Sheffield United take on Preston North End this Saturday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship with both sides looking to turn around recent fortunes.
Chris Wilder has seen his side fail to score in their last two games, following on from a fortunate 0 – 0 stalemate midweek at home against winless Birmingham City, and a 1 – 0 loss away to high-flying Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
However, the Blades still remain with only one defeat in their previous six games and haven’t lost at Bramall Lane since the opening game of the season. On top of this, only conceding one goal in their previous four games proves how strong Chris Wilders’ side have been defensively over recent weeks.
On the other hand, Alex Neil’s Preston still remain without a league win since the opening day of the season and are still yet to pick up a point away from home so far this season.
Despite this, the side are improving in terms of attacking prowess. Despite clear defensive frailties and a 3-0 defeat to Leeds midweek. Preston have still scored four goals over the last three games and pose a definite threat when moving forward.
Manager Alex Neil welcomes back the first of his suspended midfield duo, with Ryan Ledson available for selection after missing the last three games following his red card at Leeds United last month.
Ben Pearson still has one game left to serve of his three-match ban meaning he will still be ineligible to play. However, Alan Browne successfully made it through the game at Elland Road midweek so is in contention.
Sean Maguire, Calum Woods and Billy Bodin are definite absentees with their long term injuries. However, Alex Neil could ponder changes across the park after a heavy defeat to table topping Leeds midweek.
Paul Coutts, former Preston North End player, played another 90 minutes for the U23s midweek so is potentially poised to make a much awaited return to action after nearly 12 months out.
Before the game against Birmingham City, manager Chris Wilder mentioned how his summer signings would allow for more depth in the closer fixtures during the season.
So given that comment, plus the clear like of chemistry in the poor performance against the Blues on Wednesday. It is likely that it will be a Sheffield United side that will include the likes of Freeman, Sharp and McGoldrick to name a few.
Sheffield United 1-1 Preston
Sheffield United clearly have been making Bramall Lane a fortress this season. However, Preston have become somewhat of a bogey team for the Blades and this could turn out to be a very familiar game. Preston on the other hand have been free-scoring but without the ability to defend and see our games. Playing Leeds given their form at the moment was always a tough ask, but they still pose a clear threat going forward.
With that being said, I predict an end-to-End game in which all points are likely to be shared come 90 minutes.
Picture Credit: Sheffield United