Sheffield United welcome Aston Villa to Bramall Lane in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Wilder’s men have started the season in fine fashion and recently showcased their defiance to come back from a goal down against Norwich City last week, clinching three points in Norfolk.
For the Villains the landscape is slightly different. Dean Smith’s side sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference and know they will be dragged into a dogfight unless performances – and results – pick up soon.
So, will the Blades inflict another blow on Villa’s season and continue their own good fortunes? Or can the West Midlands side triumph against their newly-promoted counterparts?
Read on for Sheffield United vs Aston Villa preview, predictions, team news, TV coverage information and more.
When is Sheffield United vs Aston Villa and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Bramall Lane
Date: Saturday, 14 December 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Sheffield United vs Aston Villa
08 Feb 2019: Villa 3-3 Sheff Utd (Championship)
01 Sep 2018: Sheff Utd 4-1 Villa (Championship)
30 Jan 2018: Sheff Utd 0-1 Villa (Championship)
23 Dec 2017: Villa 2-2 Sheff Utd (Championship)
04 Jan 2014: Villa 1-2 Sheff Utd (FA Cup)
Aggregate Score: Sheff Utd (DWLDW) 11-8 Villa (DLWDL)
Ones to watch
Sheffield United: George Baldock
Arguably the most important position in Wilder’s system is the full-back areas, and in George Baldock, he has a player capable of performing both his defensive and attacking duties superbly. The 26-year-old offers plenty of zeal and tenacity on the flanks and will be crucial to unlocking doors in the final third against Villa.
Key stat: George Baldock has been directly involved in five goals in the Premier League this season (two goals, three assists).
Aston Villa: Jack Grealish
The Villa captain has been at the heart of all operations for his boyhood club this season. From scoring goals, to creating chances, Grealish has been putting himself about and making considerable noise with Euro 2020 just around the corner. Against a defence as watertight as Sheff Utd’s, Smith will need his talisman on song.
Key stat: Jack Grealish has created more chances than any other Aston Villa player in the Premier League this season (36).
The only real injury concern for Wilder is that of his star striker Lys Mousset, who has sustained a knock, but the Frenchman should be fit to start come Saturday.
Predicted XI: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Mousset, McGoldrick.
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Tyrone Mings went off injured with a hamstring injury against Leicester City last week and is now expected to be sidelined for at least three weeks, meaning Smith will be without his star defender until the New Year.
Elsewhere, Jed Steer remains injured, while Keinan Davis and Matt Targett are touch and go to make the matchday squad.
Predicted XI: Heaton; Elmohamady, Konsa, Engels, Guilbert; Hourihane, McGinn, Luiz; Grealish, Trezeguet, Wesley.
This should prove a very tight affair. Smith will be determined to bounce back from their 4-1 humbling at the hands of Leicester City last week, so expect some tweaks to his choice of personnel. If he can coax a more cohesive and inspiring performance from his side then Villa should clinch at least a point here, as Sheff Utd have shown signs of weakness at home recently, having conceded five in their last two matches at Bramall Lane.
Scoreline prediction: Sheffield United 1-1 Aston Villa