MX23RW : Friday, September 20 23:46:16| >> :600:2781440:2781440:
Aug 18, 2019 at 2pm UK at ​Bramall Lane
Attendance: 30,197
Sheff UtdSheffield United
Crystal Palace
Lundstram (47')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between between Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both Sheffield United and Crystal Palace will be looking for their first wins of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign when they lock horns at Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon.

Sheffield United opened their season with a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth last weekend, while Roy Hodgson's Palace started with a goalless draw at home to Everton.

Match preview

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp celebrates after the match on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Billy Sharp came off the bench to score a late equaliser at the Vitality Stadium last weekend with Sheffield United facing the possibility of losing their opener at Bournemouth. Indeed, Chris Mepham's goal looked to be deciding the contest in Dorset, only for Sharp to net a leveller in the 88th minute.

Bramall Lane will be bouncing on Sunday as the stadium prepares to host its first top-flight fixture in 12 years. Dating back to last season, the Blades have only lost one of their last 19 league matches, while they are unbeaten in their opening home match in each of their last four top-flight campaigns.

Much of the team's success last season was built on a strong defence, which conceded just 41 times in their 46 Championship matches - the joint-best record in the division alongside Middlesbrough. The step up in class to the Premier League is huge, though, and the Blades must rise to the challenge.

Chris Wilder resisted the temptation to start either Sharp or big-money signing Oliver McBurnie in the final third against Bournemouth, and it will be fascinating to see what the head coach has in mind for this match.

Each of Sheffield United's next three games are actually at home - taking on Palace and Leicester City in the Premier League before hosting Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup. If the newly-promoted club are to be successful this season then it is absolutely vital that Bramall Lane becomes a fortress.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson pictured on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Much of the talk heading into last weekend's clash with Everton surrounded Wilfried Zaha. The Ivory Coast international failed to force a move away from Selhurst Park in the latter stages of the transfer window, and will now seemingly remain at the club until at least January.

Zaha was a second-half substitute in the goalless draw with Everton, and head coach Hodgson will have been pleased with his team's performance against a Toffees side tipped for big things this term. It was a solid start to the campaign but the Eagles will be eyeing their first three points on Sunday.

Nine of Zaha's 10 Premier League goals last season came on the road, while Palace earned nine more points on their travels than they did at Selhurst Park during the 2018-19 campaign. Hodgson will be keen to improve his team's home form this term, but picking up results on the road is not exactly a bad habit to have.

Palace won the last meeting between the two teams at Selhurst Park in the Championship back in February 2011. The pair have not actually locked horns in the Premier League since the inaugural season back in 1992-93, though, where the Eagles triumphed in both matches.

Despite losing 17 Premier League matches last season, Palace claimed a respectable 12th-place finish and were actually only three points off ninth-placed Leicester City. Zaha is absolutely key to the team's chances of a successful campaign but it remains to be seen whether a failed transfer will see his head drop.

Bournemouth form: D

Sheffield United form: D

Team News

Wilfried Zaha in action for Crystal Palace on August 10, 2019© Reuters

Sheffield United have a full squad to choose from for this weekend's clash. That said, Wilder has a number of decisions to make when it comes to team selection.

Sharp will be hoping for a start having come off the bench to register against Bournemouth, while McBurnie will also feel that he has a good chance of making the XI on Sunday.

Wilder is unlikely to make many changes from what was a solid performance against Eddie Howe's side, though, with a 3-5-2 formation expected to see the likes of John Fleck and Oliver Norwood continue in the side.

As for Palace, Zaha is expected to return to the XI having started on the bench against Everton. The Ivorian could come in for Jordan Ayew, joining Christian Benteke in the final third of the field.

Jeffrey Schlupp has also been declared fit following a spell on the sidelines, but centre-backs James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho remain unavailable for selection.

Summer arrivals Gary Cahill, Victor Camarasa and James McCarthy were all unused substitutes against Everton - all three turned out for the club's Under-23 outfit on Monday, though, and are expected to make the squad once again.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Robinson, Sharp

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup: Guaita; Ward, Dann, Kelly, Van Aanholt; Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Meyer; Zaha, Benteke

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Crystal Palace

We are finding it difficult to separate the two teams this weekend. There has been a winner in each of their last four meetings, with their last draw at Bramall Lane occurring in a Championship game back in December 2008. Palace have not won away to the Blades since 2007, but the Eagles were impressive on their travels last season and we expect both teams to put another point on the board.

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

Sheffield United
Crystal Palace
Sheffield United
Crystal Palace
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Sheffield United's Billy Sharp celebrates after the match on August 10, 2019
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