The big stat that should give Sheffield United with a huge boost as they look to beat AFC Bournemouth

Today’s match at The Vitality Stadium between Sheffield United and AFC Bournemouth sees Slavisa Jokanovic, the visitors’ manager, come face to face again with Scott Parker; one of his predecessors at former club Fulham.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 9:00 am

Capped 18 times by England, Parker played under Jokanovic in west London and also served on his coaching staff before the Serb departed Craven Cottage in 2018.

James Shield, The Star’s United writer, identifies some of the key figures set to be involved in this afternoon’s fixture and also the statistical trends surrounding the contest; including one which will hearten the travelling supporters as they hope to see Jokanovic’s side bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat to Middlesbrough.

THE TEAMS

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Bournemouth - Travers, Zemura, Smith, Kelly, Cahill, Lerma, Billing, Pearson, Brooks, Solanke, Christie. United - Olsen, Stevens, Baldock, Egan, Davies, Norwood, Fleck, Hourihane, Gibbs-White, Osborn, Sharp.

THE REFEREE

Robert Jones, from Merseyside, will be overseeing his fourth game of the campaign. He averages exactly two yellow cards so far this term, with his previous assignments coming in the Premier League and Carabao Cup. More home players have been cautioned by Jones since August than members of the visiting team.

THE FORM GUIDE

Conor Hourihane could start for Sheffield United at AFC Bournemouth: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

United have won three, drawn two and lost one of their last six matches in the competition. Parker’s men enter the clash having won four and drawn two.

THE HISTORY LESSON

United have faced their rivals from Dorset 17 times and lost only once, winning 11 of their previous meetings in the process. That defeat came in August 1987, with United emerging victorious in nine of their 10 outings since then. The draw occurred on their last appearance at this ground, when Billy Sharp scored a late equaliser on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 Premier League season - United’s first top-flight contest for 12 years.

THE GOALS

United average 2.2 goals per game in their last 10 matches against Bournemouth, but only 1.3 over the same period in the Championship this season. The hosts have returned figures of 0.9 and 1.6 respectively.

THE DETAILS

AFC Bournemouth versus Sheffield United, today, kick-off 3pm at the Vitality Stadium.