Two teams looking to get their first win of the season in the Premier League meet on Sunday afternoon, with Sheffield United hosting Crystal Palace at Bramall Lane. The Blades started last weekend with a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth, while Palace were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Everton at Selhurst Park. Most are anticipating that these two sides will be in the bottom half of the Premier League table come the end of the season, so this could well prove to be an important result come May.
Sheffield United showed no signs of compromising the style of football which got them to the Premier League last time out at Bournemouth. Chris Wilder’s men continued with the unorthodox 3-5-2 system and it paid dividends, as captain Billy Sharp came from the bench to cancel out Chris Mepham’s first-half opener. Now, Sheffield United will return home feeling confident of their chance of earning three points, given their form at Bramall Lane in the Championship last term. Winning 10 of their last 12 games at home on route to promotion to the Premier League, they were a formidable side at home and will likely be reliant on it keeping them in the top flight this season.
No team will have been more relieved to have seen the back of the transfer window than Crystal Palace, who managed to keep hold of talisman Wilfried Zaha despite widespread interest in the forward. With that behind them, they took on Everton – one of Zaha’s potential suitors – on the opening day of the season, and earned a 0-0 draw against Marco Silva’s side. Many have tipped Palace to struggle this term and it’s clear to see why, with it being difficult to identify where the goals will come from in the side. Christian Benteke has scored just four goals in the last two Premier League seasons, while Jordan Ayew scored just once in the Premier League last term.
Sheffield United have no injury concerns coming into this week’s contest, giving Chris Wilder a full squad to choose from. Captain Billy Sharp will be pushing to start after coming from the bench to score against Bournemouth, with David McGoldrick and Callum Robinson leading the line last time out. Ravel Morrison was left out of the squad against Bournemouth, who is still working his way back up to full match fitness.
James Tomkins (groin) and Mamadou Sakho (knee) look set to miss out once again for Crystal Palace, so Gary Cahill could make his debut in defence. Now that he has been reintegrated into the squad, Wilfried Zaha could start for Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
Sheffield United were excellent at home in the Championship last season, winning 10 of their final 12 games before being promoted. With Palace having injuries at the back and an unsettled star player, we like a home win at 2.45. The Blades also managed to keep seven straight home clean sheets in the Championship during their run to promotion, keeping a total of nine in their last 12 games and are priced at 2.62 to shut out a Palace attack that lacks firepower here.