Premier League football finally resumes this Wednesday with Sheffield United traveling to Villa Park to face strugglers Aston Villa in what is one of the two outstanding games of the Premier league.
The hosts who are on a four-game losing run will be looking to get a positive result in this tie and boost their chances of survival this season. They sit in 19th place, two points shy of West Ham in 16th place. A win here will take them off the drop zone.
Meanwhile, Sheffield, the surprise package of the season, will be looking to resume their search for European football next season with a win. Chris Wilder’s side are currently occupying seventh place with 43 points—two points off Manchester United in fifth. With ten games yet to be played, a win here will push The Blades into fifth place and surely boost their chance of Champions League football for next season.
With John McGinn back in training for Aston Villa, Tom Heaton, and Brazilian forward Wesley are the only injury doubts for Dean Smith heading into this tie.
Chris Wilder can afford to start his strongest eleven as he has no injury worries heading into this tie.
Head to Head
The last five meetings between both teams have produced 18 goals—eleven for Sheffield and seven for Villa. In that period, Sheffield, United have won two times, with two draws.
Meanwhile, the reverse fixture ended in a two-nil win for Chris Wilder’s side.
Aston Villa last five games in all competition: LLLLL
Sheffield United last five games in all competition: WWDWW
Aston Villa endured a terrible run of form before the break as they picked up only eight points from the last 30 available in all competitions (W2, D2, L6).
Dean Smith’s charges have found the return to the Premier League hard to manage as they sit in 19th place and are struggling to turn around a ship heading for the iceberg.
The home team have conceded more goals than any team in the top flight this season—56 goals. This means that they often require at least three goads to win a match.
Although goals have not been so also challenging to come by for Villa as they have scored 34 times in 28 games, their record of only four clean sheets in the league explains why they remain in a relegation fight.
They have conceded goals from the 31st minute in four of their last four games, with all games also ending in a defeat. Their record of one win in 14 games involving the top ten side remain one of the worst in the league. In those 14 games, the “Villans” conceded 2+ goals in all but one game.
Sheffield United meanwhile head into the tie unbeaten in six games with their last loss coming at home to City.
The blades remain one of the best defensive sides in the league conceding only 25 times with ten clean sheets in the league. Only Liverpool have conceded fewer goals than Sheffield United this season.
Their defensive resilience has seen them mount a surprise push for a top-six finish as they record relatively low action on the other end of the pitch. The Blades have scored only 30 times in 28 games this season, making them the least scoring side in the top half of the table.
Matches involving Chris Wilder’s boys always tend to end with under2.5 goals, with 79% of their games ending with under 2.5goals for both teams—the highest in the league.
Under 2.5 Goals @ 4/5
Sheffield United to win @ 5/4
Both Teams to Score/No @ 21/20