Premier League Odds, Picks & Predictions: Sheffield United vs. Fulham (Sunday, Oct. 18th)
Oli Scarff/Pool/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder.
- Both Sheffield United and Fulham have yet to earn a single point in the Premier League this season.
- Brad Cunningham tells us why Sunday's match between these two teams is a perfect buy-low spot for the Blades.
Sheffield United vs. Fulham Odds
|Sheffield United odds||+110 [Bet Now]|
|Fulham odds||+275 [Bet Now]|
|Draw||+230 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+128/-159) [Bet Now]|
|Time||Sunday, 7 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
A bottom-of-the-table clash kicks off Premier League action Sunday when Sheffield United hosts Fulham.
Both squads have yet to earn a single point this season, so this will be an opportunity for each side to walk away with something positive from this match. The Blades have struggled offensively, scoring just one goal on the trot. Fulham has struggled at the other end of pitch as well, allowing 11 goals in their first four matches.
Sheffield United fell just short of a Europa League spot last season and needs to rebound quickly if its going build on its successful 2019-20 campaign. Fulham is going to be in the relegation battle all season long, so getting a result is crucial for the Cottagers to avoid falling back in to the Championship.
After a dream first season back in the Premier League, the Blades have fallen on hard times to start their campaign. They’ve managed to score just one goal and have lost their first four matches. However, it’s not all bad news, because Sheffield has generated 3.9 xGF so far this season. So, positive regression may be coming its way against the league’s worst defense.
In an attempt to improve its offense, Sheffield signed 20-year-old striker Rhian Brewster from Liverpool at the deadline for $28 million. He spent much of last season on loan at Championship side Swansea City, bagging 10 goals in 20 appearances. He has yet to feature for the Blades this season, but manager Chris Wilder has indicated he be making his debut on Sunday.
Much of Sheffield United’s success last year came at Bramall Lane, where it won 10 of its 14 matches. The Blades had the sixth-best expected goal differential at home in the league (+8.5) and held opponents to only 1.17 xG per match. Facing a newly promoted side like Fulham, which has only scored once this year, should give their defense a much-needed confidence boost going into the match.
The campaign has gotten off to a disastrous for the Cottagers. They have yet to earn a point and have allowed the second-most goals in the league through their first four matches.
Fulham desperately needs help on defense right now and owner Tony Khan knows it.
I apologize to @FulhamFC supporters for our performance tonight. We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley, I’m sorry we haven’t yet as 2 got COVID + we lost a Free we thought was close + had another issue with a 4th CB. I promise players in + better efforts from this squad.
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) September 28, 2020
The Cottagers were able to sign center back Terrance Kongolo on a permanent deal after spending half of last season on loan at Fulham. That said, he should be a solid addition to their squad.
Even though they signed Kongolo, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better any time soon. Based on historical averages, newly-promoted teams expected goals allowed per match go up 60% when transitioning from the Championship to Premier League.
For a team like Fulham, which allowed 1.30 xG per match in the Championship, is projected to allow more than two xG per match this season, which we are already seeing it trend toward.
Offensively, the club has struggled to generate quality chances, as it has the third lowest xGF in the league. The Cottagers added Ademola Lookman (LW) from RB Leipzig at the deadline, which should help their attack. However, lining up against a defensive-minded team like Sheffield is a terrible matchup for the Cottagers’ offense.
Projections and Pick
This is a perfect buy-low spot for the Blades. They’re due for some positive regression and they’re a way better team than they showed in their first four matches.
On the flip side, Fulham hasn’t looked like its belongs in the Premier League. With that ind mind, Sheffield should be able to dominate this match.
I have the Blades projected at -150, so I think there is plenty of value on them at +110 to get their first points of the season.
Pick: Sheffield United +110