Sheffield United vs Manchester United | Premier League | Bramall Lane | KO: 20:00 GMT
Following their 0-0 derby day draw with Manchester City, and other teams around them dropping points, there is now a real chance for Manchester United to throw their name into the hat for a potential title challenge this season.
Should they win their two games in hand, United will sit just two points off the top of the Premier League, not a bad showing for a side in ‘crisis’.
The first of the games in hand comes against Sheffield United, who sit bottom of the table, with just one point from their opening twelve fixtures, and are on course for the lowest points tally in the history of the league.
The fixture will be played in front of an empty Bramall Lane on Thursday, due to Sheffield’s tier 3 status in terms of Coronavirus protection.
How Do Manchester United Look?
United enter the match with a close-to full fit side.
Anthony Martial returned to the bench against City at the weekend, and Edinson Cavani is back in full training, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirming that he may be an option for Thursday’s clash.
“Edinson has done well in his rehab, but we’re still going to make a decision on whether we should risk him” said Solskjaer.Embed from Getty Images
Marcos Rojo has sustained an injury to his calf, but it was very unlikely that he would have featured in the match either way.
United face six games in the next sixteen days, so rotation may be an option for United in this one.
Dean Henderson could be an option to give David De Gea the night off; the Englishman played for The Blades on loan for two seasons, and it was in Sheffield that he really made a name for himself.Embed from Getty Images
The arrival of Alex Telles has created some healthy competition at left back, with Luke Shaw upping his game following the Brazilians arrival. A rotation system can be adopted by Solskjaer that would see the pair share game time across the season.
Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic, Donny Van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes can all expect game time over this busy festive period, with a trio of Fred, Pogba and Bruno being the most likely midfield against Chris Wilder’s side.
Opposition: Sheffield United
Last season, Sheffield United amazed many with their revolutionary tactics, that saw them finish ninth in the Premier League.
Wilder’s use of overlapping centre backs had never been seen in the league before, and the majority of the league failed to deal with the threat his team posed.Embed from Getty Images
This season, however, could not have gone more wrong for The Blades.
They sit rock bottom of the league, their only point coming against fellow relegation candidates Fulham.
Jack O’Connell, Kean Bryan and Oli McBurnie are all doubts for the clash.
Sheffield United are currently on course to get a total of just three points by the end of the campaign, which is considerably lower than Derby County’s eleven points, which is the lowest of any side in Premier League history.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester United are currently the most inform team in the league, having picked up thirteen points from their last five matches.
Sheffield United 0-3 Manchester United.