Sheffield United Season Preview | Premier League Betting Pick & Prediction
Graham Chadwick/Getty. Pictured: William Osula.
Welcome to Action Network's Premier League team previews, where our soccer experts will break down each and every Premier League team ahead of the season, which starts on August 11. In this piece, our expert breaks down Sheffield United.
Premier League Season Preview – Sheffield United
The Blades are back up in the Premier League after a short two years stay in the Championship. Sheffield United had an incredibly impressive season playing a very unique style, but they finished with the same underlying metrics as Burnley. The question for them coming into this season is where are the goals going to come from?
They typically play out of the same formation as we saw two years ago in the Premier League, a 3-5-2. United are still a direct style team despite finishing in second place in the Championship table. Per The Analyst, Sheffield United have the fourth-highest direct speed in the Championship and they also have 73 direct attacks compared to 58 build up attacks, so they’re set up structurally to not have the ball and they will look to counter most teams in the Premier League.
The problem for Sheffield United heading into this season is they recently just lost their best player Illman Ndiaye, who was recently sold to Marseille. He was everything to their attack in the Championship. He scored 14 goals, providing 11 assists and leading the team with a 0.48 xG + Assist per 90 minute rate.
Oliver McBurnie is their best attacking option left, so it’s hard to find goals for this Sheffield United side.
Sheffield United are going to be difficult to break down defensively, however. They have some talented players in the middle of the pitch. Sander Berge was one of the best midfielders in the Championship last season and is a progressive passing and carrying machine.
Anel Ahmedhodzic is a young talented Bosnian center back who was in the 90th percentile and above in the Championship for progressive carries, tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes. They also just signed American Auston Trusty from Arsenal after he impressed on loan at Birmingham last season.
The good news for Sheffield United is they have a structure and system that can work in the Premier League. They’re perfectly fine not having the ball and they’ve showed the ability to defend, allowing only 0.89 xG per 90 minutes in the Championship and most importantly allowing the fewest xG off of set pieces.
So, with a system that can work in the Premier League and an incredibly solid defense, they aren't significantly worse than most of the teams in the bottom half of the table. So, I like the price on Sheffield United to stay up at +120.
Pick: Sheffield United to stay up (+120 via bet365)