Arsenal will look to keep themselves in contention at the top of the table when they travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United.
Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England
Key Stat: Sheffield United have scored in just one of their last five matches in all competitions.
Expert Verdict: Goal-shy Sheffield United have not looked out of place in the Premier League despite their recent lack of form in front of goal, but they face a tough task against an Arsenal team in good form and riding high at the right end of the table.
John Fleck, David McGoldrick and Oliver McBurnie will all be assessed ahead of this match at Bramall Lane, but the Blades could be at full strength as they prepare to welcome Arsenal.
John Lundstram – Set up Sheffield United’s most recent goal, and also has one of his own this season. He controls the tempo in midfield.
Dean Henderson – His goalkeeping gaffe proved costly in the Blades’ last home game – against Liverpool – but he remains a key player for Sheffield United.
Lys Mousset – With Oliver McBurnie and David McGoldrick to be assessed, the last Blades player to score a goal will need to prove his worth up front.
Sheffield United have only scored in one of their last five matches, though that did result in a 2-0 win at Everton – an own goal and Lys Mousset’s late strike earning victory. Since then, however, the Blades have lost 1-0 to Sunderland in the Carabao Cup and by the same score at home to Liverpool in the league. They then drew 0-0 at Watford in their most recent game.
Defenders:Chris Basham, John Egan, John O Connell
Midfielders:George Baldock, John Lundstram, Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, Enda Stevens
Forwards:Callum Robinson, Lys Mousset
Kieran Tierney could make his first Premier League start for Arsenal, while Alexandre Lacazette is back in full training and set for a late fitness test. That leaves only Reiss Nelson (knee) on the injury list – the youngster is not expected back until next week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – His goal against Manchester United was the Gabonese striker’s eighth of the season.
Alexandre Lacazette – Looked much improved up front last season compared to his first campaign at the Emirates and his return from injury enhances the Arsenal attack.
David Luiz – Scored Arsenal’s goal against Bournemouth, while defensively it depends which David Luiz turns up – when he is off form, so too are the Gunners generally.
Only a draw at Manchester United has cost Arsenal a perfect record from their last five games, although that includes comfortable wins against Nottingham Forest and Standard Liege in the Carabao Cup and Europa League respectively. In the Premier League, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal earned a point at Old Trafford, the Gunners went into the international break on the back of a 1-0 home win against Bournemouth – David Luiz’s early goal proving enough.
Defenders:Ainsley Maitland-Niles, David Luiz, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kieran Tierney
Defensive Midfielders:Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi
Attacking Midfielders:Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
This will be the first match between Arsenal and Sheffield United since the Gunners won 6-0 in the League Cup in 2008. Billy Sharp was an unused substitute for the Blades that night, but none of the other players remain involved at their respective clubs. Overall, Arsenal have 48 wins and 26 draws in this fixture, while Sheffield United have won 39.
Sheffield United have showed good resolve on their return to the Premier League, proving they have the capability to stay up this season – which has to be their primary objective.
But recent matches have also showed their lack of attacking firepower, and that will be where Arsenal can take advantage.
Only Dean Henderson’s goalkeeping gaffe cost Sheffield United a point at home to Liverpool and they will hope to frustrate Arsenal similarly.
But the Gunners arrive at Bramall Lane in good form and close to returning to full strength too, with Kieran Tierney fit and Alexandre Lacazette available again up front.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goalscoring form is once again good, meanwhile, and the Gunners certainly have the firepower to break down Sheffield United.
At the other end, Arsenal’s defensive limitations have been laid bare already this season but Sheffield United have not showed enough consistent quality in attack to suggest they can exploit that.
Sheffield United will be no pushovers, but with no obvious goalscoring outlet so far this season they are outsiders to win for a reason.
Arsenal are favourites to beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, with Betfair offering the best price of 19/20 in the Gunners to win.
Arsenal to win to nil is 13/5 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes, while you can bet against both teams to score at 13/10 with Ladbrokes.
Under 2.5 goals, given how few goals there have been at either end in Sheffield United’s recent matches, will return a very generous 6/5 with Bet365. Under 1.5 goals will return 7/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power, meanwhile.
As for goalscorers, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is evens with Ladbrokes, Betfair and Paddy Power to score at any time.
Arsenal arrive at Bramall Lane in good form, against a Sheffield United team who, though they have not conceded many goals, have also not scored many either of late.