Everything you need to know about Sheffield United versus Fulham

Tomorrow’s match between Sheffield United and Fulham at Bramall Lane is of critical importance to both club’s seasons, as they go in search of their first points of the new Premier League season.

Saturday, 17th October 2020, 9:00 am

Chris Wilder’s team enter the fixture in 19th place, and on the back of defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Leeds and Arsenal. The visitors have also lost their meetings with exactly the same opponents, although they make the journey north at the foot of the table on goal difference.

James Shield, The Star’s Sheffield United writer, identifies some of the key figures set to take part in this fixture and analyses the traits which could influence the final outcome.

The Possible Teams: Sheffield United - Ramsdale, Basham, Ampadu, Robinson, Stevens, Baldock, Berge, Osborn, Lundstram, Brewster, McBurnie. Fulham - Areola, Ream, Robinson, Le Marchand, Aina, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro, Cairney, Reed, Lookman, Mitrovic.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The Referee: Andre Marriner will take charge of the game, while Martin Atkinson is the VAR official. Aged 49 and from the West Midlands, Marriner was on duty at Bramall Lane twice last season, overseeing United’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United and the win over Chelsea after ‘Project Restart’. He cautioned four players during those fixtures, including George Baldock and John Lundstram, broadly in line with his average of 2.6 yellow cards per game. He has issued seven in four outings so far this term and has sent-off only two players since February 2019.

The Goals Column: United have scored once in four PL outings, after David McGoldrick broke their duck towards the end of the visit to Arsenal. Fulham have netted three, however all of those came during their loss to Leeds at Elland Road. At the other end of the pitch, United have conceded six and have not kept a clean sheet in all competitions since that win over Chelsea in July. Fulham have recorded two, but only against Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday in the EFL Cup. They have conceded 11 and 14 in all competitions.

The Form Guide: Both United and Fulham have lost all four of their games so far this season, with United also being knocked out of the EFL Cup on penalties by Burnley. Fulham have won twice, but both of those wins came in the same tournament, United last tasted success in July, while Scott Parker’s side, who were promoted from the Championship last term, have won seven times since then. Their last victory on the road, other than in the play-off final at Wembley, came at Cardiff City three months ago.

The Dangermen: United will be hoping Rhian Brewster, their new record signing, enjoys the same success Alexsander Mitrovic has enjoyed at Craven Cottage since moving to west London, initially on loan, in January 2018. The Serbia international, who cost £22m when he later completed a permanent transfer from Newcastle, has scored 39 times in only 80 league starts and has netted four times in all competitions this season. Brewster, previously of Liverpool, claimed 11 in 22 during a spell on loan with Swansea City last season.

Billy Sharp will hope to start Sheffield United's game against Fulham: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The History Lesson: United have lost their last three meetings with Fulham, with their last win over the visitors coming at Craven Cottage in an FA Cup replay six years ago - Marc McNulty, now of Reading and on loan at Dundee United, scored the only goal of that contest. However, United have won 30 of the previous 67 clashes between these two clubs, compared to Fulham’s return of 22. Fifteen of those games have finished all square, with the last league draw coming in 2001.

The Managers: Both Chris Wilder and Scott Parker played for the clubs they now manage, with the latter taking charge, initially on a caretaker basis, in February last year following Claudio Ranier’s departure. Although he was unable to save Fulham from relegation, Parker led them back to the top-flight last season, following a win over Brentford in the Championship showpiece. Wilder has twice delivered promotion since being appointed in May 2016, when United were about the embark upon their sixth straight season in League One.

The Debutants: Brewster should make his first appearance in a United jersey after completing his £23.5m move from Liverpool earlier this month. He had been scheduled to face Arsenal, but the transfer was not completed in time. Ruben Loftus Cheek, capped 10 times by England, joined Fulham on loan before the PL deadline. Like Brewster, he did not feature when the Londoners were beaten by Wolves on the same day, but the Chelsea midfielder could start tomorrow.

The Opposition Lowdown: Founded in 1879, Fulham are London’s oldest professional football club still competing. Seventeen years later, they played their first match at Craven Cottage, with Minerva, a now defunct club from Ladywell, near Lewisham, providing the opposition. Fulham used to play in red and white, but adopted their all white kit in 1903. Owner Shahid Khan acquired Fulham from his predecessor Mohamed Fayed for between £150m and £200m. Born in Pakistan, Khan moved to the United States to study and made his fortune by buying a company which makes bumpers for cars. He also owns NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars, and is believed to be worth in the region of £12bn.Khan is the richest person in the world of Pakistani origin.

Rhian Brewster is set to make his debut for Sheffield United against Fulham: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Coverage: The match, which kicks-off at midday is being broadcast on BT Sports’ Pay Per View platform. Up to the minute details, analysis and post-match reaction is available via The Star’s website and social media platforms.

An important message: Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports.

Your support is much appreciated.

Chris Holt, Football Editor

Chris Wilder, the manager of Sheffield United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Fulham manager Scott Parker: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire.