Match Previews

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Sheffield United

107 days after United last played a competitive match at Old Trafford, they return home while supporters are made to watch from inside their homes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær will miss being serenaded by the Stretford End as he faces off against another Premier League boss proving himself, Chris Wilder.

The festival of football rolls on with another headline game approaches.

Kick-off: 18:00

Venue: Old Trafford

Referee: Anthony Taylor


Position: 7th

Recent form: LDWWD

Top goalscorer: John Fleck/Lys Mousset [5]

Most assists: Lys Mousset [4]

Previous result: Newcastle United 3-0 Sheffield United

Opposition lowdown

Albeit the surprise package this season, since Project Restart the Blades are winless in their two games.

Unfortunate not to win at Aston Villa last week, there were well beaten at St. James’ Park on Sunday as their fluid football was matched by Newcastle United.

Edna Steven’s costly error following John Egan’s sending off means that Ben Osborn may well start as the Blades’ left wing-back in this one.

The 25-year-old has been sporadically used this season but if he gets his chance, he will be hoping Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba stay quiet if he is to play only his eighth Premier League match.

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson is ineligible against his parent club but was potentially suspect for two goals in the North East – more on him soon.

Wilder was not for airbrushing the errors on Sunday, telling reporters in his pre-match press conference: “My approach, the players understand, is an honest approach. There’s no hiding place and it’s a tough business.

“There’s no hiding place for Enda when he made that mistake. There was no hiding place for Dean.”

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The 3-3 draw in November showed Sheffield’s steel city spirit to be brave and never say die, going 2-0 up in the first half before equalising in the dying embers after United came back through the kids.

A win would move them above the Red Devils by a point and ensure their fairytale continues into summer.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • John Egan – red card (next match)
  • Jack O’Connell – knee (doubtful)
  • David McGoldrick – knock (late fitness test)

Expected lineup

(3-5-2) Moore; Basham, Jagielka, Robinson; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Lundstram, Osborn; Sharp, McBurnie

Quote from the boss

“We are on the ropes a little bit, but we’ve got to show that fighting spirit that got us into this position and into the Premier League, which no doubt we will do.” – Chris Wilder

Next match: Arsenal [H] 28/06

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Following weekend results, Friday’s match seemed a decent point in the circumstances.

There we promising signs, particularly going forward as United looked slightly better against a low block.

David De Gea’s error allowed Tottenham Hotspur to take the lead and within seconds, the goalkeeper debate door was flung open.

Solskjær spoke about the topic in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference, and stuck up for his stopper, saying: “David is the best goalkeeper in the world, he’s conceded two goals in the last seven he’s played for us, there are City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton, two goals in seven games, we’ve gone on a run and the two goals.”

On Henderson, he said: “He’s learning all the time, he’s a passionate keeper, he’s developing, he’s had good coaching there [at Bramall Lane] – I think one day he’ll be England number one and our number one and he needs to keep developing.”

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On a more positive note, Fernandes and Pogba on the pitch together was a welcome sight for United fans and means the midfield battle for a starting place is arguably the most exciting part of the squad.

One of those who got the nod last week was Scott McTominay and the 23-year-old signed a new contract on Tuesday, keeping him at Old Trafford until 2025.

His manager commented on the news, stating: “I watched him before I came in and I was excited to come in and work with him. He’s such a humble and hard-working boy with the Man United DNA.

“He knows what it takes to go through the ranks and he’s a leader on the pitch. Very, very happy to come together and work towards winning trophies together.”

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Team news

Victor Lindelöf hobbled off after 78 minutes so Eric Bailly will be eagerly anticipating a start alongside Harry Maguire, who came under criticism for his role in Steven Bergwijn’s opener.

The same went for Luke Shaw, who failed to take his chance at left-back as Brandon Williams, who scored his first United goal at Bramall Lane back in November, is waiting in the wings.

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Pogba is expected to start following his influential cameo on Friday while fellow substitute Mason Greenwood could replace Daniel James in the starting XI.

Odion Ighalo also came off the bench and may get the nod from minute one on Wednesday, with his physical presence a potential combatant against the visitors’ three tough centre-backs.

With Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Carrow Road on the horizon, more rotation could also be in order.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Phil Jones – knock (doubtful)
  • Axel Tuanzebe – knock (unknown)

Expected lineup

(4-2-3-1) De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelöf, Maguire, Williams; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Martial; Ighalo

Quote from the boss

“We love walking out at Old Trafford in front of our fans is an exceptional experience, but we have the urge to get back playing and winning games and we’ll go out there and put our best performance on, hopefully.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Next match: Norwich City [A] 27/06

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– Odion Ighalo vs Phil Jagielka

– Mason Greenwood vs Jack Robinson

– Oliver McBurnie vs Harry Maguire

Enjoy the match!

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