse, while their visitors' top-flight survival chances are now slim to none.


Match preview

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring against Coventry City on April 21, 2024© Reuters

Most of Man United's players seemed embarrassed to celebrate advancing to their second FA Cup final in as many years, and with good reason too, as Coventry channelled their 2005 Liverpool and almost pulled out one of the most mind-boggling turnarounds the historic competition has ever witnessed.

Leading 3-0 heading into the final 20 minutes, Erik ten Hag's men nearly threw it all away as their Championship counterparts unbelievably forced extra time, where Victor Torp thought he had etched his name into Sky Blues folklore with a last-gasp winning goal in front of the bewildered Red Devils faithful.

However, Coventry's delirium was cruelly cut short by a tight offside call, and Ten Hag's men managed to hold their nerve from the penalty spot to set up a repeat of last year's final with Manchester City, but Man United were chastised as if they had lost the semi-final.

Now without a 90-minute win in six matches, Ten Hag's jaded troops also have several Premier League wrongs to right on Wednesday, having gone without a single victory in their last four matches to all but kill off their Champions League hopes, lying seventh in the table and 16 points off the top four with 18 left to play for.

A far cry from the defensive powerhouses during Ten Hag's debut campaign, Man United enter the midweek battle having shipped an alarming 11 goals in their last four games - not to mention their incessant concession of shots to the opposition - but their upcoming visitors are hardly renowned for their rearguard excellence either.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder on April 4, 2024© Reuters

An undesired Premier League first was achieved by Sheffield United during the weekend's bottom-of-the-table battle with Burnley at Bramall Lane, where victory was seen as imperative if Chris Wilder's side were to spark a miraculous escape from the Premier League's drop zone.

Burnley had only acquired four more points than Sheffield United throughout the entire campaign, but they appropriately hit the Blades for four in Sheffield, where Lorenz Assignon, Lyle Foster, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jacob Bruun Larsen contributed to the rout that saw Wilder's men become the first Premier League team to let in 50 goals at home in a single season.

Gustavo Hamer's fine finish briefly gave Sheffield United hope, but the Clarets quickly extinguished it to leave their hosts on the brink of a swift return to second-tier football; the Blades are now 10 points adrift of safety with just five games left on the calendar.

A trip to Newcastle United and home fixture versus Tottenham Hotspur also await for Wilder's men, although they may very well have been consigned to the drop by the time they host the latter on the final gameweek, and it is now nine matches without a win for the basement dwellers.

If there is one saving grace for Sheffield United fans to cling onto, it is that their side achieved a magnificent 2-1 win at the Theatre of Dreams in January 2021, and while the Red Devils prevailed by that same scoreline at Bramall Lane earlier this season, it was not convincing by any stretch.

Manchester United Premier League form:


Manchester United form (all competitions):


Sheffield United Premier League form:


Team News

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford reacts after sustaining an injury on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Already coping without Jonny Evans (muscle), Raphael Varane (muscle), Lisandro Martinez (calf), Victor Lindelof (hamstring), Luke Shaw (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (muscle) and Anthony Martial (groin), Man United's injury crisis worsened both before and during the FA Cup semi-final, not that it was any excuse for their capitulation.

Indeed, all of Willy Kambwala, Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat failed to make the matchday squad, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford limped back to the team coach after late withdrawals and are major doubts for this one, and Harry Maguire appeared to moving gingerly towards the end of the 120 minutes as well.

Should the latter's issue prove serious enough to keep him out of Wednesday's game, Ten Hag could be without a single senior centre-back for the visit of Sheffield United and may therefore have to dip into the academy ranks; 18-year-old Louis Jackson was on the bench for the semi-final.

The Sheffield United medics are also swamped at this moment in time, and Wilder was forced to bring goalscorer Hamer off in the 78th minute of the Burnley beating, but the former Coventry man is not believed to be dealing with anything particularly nasty.

That is more than can be said for Tom Davies (thigh), George Baldock (calf), Daniel Jebbison (illness), John Egan (ankle), Chris Basham (ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh) and Max Lowe (ankle), although Davies and Jebbison are now back out on the grass.

Rhian Brewster (thigh) and Jack Robinson (ankle) are closer to returns, but Wilder should be working with an identical group of players from the weekend and may ponder a change or two, potentially reintroducing Cameron Archer into the forward line.


Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Casemiro, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Mainoo, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Garnacho; Hojlund

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Ahmedhodzic, Holgate, Trusty; Bogle, Souza, McAtee, Arblaster, Osborn; Brereton Diaz, Archer


SM words green background

We say: Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield United

Taken to penalties at Wembley and being carved open at will by almost every team to pit their wits against them, Man United should not be expected to blow their lowly foes to smithereens here, even if Wednesday's tie is a mismatch on paper.

A clash between two sides with an affinity for conceding should see goals at both ends, even if weary legs come into play, but while it is unlikely to be pretty, a decimated Man United should prevail thanks to their superior attacking depth.


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


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Game History

How you voted: Man Utd vs Sheff Utd

Manchester United
75.1%
Draw
13.9%
Sheffield United
11.0%
237
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
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2Arsenal37275589286186
3Liverpool372310484414379
4Aston Villa37208976562068
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs371961271611063
6Chelsea371791175621360
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle371761481602157
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd37176145558-357
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham371410135971-1252
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton371212135560-548
11Bournemouth37139155365-1248
12Crystal Palace371210155258-646
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves37137175063-1346
14Fulham37128175159-844
15Everton37139153949-1040
16Brentford37109185461-739
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3789204766-1929
18Luton TownLuton3768235081-3126
RBurnley3759234076-3624
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd37372735101-6616


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