Tottenham vs Sheffield United Odds, Picks, Predictions | Premier League Preview
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Tottenham vs Sheffield United Odds
|Sheffield United Odds||+1000|
|Over / Under|
-200 / +162
Tottenham look to keep their fantastic form going out of the international break when they host Sheffield United.
Ange ball has taken the Premier League by storm with Spurs scoring a whopping 11 goals through four matches, including five in their last match against Burnley. Spurs fans are flying high with this new invigorated style of play, but a date with their North London rivals awaits next weekend, so they could get caught looking ahead.
It's been a pretty dreadful start to the Premier League for newly promoted Sheffield United. The Blades have one point through four matches and have been dreadful defensively. They have made some signings to improve their squad and had a better performance in their last time out against Everton, but as it stands this is one of the worst teams in the Premier League.
Ange Postecoglu has breathed new life into Tottenham and their supporters by playing an attractive brand of football that has caused the goals to pile up.
Spurs have scored 11 goals, but those have come off of only 7.3 xG and they've only created four big scoring chances as well. There is no denying the Tottenham offense is firing on all cylinders, but if you look at the style of play of the teams that they've faced, they've largely benefited playing against high pressing teams that has created space in behind for their attackers to score.
Against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Burnley they created 6.0 of their 7.3 xG. Those three teams are three of the most aggressive high pressing teams in the Premier League. The only match they faced a low block team they did score twice against Brentford, but only created 1.3 xG off of 18 shots.
Plus, there is the fact that Tottenham don't have a true number nine striker right now. It's easy for someone like Son to play in that role when Tottenham are mainly playing transition, but it's not his natural position when Spurs are trying to breakdown a low block.
There is nothing positive with the Sheffield United attack right now. They are either last or second to last in npxG, shots per 90 minutes, box entries and xThreat. Basically with any metric that grades out an offense, they are at the bottom. I do think they will show some signs of improvement with Oliver McBurnie getting healthy and signing Cameron Archer. The problem is that Sheffield United want to play extremely direct and they haven't been effective in doing so.
Teams aren't pressing Sheffield United high because they know that the second they do they are just going to send the ball long up to their forwards. Sheffield United are averaging just 2.57 passes per sequence and have 17 10+ pass sequences. Each of those are both third to last in the Premier League, per Opta.
Sheffield United haven't been playing great out of their low block, but usually that has been because of just one of two mistakes that lead to a big scoring chance. They allow a ton of shots – in fact the most shots in the Premier League – but they have done a good job limiting the quality of their opponents shots. Just take a look at the first hour of their match against Manchester City as an example.
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One important stat when analyzing teams like Sheffield United who are passive and play a low block with five at the back is their final third to box entry conversion rate. The reality is passive teams are going to allow a high number of final third entries, but being able to keep teams out of your penalty area is vital when defending in a low block. Sheffield United have the fourth-best final third to box entry conversion rate, so that is an encouraging sign.
Tottenham vs Sheffield United
Pick & Prediction
Sheffield United's defense has not been good because of how they've struggled defending crosses. It's the nature of what they have to deal with when defending in a 5-3-2 when their main principles are trying to close off the middle of the pitch.
Tottenham have been a fantastic offense when they've had space to operate by evading the high press, but Sheffield United are not going to press them high. Plus, for years Tottenham would be fine sending in crosses because they had Harry Kane, who was an elite aerial threat. Now, they don't have any decent aerial threats, so I think it's going to be a bit difficult for Spurs.
I only have 2.6 goals projected for this match, so I like the value on the plus-money under at 3.