Sheffield United v Arsenal: the team and the result



By Sir Hardly Anyone

The key news from the Standard is that Arsenal should have Thomas Partey back for tonight’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United, though Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu both face late fitness tests.

Jurrien Timber is now training with the first team but is not yet ready to play a league game.

As a result, the team is predicted by the newspaper as being Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice; Saka, Havertz, Martinelli.

That means of Arsenal’s top scorers, Saka, Havertz, Martinelli and Odegaard are all predicted to start.

Football.London tell us us that, “Cesc Fabregas believes the Monday night clash with Sheffield United will be a challenge for Arsenal due to the added pressures of the title race, but one his former club can overcome.”    But Cesc was very cautious saying, “There’s a bit of everything but, at the moment, I see Arsenal a little bit too strong to be dropping points there.”

Cesc played the game of course, and I most certaintly didn’t, but even so I’d be a little bit more positive than “a little bit too strong”.

The Independent gives us a slight variation in the team with


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior;

Rice, Odegaard, Havertz;

Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.

They also offer some odds:

  • Sheffield United win: 16/1
  • Draw: 7/1
  • Arsenal win: 1/7

Hardly seems worth it!   But Sports Mole do have a little more to add: Should “Sheffield United be defeated by at least a five-goal margin to Arsenal, they would become the first team in English league history to ever lose three successive home games by that scoreline, while also holding the unwanted honour of being the only team in the land to ever ship five goals in four straight home matches in all tournaments.”

Showing that there is only a limited range of changes that Arteta is likely to look at they go with the Standard’s approach of…


White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior;

Odegaard, Jorginho, Rice;

Saka, Havertz, Martinelli

But in this case it is not for the team that I wanted to mention Sports Mole, nor for the fact that is does tend to treat its readers as being considerably over the mental age of 7, unlike some publications.  Nor indeed for its occasional grammatical slip (really guys, you write great stuff but did no one ever teach you the split infinitives really aren’t on.  “To ever lose” and “To ever ship” indeed!!!)    

But no, rather because of the headline,  “We say: Sheffield United 0-5 Arsenal”

Their view is that, “Not having to worry about the second leg of their Champions League last-16 affair with Porto until the second week of March, a near full-strength Arsenal should run riot against the league’s worst defence, potentially with a couple of customary set-piece goals.”

But let’s finish off our previews of the game with the BBC’s input.   They remind us that a win for Arsenal will be the first time Arsenal have won three away games against United in a row.   And it is possible since “Sheffield United have lost four of their last five league matches,” which means that they could be the first English league team “to lose four consecutive home games in all competitions by a margin of five or more goals.”

However, the fact is that despite the poverty of their results this year Sheffield United have not gone three games without a goal in the league this season even though they have the worst defence in the top division since the notorious Ipswich Town side of 1963/4.

And just in case you are too young to remember the extracts from that table (showing goal difference rather than goal ratio which used to be used), it was of course two points for a win in those far off days.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 42 26 5 11 92 45 47 57
8 Arsenal 42 17 11 14 90 82 8 45
20 Birmingham City 42 11 7 24 54 92 -38 29
21 Bolton Wanderers 42 10 8 24 48 80 -32 28
22 Ipswich Town 42 9 7 26 56 121 -65 25


A win for Asenal would make it seven wins in a row for the first time since April 2015, in addition to being the first team ever in the Premier League to score two or more goals in seven consecutive halves (thanks again to the BBC for that one).  So let’s round up the round up by looking back to April 2015 and comparing with now.

Then (April 2015)

Date Game Res Score
10 Feb 2015 Arsenal v Leicester City W 2-1
21 Feb 2015 Crystal Palace v Arsenal W 1-2
01 Mar 2015 Arsenal v Everton W 2-0
04 Mar 2015 Queens Park Rangers v Arsenal W 1-2
14 Mar 2015 Arsenal v West Ham United W 3-0
21 Mar 2015 Newcastle United v Arsenal W 1-2
04 Apr 2015 Arsenal v Liverpool W 4-1
11 Apr 2015 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-1


That was eight wins in a row scoring 18 and conceding five, a goal difference of +13.  This time before tonight it is six wins in a row scoring 25 and conceding three, a goal difference of +22.


Date Game Res Score
20 Jan 2024 Arsenal v Crystal Palace W 5-0
30 Jan 2024 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal W 1-2
04 Feb 2024 Arsenal v Liverpool W 3-1
11 Feb 2024 West Ham United v Arsenal W 0-6
17 Feb 2024 Burnley v Arsenal W 0-5
24 Feb 2024 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 4-1


I am rather hoping for an exciting and glorious win by 3-0 or more to make us the top-scoring club in the league, with the best defence in the league, and just two points off the top.

2 Replies to “Sheffield United v Arsenal: the team and the result”

  1. Sadly, I had a tenner on 0-5. The cash out at half-time was a mere £16.22. I took it…..there was no way we wouldn’t score again!! COYG

  2. I woke up at 5 AM , to watch the second half , with the score at 0-5 . Was truly overjoyed with the standings and wondering if we would still go forward and score . Another scorcher was the reward , with a few returning walking wounded , being given playing time .
    Up the Gunners !

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