After being denied two points by goal-line tech failure on their return to Premier League action, Sheffield United will try again against Newcastle.
St James Park, Newcastle, England
Key Stat: Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last seven matches.
Expert Verdict: Unfortunate not to beat Aston Villa after goal-line technology let them down on the Premier League's return, Sheffield United did at least keep another clean sheet despite a rusty performance. With 90 minutes in the tank, they can kick on now and beat Newcastle.
Matt Ritchie and Matt Longstaff are doubts, with the former more likely to feature than the latter – who probably won’t be risked with such a packed schedule ahead. Sean Longstaff and Dwight Gayle also face late fitness tests.
Allain Saint-Maximin – Scored when these teams last met and the speedy winger also scored the winner in Newcastle’s last match.
Miguel Almiron – The popular Paraguayan scored twice in Newcastle’s FA Cup win against West Brom and he will be keen to kick on now football is back.
Martin Dubravka – The Slovakian goalkeeper has kept clean sheets in his last two league appearances, which is vital given they do not score many.
Newcastle signed off well in March, with a 3-2 win away to West Brom in the FA Cup and a 1-0 win at Southampton in the league. Allain Saint-Maximin scored the winner in the latter, while Miguel Almiron’s double had helped to book Newcastle’s place in the cup quarter-finals.
Defenders:Javi Manquillo, Jamal Lascelles, Federico Fernandez, Danny Rose
Midfielders:Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey, Allain Saint-Maximin
Forwards:Dwight Gayle, Miguel Almiron
Chris Wilder expects to have John Fleck back after he missed the Villa game following an injury picked up in training. Jack O’Connell was less fortunate, having sustained a knee injury in a training-ground collision. Jack Robinson took his place last time out.
Dean Henderson – Another clean sheet last time out continued his impressive season in goal, in which he has been touted for an England call-up.
Billy Sharp – Scored the winning goals in both of Sheffield United’s two wins before lockdown, and signed a new contract just before football’s resumption.
John Fleck – Missed last time out, he could be welcomed back to add bite to the midfield – while he has also scored five goals.
Sheffield United stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches with their goalless draw with Aston Villa last time out, but it could have been more but for goal-line technology malfunctioning and denying them a goal. They had previously signed off before lockdown with a 1-0 win at home to Norwich, with Billy Sharp scoring the winner.
Defenders:Chris Basham, John Egan, Jack Robinson
Midfielders:George Baldock, John Lundstram, Sander Berge, John Fleck, Enda Stevens
Forwards:Billy Sharp, Lys Mousset
Their meeting at Bramall Lane in December was their first since April 2010. Newcastle’s 2-0 win – courtesy of goals from Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey – was their sixth in the last seven games between these two teams – stretching back to the 1998 FA Cup semi-finals.
Sheffield United missed the chance to go fifth when they drew 0-0 with Aston Villa last time out – though they should feel aggrieved at having a legitimate goal missed by goal-line technology failing.
Nevertheless, another clean sheet and the chance to build match fitness with their first 90 minutes since March can only help.
They remain in the hunt for European football and the Blades know a win against Newcastle can help kick them forward.
Sheffield United do not concede many and Newcastle do not score many, which is why the previous meeting between the two was such a surprise.
Newcastle’s 2-0 win gives them a small morale boost ahead of this one, but the Blades can put the record straight.
Chris Wilder’s team have impressed with their discipline and resilience this season and, while there are unlikely to be many goals in this one, they can secure a vital three points.
Sheffield United are favourites to beat Newcastle United and can be backed at 11/8 to win with Bet365.
With neither side prolific in front of goal, you can bet against both teams to score at 8/11 with 888sport.
Likewise, under 2.5 goals is worth backing at 8/15 with Bet365 and Betfair. Under 1.5 goals is 17/10 with 888sport.
Billy Sharp has scored Sheffield United’s last two winning goals, meanwhile. He is 12/5 with Betfair and Paddy Power to score at any time.
Do not expect goals – Newcastle do not score many and Sheffield United do not concede many. The visitors can grab a narrow win though.