Sheffield United's stunning form could see punter land HUGE £10,000 bookies pay-out on pre-season bet

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Flash back to the start of the Premier League 2019/20 season, when a talkSPORT presenter was publicly mocking Sheffield United's squad before a ball was kicked, and the bookies were offering a similarly bleak assessment of the Blades' chances of avoiding relegation.

Last weekend, United beat Bournemouth to leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur to move fifth place (5th!) in the table, as Chris Wilder's unfancied side sent out a warning shot to their divisional rivals over their Champions League qualification credentials.

According to data from Oddschecker, one optimistic punter staked £10, at odds of 1000/1 on the Blades to secure Champions League qualification last summer, and will land just over £10,000 should the club complete the astonishing feat.

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Over the past few months, the transformation in the Blades’ odds for various outcomes has been remarkable - at the start of the season, they were 8/13 dead certs to go down, and are now a whopping 750/1 to do so.

The aforementioned top four finish has been slashed all the way down from 1000/1 to just 14/1, while a top half finish has gone from 14/1 in pre-season to 2/5.

The statistics tell their own story, too, and show just how impressive United have been in their first top tier season in over a decade.

Their rock solid defence is second only to Liverpool on goals conceded (22), and their away record is again second only to the league leaders, with the Blades losing just twice away from Bramall Lane.

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Meanwhile, star stopper Dean Henderson has the joint top clean sheet haul in the division (nine), alongside Burnley's Nick Pope and Liverpool's Alisson. which also bears testament to the resilient work of United's hardy defence.

After their mini winter break, United take on struggling Brighton & Hove Albion, which will present another fine opportunity for the Blades to plough on with their pursuit of a European adventure.