Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Despite having a hugely disappointing season, Manchester City remain one of the best sides in English football. That may seem like a strange scenario for any team to be in, but such are the incredible expectations put upon the defending champions at the start of the season.
Nonetheless, you only have to look at their recent loss to Wolves to see why Sheffield United have hopes that they can be another team to benefit from the weaknesses City have shown. And, to Sheffield United’s credit, they do have reason to be confident in their ability. Their seesaw season has been finding steadier form, with victories over Norwich, Aston Villa and Brighton, and only a draw against Watford slowing their momentum down.
Manchester City vs Sheffield United Prediction: Man City 2-1 Sheffield Utd
Despite City’s disappointments and Sheffield United’s improvements, we think Manchester City are very likely to be the winners here. They are still victorious far more often than they lose, and you only need to look at their outings against Arsenal and Leicester – the team who currently sit above City in the standings at number two – to see that there’s still plenty of magic beneath their boots. With that said, Sheffield are not going to go down without a fight, having only lost two of their last 13 games. With that in mind, our scoreline prediction is 2-1 to Manchester City.
Our recommended tip: Both teams score
While many bookmakers and fans alike might be expecting a clean sweep from Manchester City here, the stats tell a different story. They’ve actually only managed to win without conceding a goal once in their last 14 games. Meanwhile, Sheffield have scored at least once in all but one of their last 11 games. These matches include the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and many more. If the results have given you the confidence to back a wager on both teams scoring during the 90 minutes, you can get good 19/20 odds from Coral.
Due to Sheffield United’s many years in the Championship, this is the first match in this fixture since January 2008, where City emerged with a 2-1 win. Of course, anyone who knows anything about City will be acutely aware of the transformation they’ve undergone in the last decade. Previous matches see them pretty much neck-and-neck, with Sheffield United, winning in 2006 and 2002, with a draw between them. However, were there more matches since, it’s likely City would have a much higher statistical advantage. Still, as it is, history can be a source of confidence for the Blades.
Top 3 Premier League Bookies
Players to watch: Kevin De Bruyne & Oli McBurnie
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne
Raheem Sterling would have been the obvious choice here. After all, he’s among the highest scorer in the Premier League and scored twice in their loss against Wolves. However, that perhaps shows the problem with relying on Sterling a little too much. In that game, Kevin De Bruyne was taken off the field, in the words of the manager, to save him for this match against Sheffield. Well, that time is here and considering his astonishing performance against Leicester, Sheffield should be wary of the Belgian midfielder.
Sheffield United: Oli McBurnie
In order to take it to a team like Manchester City, you need a player that can apply constant pressure. For Sheffield United, there is no one better in that role than Oli McBurnie. He was astonishing against Brighton in the first half – not only winning the match but persistently causing problems for the opposition. He was also just denied a goal in their draw against Watford, showing he’s always there as a difference maker.