Sheffield United: Mark Lawrenson & 2016 Olympic champion Adam Peaty make contrasting predictions on Crystal Palace clash
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has backed Sheffield United to win their first home match of the 2019/20 Premier League season, ahead of their hotly anticipated clash against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Writing his weekly 'Premier League predictions' piece, in which the former Liverpool defender challenges celebrities and sports stars to guess the outcome of the weekend's top tier matches, Lawrenson opted for a 2-1 victory for the Blades.
However, his opponent – 2016 Olympic 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty – tipped the travelling Eagles to emerge victors with the reverse scoreline.
Justifying his prediction, 'Lawro' said: “I was really pleased to see Billy Sharp score to earn Sheffield United a point last week. He has spent most of his career in the lower leagues, but he has always got goals. A draw at Bournemouth was a decent result for the Blades and I quite fancy them to beat Palace, because they will have a real go at them. Bramall Lane will be a full house and there will be a great noise.
"It is going to be a difficult afternoon for Crystal Palace, anyhow.”
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He continued: “Wilfried Zaha should start for them - why wouldn't he? - but having a situation where their best player has asked to leave has not helped their start to the season, and it feels like they have got a few teething problems to sort out."
United left it late to snatch a last gasp draw against Bournemouth last weekend, but Blades fans will have been highly encouraged by the spirited display shown by Chris Wilder's side.
With a host of new signings set to improve the quality of the squad, and the side carrying their exceptional team morale through to the new campaign, United will be confident stepping up to the challenge of top tier football.