Like Sheffield United, the Magpies come into this fixture having participated in the FA Cup Third Round with a trip to Arsenal being on the agenda. The Magpies involvement in the cup was a swift exit after two goals in extra-time saw the Gunners win 2-0. They will look to put this cup set-back behind them when they travel to Bramall Lane tonight as the Premier League results from a short break.
In the Premier League, the North East club have made a steady start to the season. They currently lay fifteenth in the table but are without a league win in five matches. Their last victory came a month ago, on 12 December in a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
Today’s meeting between Sheffield United and Newcastle United will be the first meeting of the 2020/21 Premier League season, with our second encounter expected to take place at St James Park on 15th May in our final away game of the season. The Blades fate may already have been long decided by then.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce holds the rare distinction for holding a position as manager for both Steel City clubs, though be it 19 years and 8 months between the two appointments (or 7,200 days). Danny Wilson is the only other manager to have managed both clubs. With United, Steve was appointed Blades boss on 2nd July 1988 and managed 55 professional games in all competitions, winning 22 and drawn 15 (lost 18). His managerial career at Bramall Lane lasted just the one season and is perhaps best remembered for that FA Cup encounter at Arsenal that required a replay.
The Magpies come into this fixture without key players Allan Saint-Maximim, who scored twice against the Blades last season, and defender Jamaal Lascelles. Both have struggled with health issues since contracting Coronavirus and aren’t expected to take part at Bramall Lane tonight. Jamal Lewis (knee) is also absent through injury.
They are boosted by the returns of Isaac Hayden, who has just completed a one-match suspension having picked up five yellow cards, and Ryan Fraser (groin), after recovering from injury but tonight’s game may come too soon.
During the week, Bruce has publicly criticised the need to carry on with football during the Coronavuirus pandemic. Whilst he agrees that financially it is a good thing but with players health and wellbeing being affected, questions whether the game should be continued until it is controlled. He told BBC; “Financially it’s right to play on, but for me, morally, it’s probably wrong,” said Bruce.”I understand people want to see a game of football but we are just as vulnerable as everybody else. The speed which it hit our club within hours of each other, it was quite incredible how it rips through you. It’s difficult to contain and stop and it leaves people sick.”
The two teams met twice last season with the Toon completing the double over the Blades. They first met at Bramall Lane on 5th December 2019 with the visitors winning 2-0. They had originally been scheduled to play the return fixture at St James Park on 14th March 2020 but this fixture was the first to be cancelled, along with the remainder of the season due to Covid-19 that forced a national lockdown. The season did resume with games being played over the summer and in front of zero spectators. United travelled to the North East on 21st June 2020, losing 0-3 but not before losing defender John Egan, who was dismissed on 50 minutes for two bookable offences with the score tied at 0-0.
WHAT’S THE SCORE?
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Past Premier League Results… vs. Newcastle United
1993/94 – Bramall Lane (W 2-0), St James Park (L 0-4)
2006/07 – Bramall Lane (L 1-2), St James Park (W 1-0)
2019/20 – Bramall Lane (L 0-2), St James Park (L 0-3)
Referee: Andy Madley.
Assistants: Eddie Smart, Derek Eaton.
Fourth official: Lee Mason.
VAR: Robert Jones.
Assistant VAR: Mark Scholes.
Newcastle United 3-0 Sheffield United – 21.06.2020 – Premier League
Forthcoming Blades Fixtures;
*All fixtures are subject to change
17 Jan – Tottenham Hotspur (h) – 14:00
27 Jan – Manchester United (a) – 20:15
30 Jan – Manchester City (a) – 15:00
02 Feb – West Bromwich Albion (h) – 19:45
06 Feb – Chelsea (h) – 15:00
13 Feb – West Ham United (a) – 15:00
20 Feb – Fulham (a) – 15:00
27 Feb – Liverpool (h) – 15:00
06 Mar – Southampton (h) – 15:00
13 Mar – Leicester City (a) – 15:00
20 Mar– Aston Villa (h) – 15:00
03 Apr – Leeds United (a) – 15:00
10 Apr – Arsenal (h) – 15:00
17 Apr – Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) – 15:00
24 Apr – Brighton & Hove Albion (h) – 15:00
01 May – Tottenham Hotspur (a) – 15:00
08 May – Crystal Palace (h) – 15:00
11 May – Everton (a) – 19:45
15 May – Newcastle United (a) – 15:00
23 May – Burnley (h) – 16:00