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Sheffield United v Man City – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Sheffield United host Man City at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Sheffield United v Man City

Sheffield United host Man City at Bramall Lane on Sunday. The Blades have lost both matches so far by one-goal margins and will want to avoid a heavy loss to Pep Guardiola’s side in this one. City have signed Jeremy Doku this week from Rennes and will want to make it nine points from nine in the league.

Sheffield Form

The Blades are one of three teams who have lost both league matches so far. On the opening day, they were thoroughly outplayed by Crystal Palace in a 1-0 home defeat. They managed just eight shots, 32% possession, and 0.51 xG compared to 1.89 xG and 24 shots for their opponents. They were beaten 2-1 at Nottingham Forest last Friday after conceding in the 89th minute. Sheff Utd put up just 0.50 Expected Goals.

Paul Heckingbottom’s team were promoted after finishing second last season. They took 91 points from their 46 matches. They were beaten four times in 23 home matches with a strong defence seeing just 19 goals conceded.

Sheffield Team News

There are a huge number of injuries for the Blades to contend with. Goerge Baldock and Max Lowe should be okay to return in the back five after knocks. Ollie McBurnie didn’t have much of a preseason but he should be in contention for a long runout in this one.

John Fleck suffered a fracture in the preseason and he missed out in midfield. Forward Rhian Brewster is back after being out since October but this one may come too soon for him. Central midfielder Ismaila Coulibaly is another player who is expected to miss out and Sander Berge was sold to Burnley on the eve of the season.

Sheffield Motivation

The hosts will play with energy and physicality in this match and try to create a shock result. Realistically, they will not have much of the ball or carry much threat.

A narrow loss and avoiding a confidence-draining thrashing would probably be accepted right now if offered to the coach and players.

Man City Form

After last season’s incredible treble, City have started this season in a business-like fashion. Although they lost the Community Shield on penalties, they went to Burnley on the opening day and won 3-0 as they controlled the season half. A win on penalties followed in the UEFA Super Cup after a 1-1 draw in regulation time with Sevilla.

Last week, they beat Newcastle 1-0 at home. Julian Alvarez got the only goal of that game. Most impressive was limiting the Magpies to 0.29 Expected Goals in a fine defensive display when Pep Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution.

Man City Team News

Kevin de Bruyne misses this match with a long-term injury. Bernardo Silva has been out with illness but he should be back in the squad for this one. John Stones’ return will have to wait until after the international break.

City spent a big fee to sign Jeremy Doku this week and the winger could go straight into the squad, though he won’t start in all likelihood. It could be the same XI that faced Newcastle considering the bench looked weak that day and only Nathan Ake is a feasible option to come into the starting lineup.

Man City Motivation

City will expect to win this match by a large margin. They’ve played within themselves this season and may open up a bit more and try to score three of four goals.

Erling Haaland hasn’t scored in his last two matches and will want to net at least once or twice in this one. If leading by a decent margin, expect to see City strangle the game with lots of possession in deep areas.

Key Stats

Sheffield United have lost their 2 EPL matches so far

The Blades have only created 1.01 Expected Goals in 2 matches

Man City have won 14 of their last 16 league matches

City had the best away defensive record in the EPL last season (16 goals conceded)

City have conceded in 9 of their last 12 away league matches


This match has the potential to be a thrashing. Haaland could cash in by scoring a couple of goals and it’s hard to see Sheff United scoring with how little threat they’ve shown in their two matches so far. This is not an easy match to extract value.

Best Bet: Man City win (-2 handicap) at 2.45
Alternative Bet: Man City win to zero at 1.74
Goalscorer Value Bet: Erling Haaland to score 2 or more goals at 2.65

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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