Finally, yes finally, Sheffield United have broken their duck and record their first victory in 21 competitive matches (or 1,890 hours), after beating Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup. But now it is back to the grindstone as the Blades host Newcastle United for the first fixture at Bramall Lane in 2021 tonight.
By the time that this article is published, the Blades will already know their Fourth Round, and potential Fifth Round, opponents. Whether you consider last Saturday’s game in Bristol as showing a good performance or just getting a positive result, Chris Wilder’s side certainly did thus by winning 3-2 at Bristol Rovers. They were guilty of making heavy weather of it, despite taking an early lead in the third minute through keeper Joe Day’s unfortunate own goal from Lys Mousset’s header. They allowed Rovers to get back into the game when Kilgour headed home on 21 minutes after connecting with Westbrooke’s free-kick.
This game was put to bed in a frantic few second-half minutes that saw three goals scored in United’s favour. Oliver Burke had darted clear of the defence from John Fleck’s through ball to slot home on 59 minutes. Three minutes later Leahy’s near-post header from a free-kick saw Ehmer bundle home at the far post unchallenged. It seemed like all the hard work had been undone by a side two Divisions below them but within a minute the Blades were ahead again as David McGoldrick played in substitute Jayden Bogle who slotted home between the keepers’ legs.
Sheffield United’s Premier League record has been nothing short of abysmal with relegation looking certain, unless they can, somehow, go on a firm run to get points on the board and catch up with those fellow relegations threatened sides. The Blades have played 17 league games this season and have managed two points with draws against Fulham and Brighton.
Blades boss Chris Wilder has a concerning list of injuries ahead of tonight’s fixture. United should welcome back John Lundstram who has been absent for the last three league games against Everton, Burnley, and Crystal Palace, due to suspension but played the majority of the victory at the Memorial Ground and is likely to be selected again tonight.
They are without defenders Jack Robinson (unknown), and Jack O’Connell (knee), through injury. The latter has undergone surgery and is likely to start training again soon with no date for a return set as of yet. The Blades are also without midfielder Sander Berge, who is sidelined with a thigh injury he sustained in the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on 17 December and is expected to be sidelined for up to three months. Meanwhile, Phil Jagielka and Billy Sharp returned to the bench on Saturday but were purely there to make up the numbers.
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