Manchester City travel to the Steel City to take on Sheffield United in the weekend’s lunchtime fixture at Bramall Lane.
The Blades are winless so far this season, turning in a good performance against the champions Liverpool despite a 2-1 defeat, while Manchester City have been inconsistent all season. They were held to a draw against West Ham last weekend before dominating against Marseille in the Champions League in midweek.
Safe to say this one isn’t necessarily a foregone conclusion.
When is kick off? Saturday 31 October
What time is kick off? 12:30pm (GMT)
Where is it played? Bramall Lane
TV Channel/Live stream BT Sport 1 (UK), DAZN (US)
Referee? Michael Oliver
Sheffield United come into the game with four players ruled out as Lys Mousset, John Fleck, Jack O’Connell and Simon Moore are unavailable. Max Lowe is a doubt after hobbling off on his Premier League debut against Fulham, which forced him to miss the Liverpool clash.
Manager Chris Wilder also revealed that John Lundstram has rejected a new contract with the Blades, which could see him opt to put the midfielder on the bench to plan for life without him.
The Citizens’ midweek fixture against Marseille saw arguably their best performance of the season, so Pep Guardiola could be tempted to go unchanged. Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho and Benjamin Mendy are all unavailable through injury, while Nathan Ake is a doubt too.
Raheem Sterling is likely to start up front once again, while Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte should return to the starting line up in the Premier League.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Stevens; Baldock, Lundstram, Ampadu, Berge, Osborn; Brewster, McGoldrick
Manchester City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Laporte, Zinchenko; Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne; Foden, Sterling, Torres
Sheffield United had a fantastic season back in the top flight last year, recording a ninth-placed finish after pushing for European places pre-lockdown.
Since lockdown though, they have the worst form in the division and have carried that over into this campaign. They have lost five of their six league games and have scored just one goal from open play.
City on the other hand have been up and down with their results. Wins over Arsenal, Marseille and FC Porto were interrupted by draws against West Ham and Leeds United. They’ve managed just three clean sheets this season though, with two of those coming since the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica.
Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United (24/10)
Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham (18/10)
Arsenal 2-1 Sheffield United (4/10)
Sheffield United 0-1 Leeds United (27/9)
Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United (21/9)
Marseille 0-3 Manchester City (27/10)
West Ham 1-1 Manchester City (24/10)
Manchester City 3-1 FC Porto (21/10)
Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal (17/10)
Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City (3/10)
A game that on paper looks like a given for three Manchester City points. Guardiola’s side looked back to near their best against Marseille in midweek and defensively they look much more sturdy since the arrival of Dias.
Sheffield United have struggled to create, struggled defensively and struggled with their individual duels. If they continue in the same vein against City, they could get trounced.
With so many games being played and their current attacking injury problems, City will pace themselves and likely come away with a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Sheffield United 0-3 Manchester City