Sheffield United continue their bid for a great escape as they welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane in Super Sunday Night Football.
Victory could see Sheffield Utd move to within 12 points of safety if Newcastle lose on Sunday lunchtime, whereas Arsenal can go ninth with a win.
George Baldock and Jayden Bogle are major doubts for Sheffield Utd after suffering respective head and facial injuries in last weekend’s defeat at Leeds United.
Jonny Egan could return after regaining enough fitness to be utilised at Elland Road, having looked likely to miss out at time of Paul Heckingbottom’s injury update pre-match.
Chris Basham (knock) is unlikely to feature but Billy Sharp (muscle), Jack Robinson (foot), Sander Berge (hamstring), Jack Rodwell (fitness) and Jack O’Connell (knee) remain absent.
Arsenal remains without Martin Odegaard due to an ankle injury picked up whilst on international duty for Norway.
David Luiz and Kiernan Tierney are ruled out with knee injuries.
- Sheffield United have claimed seven points from their last five league meetings against Arsenal (W2, D1, L2), with both wins coming at home by 1-0 results.
- Arsenal have never won in four previous Premier League trips to Bramall Lane (D2, L2).
- Only West Brom have produced fewer shots than Sheffield United in the top flight this season, having made 251 shots to the Blades’ 253 despite both having played 30 games each.
- Six of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s nine league goals for Arsenal this season have come in 2021.
- This is Sheffield Utd’s first home game this season to be refereed by Peter Bankes, although the Blades have avoided defeat in two of three away trips under Bankes’ watch (W1, D1, L1).
Since Chris Wilder’s exit last month, Sheffield Utd have delivered decent performances but defending continues to be their Achilles heel, although they are improving in attack with more creative play and were unlucky to not get a point at Leeds last weekend.
Arsenal meanwhile continue to lack confidence across the pitch and to concede an away goal on Thursday to Slavia Prague minutes after taking the lead is concerning, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see several changes ahead of the return leg in Prague on Thursday.
On that note, I don’t expect an entertaining clash here but if the Blades can continue their improvements going forward and can somehow click defensively, I feel that they might just nick this given Arsenal’s issues.
Prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 Arsenal
Result: Sheffield United 0-3 Arsenal