After four seasons in League One, Sunderland are back in the Championship and will surely be hoping for another one-year stay (as they experienced in 2017/18) only this time going up rather than down. One of the biggest clubs in England, Sunderland will have been hurt by their four years in the third tier but they’ve made a good start to the Championship, still unbeaten after three matches.
The Black Cats opened the campaign with a tough 1-1 draw against Coventry City, conceding a late equaliser, but they bounced back in the next match to earn their first win of the season, beating Bristol City 3-2. At the weekend there was another late equaliser going against Sunderland, and this one would have stung a lot more as Alex Neil’s side have up a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with QPR.
While Sunderland were promoted via the League One play-offs last season, Sheffield United were experiencing heartbreak in the Championship play-offs, losing to Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals. Missing out on an immediate return to the Premier League, Sheffield United will now have to contend with the recently relegated sides to get back to the top flight.
The Blades have already faced a relegated side too, losing to Watford on the opening weekend of the Championship season, but they got off the mark less than a week later by beating Millwall 2-0. Like Sunderland, Sheffield United also suffered a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at the weekend, twice giving up the lead to share a point with Middlesbrough.
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Sheffield United vs Sunderland match stats
Sunderland are the joint-top goalscorers in the Championship this season scoring six times, with Ellis Simms responsible for three of those. Playing just two games so far this season, Simms is averaging 1.81 per 90 minutes, and will be hoping to keep that run going this week.
While Simms has been banging in the goals, his teammate Corry Evans has also had a consistent start to the season – but unfortunately that’s consistently getting booked. The Sunderland captain has played in all three of his side’s matches this season and has been booked every single time, including a yellow card after just one minute in the 3-2 win over Bristol City.
Sheffield United vs Sunderland: Squawka Says
Scoreline prediction: Sheffield United 1-1 Sunderland
25 September 2019 – Sheffield United 0-1 Sunderland – EFL Cup
26 December 2017 – Sheffield United 3-0 Sunderland – Championship
9 September 2017 – Sunderland 1-2 Sheffield United – Championship
22 January 2005 – Sunderland 1-0 Sheffield United – Championship
28 September 2004 – Sheffield United 1-0 Sunderland – Championship
It’s been almost five years since these two sides last met in the league, with Sheffield United doing the double over Sunderland in the Championship – the campaign in which the Black Cats suffered the second of their back-to-back relegations. However, Sunderland did get their own back, knocking the Blades out of the EFL Cup in 2019.