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The Blades have been in dismal form since Project Restart and they’re now just W3-D4-L11 in all competitions, as both cup games over this period came against Premier League opposition.
Each of those victories came in the league back in July, but since then they’ve lost eight of nine winless top-flight games, as the exception was a home draw with rock-bottom Fulham.
In mitigation, Chris Wilder’s men haven’t been knocked around too much and have still been hanging in games.
On their current nine-match winless streak, no one put them to the sword with their biggest losses coming by two-goal margins, as Sheffield Utd haven’t gone down by more than one strike in any of their past five outings now.
Wilder will be glad there are no fresh injury concerns, but he’s already without John Fleck, Lys Mousset and Jack O’Connell.
The latter has been a major loss for them with their downturn in form coinciding with his absence as he was injured on the eve of Project Restart, while he wasn’t at his best in the games he’s played since then and has subsequently had a knee operation.
Pep Guardiola has his own selection concerns at both ends of the field. Defensive-minded players Benjamin Mendy and Fernandinho will take no part, while Nathan Ake is a minor doubt, but with Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte both available at centre-back, it’s the options at the sharp end that are more concerning.
Both senior strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are out injured and in fact, Man City have won 86% of 22 matches the latter has started since the start of last season.
That’s compared to just 43% of the 21 matches the Brazilian didn’t start, as they scored 1.09 goals per game more when he took to the field from the off.
Man City To Win And Under 3.5 Goals
Guardiola’s midweek solution saw him switch Sterling to the right flank and move the left-footed Phil Foden out wide, with summer signing Ferran Torres going down the middle.
The move away from inverted wingers helped open up space in the middle against Marseille’s compact back five, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Guardiola used the same tactics against a Sheffield Utd side that utilise a similar setup.
Man City are now W6-D2-L1 in all competitions this season as only a dangerous Leicester outfit got the better of them. Given Sheffield Utd’s current form, the away win looks nailed on but is unsurprisingly at very short odds. However, with only one of the Blades’ 17 defeats since their promotion featuring more than three goals, we’ll couple that with the match outcome.