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Sheffield United v Arsenal: how United have been doing this season

By Bulldog Drummond

It is interesting to note that while Arsenal play in five competitions at the moment (League, League Cup, FA Cup, Europa League and Football League Trophy), Sheffield United along with other teams in a similar position only have three: the League, FA Cup and League Cup thus putting less strain on their squad.

Here are their results thus far

Date Match Res Score Competition
10 Aug 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Sheffield United D 1-1 Premier League
18 Aug 2019 Sheffield United v Crystal Palace W 1-0 Premier League
24 Aug 2019 Sheffield United v Leicester City L 1-2 Premier League
27 Aug 2019 Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers W 2-1 League Cup
31 Aug 2019 Chelsea v Sheffield United D 2-2 Premier League
14 Sep 2019 Sheffield United v Southampton L 0-1 Premier League
21 Sep 2019 Everton v Sheffield United W 0-2 Premier League
25 Sep 2019 Sheffield United v Sunderland L 0-1 League Cup
28 Sep 2019 Sheffield United v Liverpool L 0-1 Premier League
05 Oct 2019 Watford v Sheffield United D 0-0 Premier League

10 games thus far and just three wins, one of those being against Blackburn Rovers of the Championship.  They then lost at home to Sunderland of League One in the next round of the league cup – meaning it is league games only until January.

In the Premier League they have won at home against Palace and away against Everton.  Everton have been struggling all season so that result is not too unexpected, but Palace have been doing well of late so that may seem a trifle more surprising.  However Palace failed to score in either of their first two games including this match and a draw against Everton.

Sheffield United came up by being second in the Championship last season…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Norwich City 46 27 13 6 93 57 36 94
2 Sheffield United 46 26 11 9 78 41 37 89
3 Leeds United 46 25 8 13 73 50 23 83
4 West Bromwich Albion 46 23 11 12 87 62 25 80
5 Aston Villa 46 20 16 10 82 61 21 76

and the position of the three promoted teams after eight games in the Prem (13th, 15th and 19th) shows how tough the transition can be.

Thus far, then, Sheffield United have won at home against Palace and lost to Leicester, Southampton and Liverpool.   However the Liverpool defeat was by only 0-1 which suggests that the club knows how to play defensive football at home.   We can expect a packed double row of defenders, as befits a club that at home has scored two and conceded four, in four matches.  Arsenal away have scored five and conceded six.

But the signs are we might have Lacazette back, along with much if not all of what should become our regular defence for the rest of the season.

However although they may well adjust for this match, we must also remember that last season Sheffield United were the best performing home team in the Championship with 15 wins, four draws and four defeats, another sign that this is where they are expecting to be picking up the points that will keep them up, or even in mid-table.

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But we should also remember that their promotion last season came after a promotion from League One to the Championship in 2017, which is obviously two promotions in three seasons.  Prior to 2017/18 they had spent six seasons in League One.

So it is quite a rise, and although last season they did knock in 78 goals, they also conceded 41.  Better than Arsenal (73 scored 51 conceded) but achieved obviously against lesser opposition (along with a defeat to Barnet at home in the FA Cup).

Their highest score this season is two goals (against Chelsea, Leicester and Everton) so they can attack and get at defences and of that we must be very aware.  Let’s hope for our fulsome defence to return and be on form.

Finally, here’s a list of their transfers through last summer

Player From Type Fee Comment
Verrips, Michael KV Mechelen Transfer Free
Bešić, Muhamed Everton Loan Season loan
McBurnie, Ollie Swansea City Transfer £20m Reported fee
Osborn, Ben Nottingham Forest Transfer Undisclosed
Henderson, Dean Manchester United Loan Season loan
Mousset, Lys AFC Bournemouth Transfer £10m Reported fee
Morrison, Ravel Östersunds FK Transfer Free
Robinson, Callum Preston North End Transfer Undisclosed
Jagielka, Phil Everton Transfer Free
Freeman, Luke Queens Park Rangers Transfer Undisclosed

Three days after this game we play Vitoria in the Europa, and I suspect that youngsters will be given a run out for that game, while the Sheffield U match looks more like a war of attrition against two banks of defenders across the pitch, so I’d expect the strongest possible Arsenal team being played for this match.

8 comments to Sheffield United v Arsenal: how United have been doing this season

  • Gord

    I keep seeing terms like “motivated” to descibe Sheffield going into this game. Kick Arsenal all over the park is how I read that. PGMO will do their thing.

    I think Arsenal will get 10-15 fouls charged against them, and probably 6-7 yellow cards. Xhaka will get the first or second yellow, probably for breathing on a Sheffield player (garlic breath, you know). Arsenal will probably require 3-4 treatments, and the referee will see nothing wrong discipline wise with respect to any Arsenal treatment. I think we will pick up 2-3 injuries out of this game; hopefully none for a long period of time. Sheffield will not be carded for any Arsenal injury.

    I don’t think the referee will be under pressure to “even up” either the fouls or cards, so the game will end with the appearance that Arsenal are the dirtiest team in the EPL.

    I will hope for Arsenal to win.

  • Menace

    PGMOL at its most obvious in the ManU v Liverpool match. Origi fouled but ‘not seen’ by Atkinson, the ball is passed forward and then into the box for Rashford to score. Excellent goal but the foul led to the United possession.

    Quite amazing seeing how PGMOL can be manipulated by United becaus soon after the United ‘goal’ Mane was deemed to have handled before scoring.

  • John L

    Even Neville has said it reminds him of the Riley 50 game. VAR is not the problem. It’s the corrupt use of it.

  • Menace

    In football it is often said ‘he took one for the team’, in this United game it seems like Atkinson was blinded for the Glazers. The number of bookings that United have evaded due to selective blindness is immeasurable.

  • John L

    Atkinson is playing for Man Utd today.

  • Nitram

    Menace and John L

    Didn’t realise you were commenting on the match here. I left a comment on the next article.

    Personally I didn’t think it was a foul. It’s in the ‘I’ve seen ’em given’ category I grant you, but come on the contact is minimal. Still, it’s subjective so if that’s what you think.

    Anyway as you will see below, my point wasn’t about whether it was a foul or not but rather the contrasting ways Souness and Neville see a foul of such a soft nature in this match compared to what they thought was acceptable in match 49. Anyway these were my thoughts on it:

    OT but here’s yet another example of double standards when talking about Arsenal.

    Watching the Man Utd Liverpool game there was an turnover involving Lindelöf on Origi in the build up to Utds goal. No foul was given and Utd scored from the resultant break away. It was checked by VAR and stood.

    If it was a foul it would of been extremely soft. Yes there was ‘contact’ but as far as I’m aware football is a contact sport, so that’s irrelevant. That means the only question is, was it a foul? Personally I don’t think so as the contact was minimal. Once not given, under the present VAR guidelines it was never going to be overturned.

    Anyway, all that is just the background to my point. And my point is the reaction to it from Souness and Neville.

    They cant believe it wasn’t called a foul. According to Souness “There’s ‘contact’, there’s not even a debate” ! Really? Since when is ‘contact’ a foul?

    This from a guy that earned a living kicking players off the park. If he’d been pulled up for a foul in those circumstances he would of gone ballistic.

    This is from 2 guys who took great delight in laughing at how Arsenal where ‘bullied’ in the infamous game 49.

    This is from 2 guys who saw absolutely nothing wrong with Manchester Uniteds tactics in that match.

    You just know if an Arsenal player had thrown himself to the ground as did Origi they’d be ripping him to pieces. ‘You’ve got to be stronger’ ‘you can’t be bullied like that’ blah blah blah.

    Complete and utter hypocrites the pair of them

  • Menace

    Nitram – it is subjective, but what I saw was a boot making contact with Origi’s knee from behind through his legs. I wouldn’t expect an official to see it but VAR must refer the official to look at it, particularly as it led to a goal.

    As for the pundits… they have limited intelligence and greedy pockets. The reality is that the prize for the 50th (49) is still bearing fruit.

  • Nitram

    Menace

    As I say, there was contact but it was minimal. That doesn’t, in my opinion, constitute a foul.

    In the final analysis it’s down to how much contacted you, me, or anyone else thinks there needs to be to constitute a foul and that’s simply matter of opinion.

    Once it wasn’t given VAR was never going to overturn it. VAR isn’t overturning diabolical decisions so it was never going to overturn a ‘debatable’ one.

    But that aside, I was really just highlighting the hypocrisy of Neville and Souness, as discussed on the next article.

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