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

Sports Mole previews Friday's friendly between Casa Pia and Sheffield United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield United will kick off their preparations for the 2022-23 Championship campaign with a pre-season contest against Portuguese outfit Casa Pia on Friday evening.

The Blades made the Championship playoffs last season courtesy of their fifth-place finish in England's second tier, but they were beaten by Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals.

Match preview

Casa Pia were promoted to Portugal's top flight for the first time in 83 years courtesy of their second-place finish in the second tier during the 2021-22 campaign.

A strong campaign saw the Lisbon-based outfit pick up 68 points from their 34 matches, joining Rio Ave in earning promotion to the Primeira Liga, and they will begin their 2022-23 top-flight campaign away to Santa Clara on August 6.

Casa Pia will therefore provide extremely competitive opposition for a Sheffield United side that will again be bidding to challenge for a return to the top flight of English football next term.

Filipe Martins's side have not been too busy thus far this summer in terms of incomings, but Diogo Pinto has arrived to boost their midfield, while there have not been too many departures, so the bulk of the squad that impressed last term are set to be given the chance to prove themselves in the top flight.

Sheffield United's manager Paul Heckingbottom on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Sheffield United can take the positives from last season's Championship campaign, as they were close to securing a return to the top flight, and it would not be a surprise to see them challenge high up the second tier once again during the 2022-23 season.

The Blades have a busy pre-season schedule, preparing to take on Lincoln City, Scunthorpe United, Mansfield Town, Burton Albion and Barnsley in friendlies ahead of their Championship opener at Watford on August 1.

Sheffield United's first signing of the summer saw them bring in Tommy Doyle on loan from Manchester City, while it is believed that they are close to signing Anel Ahmedhodzic from Malmo.

There have also been plenty of departures this summer, with Oliver Burke, David McGoldrick and Luke Freeman among those to move on at the end of their contracts.

Paul Heckingbottom's side have less than a month until the return of competitive action, and the team will be desperate to hit the ground running at the start of the new Championship season, as it is looking likely to be a very competitive promotion race in the second tier of English football next term.

Casa Pia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Manchester City midfielder Tommy Doyle pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Casa Pia could have a new face in their lineup in the shape of Pinto, with the midfielder making the move from CF Estrela this summer.

Ricardo Batista is set to feature between the sticks for the home side, while the likes of Leonardo Lelo, Neto and Joao Vieira should also be included from the first whistle.

Jota scored an impressive 11 league goals for Casa Pia during the 2021-22 campaign, but he has moved on this summer, which could open the door for Camilo Triana to make the XI.

Sheffield United could hand a debut to Doyle following his arrival from Man City, where there is also a slight chance that Ahmedhodzic could feature, if the move goes through over the next 24 hours or so.

Head coach Heckingbottom will want to make full use of his squad, but there should be plenty of familiar faces in the starting side, including the likes of John Egan, Chris Basham and John Fleck.

Daniel Jebbison and Billy Sharp might feature in the final third of the field, but Oliver McBurnie and Rhian Brewster remain on the sidelines for the Blades through injury.

Casa Pia possible starting lineup:
Batista; Fernandes, Muscat, Zolotic, Lelo; Neto, Pinto, Borges, Vieira; Godwin, Triana

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Baldock, Egan, Basham, Lowe; Berge, Fleck, Doyle, Osborn; Jebbison, Sharp

SM words green background

We say: Casa Pia 1-2 Sheffield United

Both managers will want to have a full look at their squad in this match, which might make it a stop-start affair, especially in the second period. Sheffield United will believe that they have the superior quality, though, and we are expecting the Blades to run out narrow winners at the end of the 90 minutes.

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General view of Sheffield United's Bramall Lane taken April 2017
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