Sheffield United may have been the surprise package of the 2019-20 Premier League season but Chris Wilder will be wary of the sophomore season blues and will be desperate to get their 2020-21 season off to a good start as they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Bramall Lane on Monday.
The Blades impressed last season, even though they stuttered towards the end and nearly qualified for Europe, finishing ninth, just five points behind sixth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on the Premier League table.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, on the other hand, did not succumb to the sophomore season syndrome and finished seventh on the table for the second season running. Sheffield United lost their last three games in the Premier League last season and will want to put that behind them with a win to boost their confidence.
However, they will draw strength from the fixtures that came prior to their dismal season conclusion where they recorded impressive victories against Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolves.
Wolves have been admirable defensively and have often played some swashbuckling football. However, given the similar shape that both Nuno Santo and Chris Wilder set their teams up in and their defensive strengths, this could be a cagey affair.
Sheffield United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Head-to-Head
Sheffield and Wolves have squared up against each other 10 times. Wolves have won on four occasions while Sheffield have won three times. Three matches have ended in a draw.
The last time these two teams met was in July, earlier this year and Sheffield United won 1-0 at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Sheffield United form guide: W-W-L-L-L
Wolverhampton form guide: D-W-L-W-L
Sheffield United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Team News
Sheffield United's record-signing Sander Berge is a doubt for the game after picking up a knee injury while on international duty. The new signings Ethan Ampadu, Aaron Ramsdale, Max Lowe, Jayden Bogle and Oliver Burke are all available for selection.
Doubtful: Sander Berge
Wolverhampton's £35 million signing Fabio Silva might start against Sheffield United. Other arrivals Vitinha and Fernando Marcal are both available for selection. Jonny continues to be sidelined due a grave knee injury. He will, in fact, be unavailable until next year.
Adama Traore might not be available as he had pulled out of the Spanish international side earlier this month.
Doubtful: Adama Traore
Sheffield United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Predicted Lineups
Sheffield United predicted XI: Aaron Ramsdale; George Baldock, Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack O'Connell, Stevens; Fleck, Ethan Ampadu, Oliver Norwood; McBurnie, David McGoldrick.
Wolverhampton Wanderers predicted XI: Rui Rui Patricio; Oskar Buur, Willy Boly, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss, Fernando Marcal; Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho; Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota.
Sheffield United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Prediction
Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have both been strong defensively. The last two times the Blades and the Wolves clashed, the matches ended up being tight, cagey affairs. We expect more of the same this time around.
Prediction: Sheffield United 1-1 Wolverhampton WanderersPublished 11 Sep 2020, 23:15 IST