The last international break of the season is over… Hallelujah! What a drag, it seems like a long time since Manchester United last played. There’s no easy game in the Premier League but Sheffield United away is arguably, at present, one of the toughest fixtures.
United had a couple of decent back to back results with home victories against Brighton and Partizan. Most pleasing for United fans would be the 3 goals scored in both games. The return of Martial and Rashford’s improvement in form has meant United look much more of an attacking threat.
However, United do have some injuries to worry about including long term ones such as, Pogba, Shaw, Bailly and Dalot. Prior to the international break perhaps United’s most influential player this season, McTominay, picked up an injury ruling him out for another couple of weeks. This will put a strain on United’s midfield, meaning it could be an especially important game for Fred. Can he control the game?
As mentioned previously, Sheffield United are a tough proposition sitting in a lofty fifth position. A Manchester United victory would take them above Sheffield United in the table. However, The Blades are undefeated in their last 5 games, including impressive results against Tottenham away and Arsenal at home.
Relying on team ethic with no real superstars United can be expected to be harassed for the full 90 minutes. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Sheffield’s start has been Chris Wilder’s ability of getting the best out of the players.
13 years since they last met in the Premier League, United can expect a hostile atmosphere at Bramall Lane. In the Premier League era Manchester United have enjoyed 5 victories out of a possible 6. The only loss was at Bramall lane in the 92/93 season against a then newly promoted Sheffield United.
Sheffield United will probably fancy this, especially when considering United’s inconsistent form across the season. Yet, a United win could give them further impetus going into the busy festive period. With home games against Villa and Spurs followed by the Manchester derby, a strong away performance could go a long way to pushing United up the table.
Every game for Manchester United has something riding on it whether it’s Ole’s future or if a player is good enough. This game is no different – with Pogba and McTominay out will Garner start? Has Brandon Williams replaced Young as a starter? Will Fred boss the midfield? This game will give us a lot more answers about how far United and Ole have come…