Sheffield United welcomes Manchester City for what is a hugely important game for both teams.
The Blades have only picked up one point from their six league games this season to sit 19th in the table while City are down in 13th with eight points to show from their opening five matches of 2020-21.
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a desperately disappointing start to the season for Sheffield United, with just one point from six matches leaving them in 19th position.
The Blades lost their first four league games of the campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Leeds United, and Arsenal before picking up at Fulham.
The 2018-19 Championship runners-up were so impressive in the top flight last season, ultimately finishing ninth, but they were challenging for the top four ahead of the lockdown period.
City, meanwhile, are yet to really ignite their Premier League season and currently sit 13th in the table with eight points to show from their opening five matches.
Pep Guardiola’s side have beaten Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal in the league this season, but they lost heavily at home to Leicester City at the end of September, while both Leeds United and West Ham United have taken points off the former champions during the month of October.
The Citizens have made an excellent start to their 2020-21 Champions League campaign, though, beating Porto and Marseille to place themselves in a strong position to make the knockout stage of the competition.
Sheffield United put in a much-improved performance against Liverpool last time out, and they are in for another tough examination this weekend. City are missing some key players, especially in the final third of the field, but we expect the visitors to claim all three points at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United full-back Max Lowe is available to face Manchester City after passing concussion protocols.
John Lundstram’s refusal to agree a new contract is not expected to have an impact on his involvement.
Manager Pep Guardiola remains without Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy.
- Sheffield United have never beaten Manchester City in the Premier League in eight attempts, the most they’ve faced any side in the division without winning (D3, L5). Their only goal in those fixtures was scored by Brian Deane in April 1993.
- Manchester City are vying to win four consecutive league games against Sheffield United for the first time since March 1930.
- The Blades are winless in six league meetings since a 1-0 triumph in the second tier in January 2000.
- The Blades could fail to win any of their first seven league games in a season for the first time since 1991.
- Sheffield United have equalled their worst record of one point after six league fixtures in a season, first set in the 1975-76 top flight. They lost their seventh league match of that season.
- They have earned a solitary point from their past nine Premier League fixtures since beating Chelsea in July.
- The Blades can match the club Premier League record of five successive home games without a win, set in 1993 and equalled in 1994.
- Manager Chris Wilder has won 99 of his 202 matches in charge of the club in all competitions.
- Billy Sharp is one short of 100 league goals for Sheffield United.
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- City’s total of eight points is their lowest at this stage of a season since 2014-15.
- It’s Pep Guardiola’s worst start as a manager after five league games of a season. The fewest points his sides have earned after six league fixtures is 13.
- Manchester City have conceded as many as eight league goals after five matches for the first time since 2006-07.
- They could fail to score more than once in four successive Premier League games for the first time under Pep Guardiola.
- Since the beginning of last season, City are winless in all seven Premier League away matches when they conceded the opening goal (D1, L6).
- No side has won more English top-flight fixtures on Halloween than Manchester City’s tally of 10 – level with Arsenal.
- Riyad Mahrez has been directly involved in 99 goals in 203 Premier League appearances, scoring 58 and providing 41 assists.
- Kyle Walker, who began his career at Sheffield United, is one short of 100 Premier League appearances for Manchester City.