Saturday afternoon will see two of the most talked-about sides in the Premier League this season go head to head in South Yorkshire as Sheffield United host Leicester City.
Sheffield United have made a fantastic start to life in the Premier League. Many had written them off before a ball had been kicked but Wilder’s men have proved that two promotions in three seasons was not a fluke.
They started with a memorable trip the south coast, where Billy Sharp earned them a late point before they dominated a poor Crystal Palace side and gave Bramall Lane a first victory in the Premier League since April 2007.
Leicester have been touted as a side that could break the top six this season and will be satisfied with two draws in their opening two games against Wolves and Chelsea, although they could easily have left Stamford Bridge with all three points.
Their expansive style under new boss Brendan Rodgers combined with the undoubted quality they possess (especially in midfield) has led many to believe that the Foxes could be in for another special season should everything the tick the way it could.
But whose bubble will burst on Saturday afternoon? Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news ahead of Sheffield United vs Leicester City.
When is Sheffield Utd v Leicester and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Bramall Lane
Date: Saturday 24 August
Kick-off: 3PM BST
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Sheffield Utd v Leicester
16 February 2018: Leicester 1-0 Sheffield Utd
22 August 2017: Sheffield Utd 1-4 Leicester
30 August 2016: Sheffield Utd 0-0 Leicester
1 February 2011: Sheffield 0-1 Leicester
10 November 2010: Leicester 2-2 Sheffield Utd
Aggregate score: Sheffield Utd (LLDLD) 3-8 Leicester (WWDWD)
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Ones to watch
Sheffield Utd: Jack O’Connell
In a game where every Sheffield Utd performed, it was O’Connell who particularly caught the eye against Crystal Palace. The centre-back was impressive at both ends at the pitch: not only was he solid defensively, but he also had three touches in the opposition box, as many as Palace striker Christian Benteke. It was the first time that the Blades were able to show off their ‘overlapping centre-backs’ move in a Premier League home game and it worked a treat. Leicester represents their toughest test yet and it will be interesting to see just how expansive O’Connell and Chris Basham are on Saturday.
Key stat: O’Connell made 11 clearances last Sunday: no player made more in the Premier League last weekend.
Leicester: James Maddison
The Foxes were excellent at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, and James Maddison was largely responsible for that. Despite missing a chance which would have given Leicester a deserved victory, the midfielder was at the heart of everything for Rodgers’ side and tormented Cesar Azpilicueta in particular. A natural no.10 who was deployed out wide, it is unlikely that Leicester will change their system given how effective it was at Chelsea, thus meaning Maddison could have even more freedom at Bramall Lane as Sheffield Utd’s defenders push on.
Key stat: James Maddison has created 50 chances from set plays in the Premier League since the start of last season (three assists), six more than any other player.
John Fleck was forced off through injury against Crystal Palace and is unlikely to play against Leicester. Callum Robinson has recovered from a thigh problem. New signing Ravel Morrison is fit and could feature.
Predicted XI: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Freeman, Stevens; McGoldrick, Robinson
Ben Chilwell is still out with a hip injury, so Christian Fuchs is likely to carry on at left-back after an impressive second-half at Stamford Bridge. Other than that, the Foxes have no fresh injury concerns.
Predicted XI: Schmeichel; Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Fuchs; Ndidi, Praet, Tielemans; Perez, Vardy, Maddison
This promises to be an excellent game between two sides brimming with confidence. Sheffield United showed that they aren’t afraid to attack teams at Bramall Lane last Sunday but, with all due respect to Crystal Palace, Leicester are a different proposition. They’ve had two very tough games and have come away with two very valuable points. Saturday should be their first win.
Sheffield Utd 0-2 Leicester