Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Last updated: June 26, 2020 by Leon Marshal
|Last Meeting:||Arsenal 1 – 1 Sheffield United|
With Liverpool finally claiming the Premier League, this weekend we concentrate on the FA Cup with our focus on an intriguing clash between Sheffield United and Arsenal. Two sides that are struggling for form, this competition is the last chance for both clubs to claim silverware this season.
Sheffield United are enjoying a season to remember, and much of this success is due to manager Chris Wilder’s tactical ingenuity and skill, as well as good organisation overlapping centre-backs they have been working on since 2016. When the season started, they were written off as certainties for relegation after being promoted from the Championship. They have performed exceptionally to become potential European football qualifiers. To put United’s season in context, the other promoted sides, Aston Villa and Norwich, currently occupy the last two spots in the Premier League table.
United have lost just ten times in all competition since August, and on only one occasion they have failed to get something from their next game after a defeat (when they faced Man City after facing Liverpool). Recent form, however, has been poor, suffering two humiliating 3 – 0 consecutive losses against Newcastle and Manchester United heading to this encounter. Their quest for European football is still realistic with just two tough games left against the top six (Tottenham and Chelsea) both to be played at home. They currently sit five points behind Manchester United who are in 5th.
Billy Sharp came off the bench to head in the extra-time winner against a stubborn Reading after David McGoldrick had given them the lead in the 90th second, but George Puscas equalised from the penalty spot to send the match to extra time. They booked a place in the last eight for the first time since 2014; this is Sheffield United’s last chance for silverware.
The Gunners eased their way to the FA Cup quarterfinals with a comfortable 2 – 0 win against League One side Portsmouth. Goals from Sokratis and Nketiah kept their silverware hopes alive, a few days after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos. The record 13-time winners featured six players that were 20 years or younger in that tie but are likely to play a more experienced side, as, like United, this is Arsenal’s only hope of a trophy this season.
Arsenal is in a poor run since the restart losing 3 – 0 to Man City and the recent 2 – 1 defeat at the hands of Brighton was more embarrassing for the Arsenal faithful, especially as the Seagulls came from a goal down to win.
Things improved in Thursday 2-0 win away against Southampton. Eddie Nketiah scored in the 20th minute, taking full advantage of a mistake by Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. Southampton was reduced to ten men when Jack Stephens was sent off for fouling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The points were safe when Alexandre Lacazette’s free-kick was parried and substitute Joe Willock scored in the 86th minute.
Mikel Arteta inconsistent approach by playing the kids against Man City and then switching to the experienced side at the weekend showed the team’s lack of depth. Bizarrely the club’s highest earner, Mesut Ozil, who reportedly earns £350,000 has been left out of the side. With the manager claiming “tactical” reasons as to why the German midfielder is not in the starting line-up.
Arsenal is struggling with injuries this season; they currently have a Premier League high of eight players either out injured or a doubt. This list includes Calum Chambers (knee), Lucas Torreira Di Pascua (ankle), Cedric Soares (face), Kieran Tierney (calf), Bernd Leno (knee), Gabriel Martinelli (knee) and Pablo Mari Villar (ankle). David Luiz is also suspended after his horror show against Manchester City. The defender was at fault for two of the goals, yet signed a contract extension a few days later—much to the annoyance of some of the Arsenal supporters.
Sheffield has been in poor form since the restart losing two and drawing one of the last three games.
Eighth in the Premier League table, United are doing well, especially with the other two sides (Aston Villa and Norwich) they were promoted with are struggling in the relegation zone.
Leno, Mari, Xhaka, Sokratis, Chambers, and now Martinelli are all side-lined for Arleta’s side.
Arsenal next faces Norwich City, Wolves, Leicester City, Tottenham, and then Liverpool in their top-four quest.
|Sheffield United (3-5-2):||Henderson, Basham, Jagielka, Robinson, Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, Sharp|
|Subs:||Moore, Egan, Freeman, Berge, Osborn, Rowell, Zivkovic|
|Arsenal (4-2-3-1):||Martinez, Bellerini, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka, Ceballos, Guendouzi, Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette|
|Subs:||Holding, Willock, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Kolasnic, Nketiah, Cedric, Tierney, Medley|
|Injured:||Chambers, Torreira, Di Pascua, Soares, Tierney, Leno, Martinelli, Villar|
So Far This Season
|Sheffield This Season||Arsenal This Season|
|3 (2)||Wins (away)||3 (2)|
|2 – 0 v Millwall||Biggest Win||2 – 0 v Portsmouth|
|0 (0)||Draws (away)||0 (0)|
|Sharp (1)||Top Goal Scorer||Nketiah (2)|
|Y48, R3||Discipline||Y3, R0|
|0||Failures to Score||0|
|67%||Both Teams to Score Games||33%|
|67%||Over 2.5 Goals||33%|
|33%||Under 2.5 Goals||67%|
- Sheffield United and Arsenal have played nine matches so far, the hosts have won just twice against the visitors four wins and three draws between them.
- The team line-up would be important as most sides usually prefer resting their main team, but as this is the quarterfinal stage, we could see each team’s strongest sides.
- Both sides have just this one-shot for silverware this season, but both still have European ambitions.
- The Gunners have an average of 4.30 shots per game compared to the United’s 3.63 chances and an average of 1.81 goals per match against Sheffield’s 1.37 goals per match.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|18/01/2020||EPL||Arsenal 1 – 1 Sheffield United||Martinelli 45′|
|21/10/2019||EPL||Sheffield United 1 – 0 Arsenal||Mousset 30′|
|23/09/2008||EPL||Arsenal 6 – 0 Sheffield United||Bendtner 31’|
|31/10/2007||EPL||Sheffield United 0 – 3 Arsenal||Eduardo 8’|
|30/12/2006||EPL||Sheffield United 1 – 0 Arsenal||Nade 41’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Sheffield United will be pleased to see Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson back between the sticks, Henderson has been in great form and is touted as being the future number one at Old Trafford. However, it’s up front that United have struggled, not scoring a goal since the restart.
Arsenal will be encouraged with the mid-week win against Southampton, their first win after defeats against Brighton and Arsenal.
The last time these teams met was in a 1-1 draw in January at the Emirates; we think this scoreline will be repeated this weekend at Bramall Lane, this is available at 5/1 at bet365. The tie being decided by penalties wouldn’t surprise us, you can get 10/1 for either side to win with spot-kicks.