Sheff Utd v Man City: Blades can blunt visitors' attack
Manchester City slipped up again with a draw at home to Crystal Palace and now they face another trappy clash away to Sheffield United. Dave Tindall previews Tuesday's match...
Sheff Utd v Man City Tuesday, 19:30 Live on BT Sport 2
Blades simply won't buckle
A selection of teams Sheffield United are still ahead of with 23 games gone - Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton.
The Blades' fantastic season continued with a 1-1 draw at The Emirates on Saturday and, in all competitions, they've suffered only three defeats since late September.
It's a quick rematch with Manchester City after the two sides met at the Etihad on December 29. City won that one but the match remained goalless until the 52nd minute and Kevin De Bruyne's clincher didn't come until eight minutes from time.
While a home record of won five, drawn two, lost four isn't that great for a team in seventh spot, since their rather unfortunate loss to Liverpool on September 28, Chris Wilder's side have been beaten just once at Bramall Lane.
Other teams have punched above their weight for a chunk of the season before collapsing but United simply look too robust and well-organised to suffer a similar fate.
City losing all hope
City saw another anxiety dream come true at the weekend.
First, there was the sight of Wilfried Zaha charging down the wing in injury-time and forcing a dramatic equaliser for Crystal Palace in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad.
And that was followed by Liverpool pulling even further into the distance - 16 points to be precise - with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United, Mo Salah's late clincher which sparked euphoric scenes at Anfield seeming to present a symbolic twisting of the knife in City hearts.
The champions have now failed to win eight of their 23 Premier League games and teams like Southampton and West Ham have conceded fewer goals on the road.
After Tuesday's game, there's an FA Cup tie at home to Fulham followed by the second leg of their League Cup semi-final with Manchester United (City won the first 3-1 at Old Trafford).
Next month brings a last-16 Champions League tie with Real Madrid so, although Pep Guardiola will demand his team show full focus here, it's easy to imagine how some minds will be wandering ahead to the cups. And it only takes a small drop-off against a team like Sheffield United for this to be an awkward night.
City big odds-on again
Manchester City couldn't do the job when 1.12 at home to Palace and this time they're trading at 1.39 to take all three points. Many odds-on backers will be thinking once bitten, twice shy.
Sheffield United are 9.60 to upset their illustrious opponents while The Draw is 5.50.
Pep described the Blades as a "strong team" after the recent 2-0 win. "Not just mentally but physically. They are good in the long balls, defending. It's not a secret where they are in the table."
Wilder, meanwhile, said his team could have snatched something. "We believe that it could have been different. My team were excellent against fantastic players and a world-class manager. The way we played out of possession was good. As always when you play the big teams when the chances come around you have to taken them. And we haven't."
I'd rather the Blades had more recovery time but City will be feeling it a little too and I can't see there being too much in it.
Goal count could be lower than expected
The market clearly favours Over 2.5 here at 1.65.
I don't agree with that and will therefore have a play on Under 2.5 at 2.44.
Despite a freaky 3-3 draw with Man Utd, Sheffield United home matches tend to be tight. Looking at their 11 Bramall Lane games in the Premier League and eight have featured fewer than three goals.
I can see them snapping at City's heels, being difficult to break down and, unless Sergio Aguero has one of those nights, the visitors could be in for an evening of frustration in front of goal.
Elsewhere, the numbers are certainly there if you want to go Both Teams to Score as it's now landed in 19 of City's last 22 games in all competitions.
It's 1.90 for 'Yes' but that rather clashes with my lack of goals viewpoint so I'll pass at the odds-on price (it was 2.38 at home to Palace which made much more appeal).
Mahrez may be best alternative to Aguero
The remarkable Sergio Aguero has seven goals in his last four games and scored a hat-trick in City's last Premier League away day at Villa Park.
Naturally, he's odds-on at 1.82 so for those wanting bigger prices, Riyad Mahrez (three goals in his last two away games) is 2.92 which could be decent.
Sheffield United's top Premier League scorers are Lys Mousset and John Fleck but they only have five each, one more than Oli McBurnie.
It's the latter who appeals most at given his prowess in the air and City's lack of clean sheets. McBurnie is 3.00 to find the net.