Sheff Utd v Man Utd: Blades worth chancing for draw as strange results continue

The big teams continue to mess up and Sheffield United may just be able to grab a draw against Manchester United, says Dave Tindall...

Sheff Utd v Man Utd
Thursday, 20:00
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No sense of crisis abating for blunt Blades

A slow start has now become an alarming one for Sheffield United.

After 12 games last season they had 17 points; after a dozen matches this time they have just one.

That's six points adrift of second-bottom West Brom and makes them one of just four teams in the history of English league football to have one point or fewer after 12 games of a season. By coincidence, one of the others is Manchester United although that was way back in 1930/31.

The glaring problem for the blunt Blades is the lack of goals. They've managed only five and just two of those have come at Bramall Lane.

The £23.5million signing of Rhian Brewster has yet to reap any reward and he's yet to get off the mark after eight appearances as a sub or starter.

Boss Chris Wilder is carrying that slightly haunted look and now they come up against the team with the best away record in the Premier League.

United 100% on the road

For all Manchester United's maddening inconsistency, they're a very predictable beast on the road.

Five away starts have produced five wins but this hasn't been done in all-conquering fashion. The Red Devils have found themselves behind in every one of those matches before hitting back to take victory.

That can be twisted both ways. It shows resilience and verve to turn around matches that are going wrong. But why do they keep finding themselves in that position in the first place?

With everyone tripping up above them though, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are very much in touch. Indeed, there's a situation whereby if we give them three points for their game in hand, had United been first to play this week they could have gone top of the table.

No wonder the opinion over Solskjaer's credentials oscillates every couple of weeks.

Notably, there was a hint of the current Man Utd in this fixture last season. The visitors were 2-0 up after 72 minutes but then roared back to lead 3-2 after three goals in seven minutes.

However, on that occasion, Oli McBurnie popped up with a last-minute leveller to ensure a 3-3 draw.

Red Devils hot favourites

For all the complaints over Man Utd's lacklustre passages of play, the bottom line is that they've won their last nine away games in the top flight. That's just one short of the record.

Compare that to Liverpool, who are chugging away on their travels this season with just one win in six.

No surprise then to see Man Utd quoted at just 1.5. It's 7.4 that Sheffield United bank their first win of this troubled campaign while The Draw is 4.9.

Man Utd have also scored at least twice in their last nine road matches and extending that to double figures would almost certainly ensure the points.

Overs favoured

Those Manchester United numbers are the sole reason for Over 2.5 goals being favourite here at 1.83.

Here's the goal count from every Manchester United away game season: 5, 4, 5, 4, 3, 3, 5, 3, 5, 3. Yep, in all comps, Overs has landed in all 10 matches.

And yet, come at it from a Sheffield United viewpoint and Under 2.5 had landed five times out of five before Jamie Vardy scored a last-minute winner for Leicester in a 2-1 win last time.

Under 2.5 goals is 2.12.

If leaning more towards Overs, can the hosts really contribute to the tally?

Those who think they can have another option - to back Manchester United win and Both teams to Score at 3.2.

That's quite a leap from the basic win price.

Unlikely results elsewhere could prove best pointer

But my other thought here - and one I can't shake off - is that some strange things are happening with the big teams both in England and Europe.

Has the relentless run of Champions League games taken a toll?

Because Fulham 1 Liverpool 1 and Man City 1 West Brom 1 among others suggests something is going on.

There's certainly enough of a trend to make me have a bet on The Draw at 4.9 and also on a 1-1 Correct Score at 10.

Same Game Multi market offers best bet

It's pretty easy where to look first when pondering a Same Game Multi.

Bruno Fernandes has scored 11 goals in his 12 Premier League away games and is always likely to slot home a penalty; Man Utd win plenty of them.

Fernandes to score in a Draw is a hefty 16.29. That's worth a go too.

Opta Stat

Since winning their first ever Premier League match against Man Utd on the opening day of the competition in 1992, Sheffield United are winless in their last seven against the Red Devils (D1 L6).






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