Sheffield United: The incredible graph that illustrates Chris Wilder and Co’s commitment to attacking football

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It was a game that saw them go top of the Championship table thanks to David McGoldrick’s second-half penalty.

And Sheffield United’s 1-0 victory over Hull City on Saturday was another triumph for boss Chris Wilder's innovative 3-5-2 formation, with the right and left centre-backs tasked with joining in attacks.

The approach is perfectly illustrated by a graph produced by Sky Sports, which shows the average positions of Wilder’s starting eleven against Hull. Only goalkeeper Dean Henderson and centre-half John Egan are shown in United’s half, with the other nine Blades all over the halfway line.

Midfielder John Fleck was, on average, almost as advanced as strikers David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp, while attacking midfielder Mark Duffy was the United player closest to David Marshall’s goal.

The Blades boss has seen several opponents switch to a back three in an attempt to nullify his side’s shape already this season, with varying degrees of success, and admits he may tweak his own formation again at times in an attempt to keep the tactical edge.

"We need to be able to play different formations, which we have done recently, and we have done in our time here,” Wilder said earlier in the season.

David McGoldrick scores his penalty against Hull

David McGoldrick scores his penalty against Hull

“Everyone looks at us as three at the back, over-lapping centre-halves, all the stuff that goes with that, but this is Championship football and we have to be flexible and tactical.

"We have to have players who can play in different ways, different shapes, and different combinations. Certainly, they are good enough players to have a Oli Norwood, John Fleck and Paul Coutts combination, but Chris Basham has played in the middle of park and John Lundstram has played in there as well.

“So midfield is well stocked, and we have some really good players."