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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Sheffield United and Plymouth Argyle, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield United welcome Plymouth Argyle to Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon with a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup on the line.

The Blades have had a dismal Premier League campaign to date but beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the last round, while Plymouth saw off Huddersfield Town by the same scoreline.

The winners of this tie will take on either Millwall or Bristol City in the next round.


Match preview

Billy Sharp celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Newcastle United in the Premier League on January 12, 2021© Reuters

United's win over Rovers in the last round was their first victory in any competition this season at the 22nd attempt, with Omar Bogle scoring what proved to be the winning goal in an entertaining tie at the Memorial Stadium.

Chris Wilder's men followed that up with their first league win since July by overcoming Newcastle United 1-0 through Billy Sharp's second-half penalty.

However, normal service was resumed at the weekend as the Blades went down 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving them bottom of the Premier League and 11 points from safety.

The immediate aim for United will be to better Derby County's lowest-ever points return of 11 in the Premier League era, but the FA Cup does at least provide them with a welcome distraction.

With Plymouth and then either Millwall or Bristol City standing between them and a place in the quarter-finals, Wilder may well be tempted to field a strong lineup on Saturday afternoon.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder pictured on January 2, 2021© Reuters

The same is true for Argyle, who enter this game on a good run of form thanks to three wins and a draw in their last four matches in all competitions.

Ryan Lowe's charges won 2-1 away at Sunderland on Tuesday to move up to 11th in League One, six points adrift of the playoffs.

Plymouth have already come through three rounds in the FA Cup, meanwhile, having knocked out Charlton Athletic, Lincoln City and Huddersfield to make it this far.

They are now looking to reach the fifth round for the first time since 2006-07, though this is just their second appearance in the fourth round since then (also 2007-08).

This will of course be a tough test against top-flight opposition, though, and United have won 15 of their last 16 FA Cup meetings with sides from a lower division.

Sheffield United FA Cup form: W
Sheffield United form (all competitions): LLLWWL

Plymouth Argyle FA Cup form: WWW
Plymouth Argyle form (all competitions): DLWWDW


Team News

Sander Berge in action for Sheffield United in July 2020© Reuters

Jack O'Connell and Sander Berge are long-term absentees for United, while Ben Osborn, Oli McBurnie and Jack Robinson are all fitness doubts.

Wilder should field a fairly strong XI on Saturday, however, with John Egan - suspended for the Blades' next league game - among those in contention to start.

Rhian Brewster may get the nod up top as he looks to improve on a poor return of zero goals in 15 appearances since joining from Liverpool last summer.

As for Plymouth, George Cooper and Gary Sawyer are their only two known injury absentees.

Panutche Camara missed the win over Sunderland through suspension, but the midfielder is back involved for this one.

Striker Luke Jephcott has been involved in a goal in each round of the FA Cup so far this term, scoring two and assisting another, and will lead the visitors' line at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Ampadu; Bogle, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Lowe; McGoldrick, Brewster

Plymouth Argyle possible starting lineup:
Cooper; Aimson, Opoku, Watts; Edwards, Camara, Fornah, Mayor, Grant; Jephcott, Hardie


SM words green background

We say: Sheffield United 3-1 Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth knocked out Championship opposition in the last round and will now be looking to claim the scalp of a Premier League side.

The League One outfit enter this game in decent form, whereas United have won just two matches all season, but we are still backing the hosts to come out on top assuming they field a strong side.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data


ID:431480:cQx:QQ:

How you voted: Sheff Utd vs Plymouth

Sheffield United
85.7%
Plymouth Argyle
14.3%
63
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Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder pictured on January 2, 2021
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3Leicester CityLeicester25154644271749
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham25136639291045
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8Aston Villa23113937261136
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs24106837271036
10Leeds UnitedLeeds25112124343035
11Arsenal25104113126534
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2596102632-633
13Crystal Palace2595112943-1432
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2577111830-1228
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2551192632-626
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2574142643-1725
18Fulham25410112132-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2528151955-3614
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2532201541-2611

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