All you need to know about Sheffield United's visit to Man City
The 121st meeting between Sheffield United and Manchester City sees the Premier League’s bottom club face the leaders at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon.
Despite winning four of their last five outings in all competitions, Chris Wilder’s side have still prepared for the contest 10 points adrift of safety and 33 behind Pep Guardiola’s star-studded squad, which has lifted the title in two of the last three seasons.
The Star’s James Shield identifies some of the major figures set to be involved in today’s contest and analyses the statistical trends surrounding both club’s campaigns so far.
The Teams: City - Ederson, Stones, Dias, Cancelo, Zinchenko, Jesus, Rodri, Torres, Mahrez, Foden, Sterling. United - Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Ampadu, Bogle, Baldock, Norwood, Fleck, Lundstram, McGoldrick, Brewster.
The Referee: David Coote, who was the VAR official when United beat Manchester United on Wednesday, oversees this contest while Jonathan Moss is on duty at Stockley Park. From Nottinghamshire, Coote averages 3.4 cautions per game this season but issued six yellow cards - including two to United players - when Everton triumphed at Bramall Lane on Boxing Day.
The Form Guide: United have won four of their last five outings in all competitions, including Wednesday night’s victory at Old Trafford. The second of those victories, against Newcastle, also saw them register their first and so far only clean sheet of the PL campaign so far. City have won their last 11 matches in all competitions, and are unbeaten in 18 outings. They have scored an average of 2.33 goals per game during that run and kept 14 clean sheets.
The Last Time: Kyle Walker, a former United player, scored the only goal of the game at Bramall Lane in October, with Kevin de Bruyne providing the assist. It was the defender’s 100th PL appearance for the visitors, who enjoyed 65 percent of the possession during that game. However, John Lundstram missed a glorious chance to equalise when he blazed Sander Berge’s cross over the bar. Both Berge and de Bruyne will miss this fixture through injury.
The History Lesson: United have lost their last three meetings with City, conceding four goals and scoring none in the process. However they did win when the two sides met at Bramall Lane in the FA Cup 13 years ago. United’s last league win against City came in 2000, again in South Yorkshire. Their most recent away win came at Maine Road in 1987, when both teams were in the old Division Two.
The Dangermen: Phil Foden, Riyah Mahrez and Raheem Sterling have scored a combined total of 24 goals in all competitions since September. Foden has netted on five occasions in his last 10 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side. However, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is City’s leading PL goalscorer this term, with seven goals to his name. Defender John Stones, previously of Barnsley, has netted three in six.
The Details: Manchester City versus Sheffield United, kick-off 3pm. In-game and post-match analysis is available via The Star’s online and print platforms.