Sheff Utd vs Newcastle preview
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Last Updated: 04/12/19 2:23pm
Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Sheff Utd vs Newcastle in the Premier League on Thursday.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has a fully-fit squad for the Bramall Lane clash but has admitted he may shuffle his pack this week - at Norwich on Sunday if not against Newcastle. "We've got everybody fit," the Blades boss said. "That gives us the opportunity to rotate if we want to, whether we do it Thursday night or Sunday."
Oli McBurnie, Callum Robinson, Luke Freeman and Billy Sharp are among those pushing for more involvement.
Newcastle forward Andy Carroll and defender DeAndre Yedlin have shaken off injuries and could be involved after returning to training.
Carroll has made only seven substitute appearances since rejoining Newcastle in the close season due to ankle and groin issues, while Yedlin missed the 2-2 draw with Manchester City due to a hip problem.
Defender Florian Lejeune is closing in on his first game of the campaign having come back from two anterior cruciate ligament injuries last season but boss Steve Bruce has suggested he will exercise caution over his reintegration.
"I had a chat a week ago with him. The longer he trains, the better mentally and physically he becomes," Bruce said. "To have the injury like he had then come back... and have it again -- he's had a tough time. When the time is right let's hope we can introduce him."
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- Newcastle have won five of their last six meetings with Sheffield United in all competitions, with this the first game between the sides since April 2010 (Newcastle winning 2-1 in the Championship).
- Newcastle have only lost two of their last 21 league games in Yorkshire (W14 D5), with those defeats coming against Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship (April 2017) and Huddersfield in the Premier League (August 2017).
- Sheffield United have scored three goals in each of their last two Premier League home games. They'd only scored 3+ goals in two of their previous 44 at Bramall Lane in the competition.
- None of Newcastle's seven Premier League away games has ended in a draw this season (W2 L5). The Magpies have kept just one clean sheet in those seven games, beating Spurs 1-0 in August.
- Sheffield United striker Lys Mousset has been directly involved in eight of the Blades' last 11 Premier League goals (five goals, three assists).
- Eight of Newcastle's 13 Premier League goals this season have been scored by defenders - the highest such ratio in the competition in 2019-20 (61.5 per cent).
- Sheffield United have conceded only one goal in the opening 30 minutes of Premier League matches this season - fewer than any other side.
- No player has had more shots without scoring in the Premier League this season than Miguel Almirón (23, level with Sheffield United's David McGoldrick). However, the Paraguayan did register his first assist in the competition last time out against Manchester City.
Sheffield United are going great. They have 18 points and people are very surprised by the start they've made this season. They only have four wins in 14 games but have only lost three too. They do not lose away from home and they have picked up slightly at home.
Newcastle are a similar sort of side. They are very impressive away from home but lack a bit of the cutting edge. Steve Bruce has brought the passion back, and they are nicking points here and there. I think the Newcastle fans are accepting what Bruce can do with a fairly average bunch. He is doing a much better job than what Rafael Benitez did.
They may only be four points above Southampton but they are better than where they were last season. Newcastle are hard to break down and look to counter-attack.
These are the types of games which the Premier League throw up. There are only three points between them so it is not as clear cut as some people might think. It is incredibly tight at the bottom. It tells you how well some of bottom teams have done.
Bruce is clever, he is going back to Sheffield where he will get plenty of abuse but he will have his players pumped up. If their shape is good, the counter-attack will be a strong weapon for them.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
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