Manchester United 1.292/7 v Sheffield United 13.012/1; The Draw 6.411/2
Wednesday 27 January, 20:15
Live on BT Sport 1
United dealing with life at the top
Manchester United will be expecting to extend their long unbeaten run in the Premier League when they host Sheffield United on Wednesday.
At the time of writing Manchester United are top of the table, having not lost in 13 Premier League games (W10 D3). By the time they kick off against Sheffield United, they may well have slipped behind Manchester City, who play on Tuesday.
That could add a layer of pressure, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team have been dealing with life at the top with some ease. In their last Premier League outing they came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 and then at the weekend defeated Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup. Manchester United still don’t quite look like a team capable of winning the Premier League, but they are nonetheless grinding out the results.
Marcus Rashford is a doubt for this match after going off against Liverpool with a knee problem. Brandon Williams and Marcos Rojo are the only other players definitely unavailable to Solskjaer.
Blades not yet in winning habit, but making progress
The FA Cup is providing some rare highs in what has otherwise been a season to forget for Sheffield United.
Chris Wilder’s side beat Plymouth 2-1 on Saturday to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup. Their win against Bristol Rovers in the previous round was their first of the season in any competition and was quickly followed by a first Premier League victory against Newcastle.
Tottenham brought Sheffield United back down to earth in their last Premier League outing, as the Blades were defeated 3-1. Manchester United are likely to give the visitors another dose of reality, but the mere fact that Sheffield United are back in the business of occasionally winning games, counts as progress.
Jack Robinson and Ben Osborn are doubts for this match. They could join the injured Sander Berge and Oliver McBurnie on the sidelines, while John Egan is suspended.
United can contain blunt Blades
Manchester United are the 1.292/7 favourites to win, with the draw at 6.611/2 and a Sheffield United victory out at 13.012/1.
We have to assume that Manchester United will win this one in their current form. They are defending better now, showing resilience when needed and always look capable of scoring.
With Sheffield United having only scored ten goals all season, backing Manchester United to win to nil at 2.01/1 looks the obvious route to getting some value for the home victory. Manchester United have kept clean sheets in three of their last five Premier League games.
Fernandes back among the goals
By his own high standards, Bruno Fernandes has been through something of a barren spell in front of goal of late, but that came to an end when he scored the winner against Liverpool on Sunday.
Fernandes came off the bench to convert a free-kick and it seems certain that he will start against Sheffield United, which at a time when Solskjaer has plenty of attacking options, cannot be said for many. The goal was the Portuguese midfielder’s 16th of the season from 29 games and Fernandes can be backed to add to his tally at 2.01/1.