Everton vs Sheff Utd preview, team news, stats, prediction, kick-off time

James Rodriguez remains a doubt for Everton while Sander Berge has suffered another injury; follow Everton vs Sheff Utd on the Sky Sports website and app on Sunday; kick-off 7pm; watch free highlights shortly after full time

James Rodriguez looks to make something happen for Everton
Image: James Rodriguez has missed Everton's last three games

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Everton vs Sheff Utd in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 7pm).

Team news

Everton playmaker James Rodriguez remains a doubt for the visit of Sheffield United.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti was optimistic the Colombia international would be ready after missing three matches with a calf problem.

The Italian is also waiting to see if centre-back Yerry Mina recovers from the adductor injury which has sidelined him for two games.

Sander Berge is being linked with a move away from Bramall Lane
Image: Sander Berge has suffered an injury setback

Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge has suffered another injury and will not be risked during what remains of the season.

The 23-year-old has only recently returned to action after being out for more than four months with a hamstring injury, although his latest problem is not related to that issue.

Oliver Burke has fractured a bone in his foot and will also miss the Blades' last three matches, while Ethan Ampadu (hip) and long-term absentee Jack O'Connell (knee) are others who are unlikely to be risked. Oli McBurnie (foot) and Billy Sharp (thigh) remain out.

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How to follow

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We take a look at some of the stats surrounding matchweek 36 in the Premier League

Follow Everton vs Sheff Utd in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Jones Knows' prediction

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Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti says his side did their best in the 0-0 draw away to Aston Villa

The way Sheffield United played in their 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, who have effectively put their cue on the rack for the season, was an insult to what Chris Wilder had built at the club. It could be a long road back to the big time for the Blades.

Their toothless football shouldn't give an Everton defence that has shut out West Ham, Aston Villa and Arsenal in the past three weeks too much to sweat about. The 11/10 with Sky Bet for Everton to win to nil looks a solid play.

I'm also interested in the first goal method to be a header at 9/2. Here we'll have Dominic Calvert-Lewin on our side, who is only 21/10 to score a header outright, plus Everton's threat from set-pieces with Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey.


BETTING ANGLE: First goal method to be a header (9/2 with Sky Bet)

Last time out...

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Aston Villa's draw with Everton
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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's win against Sheffield United

PL Permutations

Despite starting the week in ninth and despite their disappointing draw at Villa, Everton still have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Champions League - were they to win all of their three remaining games, they would end the season on 65 points, one more than fourth-placed Chelsea currently hold. But even with the acknowledgement that Everton still have a game in hand on most of the clubs above them, including Chelsea, it is clearly an extremely unlikely outcome.

So Everton's more realistic ambition still looks to be qualification for the Europa League. While the draw at Villa amounted to a setback, the win at West Ham on Sunday means Everton are now only two points behind the Hammers with two home games to come next.

Opta stats

  • Everton are looking to complete their first league double over Sheffield United since the 1972-73 campaign.
  • Sheffield United have won four of their last six away league games against Everton, including a 2-0 victory in this exact fixture last season.
  • Everton have won their last two league games against Sheffield United, as many as they had in their previous 12 against the Blades (D4 L6).
  • Since the Premier League resumed in June last season, Sheffield United have collected just six points from a possible 69 in away Premier League matches (W1 D3 L19), losing their last seven on the road by an aggregate score of 17-1 since beating Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford in January.
  • Everton have lost eight home league matches this season, only losing nine in four seasons in their entire history - 1912-13, 1947-48, 1950-51 and 1993-94.
  • Sheffield United have lost 28 Premier League matches this season and defeat in this match would see them equal the record number of defeats by a team in a Premier League season: Ipswich Town in 1994-95, Sunderland in 2005-06 and Derby County in 2007-08 all lost 29 games.
  • Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has lost nine home league matches as Toffees boss in 27 matches at Goodison Park - he has only lost more with one club, losing 17 with AC Milan, although he managed more than five times as many home games with them than he has Everton (142).
  • In the top four tiers of English football, Paul Heckingbottom is winless in his last 14 away league matches in charge (D2 L12) across three different teams - Barnsley, Leeds United and Sheffield United - with his last such win coming on New Year's Day 2018 against Sunderland as Barnsley manager in the Championship.
  • Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin - who played 12 times in all competitions for Sheffield United without scoring between April 2015 and August 2016 - has scored 16 Premier League goals this season without registering an assist; only Benni McCarthy in 2006-07 for Blackburn Rovers has scored more times without assisting a goal in a season in the competition (18 goals).
  • Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is the only Blades player to feature in all 28 Premier League defeats this season - a defeat here would see him equal the record for most defeats by a player in a single season in the competition, held by Dean Whitehead in 2005-06 for Sunderland (29 in 37 games). It would also see him lose his 50th Premier League match in just his 73rd appearance, the earliest a player has ever lost 50 games, with Whitehead also holding that record (50th defeat in 78th appearance).

Pitch to Post Preview - FA Cup Final special: Will Chelsea or Leicester lift the trophy?

In a special episode of the Pitch to Post Preview Podcast we look ahead to this Saturday's FA Cup Final at Wembley, where Chelsea and Leicester will battle for the trophy in front of over 20,000 fans.

Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports News reporter Paul Gilmour and Sky Sports football writer Ron Walker to assess both sides on the back of their midweek results, the key areas which will decide the contest, and how the game will play out.

They also discuss what impact FA Cup glory would have on Brendan Rodgers' managerial career, the importance of Jonny Evans at the heart of the Leicester defence, and why former Foxes star N'Golo Kante could be the decisive player on the pitch this weekend for Chelsea.

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