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Red Devils look to regain top spot

Man United host Sheffield United Wednesday from Old Trafford

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 Manchester United will look to regain first-place when they host Sheffield United tomorrow.

It’s a matchup between two teams in a dogfight for different positions in the Premier League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side is desperate to finally win a trophy, something the Reds haven’t done since the 2016/17 season.

The Blades on the other hand are fighting for survival as they sit dead last in the standings with just five points.

Lineup News and Notes

 There’s some good news on the injury front for the Red Devils as Marcus Rashford is available after tweaking his knee in the 3-2 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Phil Jones and Brandon Williams remain on the long-term injured list.

Eric Bailly is fit despite missing their FA Cup tie over the weekend while Victor Lindelof is questionable with back issues.

For Sheffield, Chris Wilder will need to tweak his lineup because of injuries.

Sander Berge recently got an operation and will not play in this one.

Jack O’Connell is still nursing a knee injury while Ben Osborn remains on the sidelines with an injury himself.

Phil Jagielka could be ready for a return.

Wilder will keep an eye on the health of Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie who could both be game-time decisions.

Let the kids play

 Man United fans will be excited to see some highly sought-after prospects potentially feature in this one.

Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri could very well see the field for the first time with the senior squad.

Diallo officially signed at Old Trafford in the new year and has been training for a couple of weeks now with the squad.

The highly sought-after Ivorian winger cost over £37m to bring here from Atalanta and he’s drawing comparisons to the great Lionel Messi.

Needless to say expectations are high for the 18-year-old.

Pellistri meanwhile is recovered from a bout of COVID and looking to gain his first selection for the senior side.

The Uruguayan winger came here in the summer transfer window with high praise for his quick agility and technique plus razor-sharp vision on the field.

With such a disparity between these sides, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may want to give the kids a taste of what the Premier League is all about.

Finding the right formula

 They may be in the cellar at the moment but Sheffield United is definitely growing in confidence ahead of this match.

Chris Wilder’s side has won three of its last four matches in all competitions.

Unfortunately, two of those games were in the FA Cup so it hasn’t helped their standing in the Premier League.

What’s been evident however is the compete level for this side since a narrow 3-2 defeat to Man United in December.

In their seven EPL fixtures since then they’ve got a draw, one win and two one-goal losses.

12 points separate the Blades from Brighton for a place in the Premier League next season.

That means they’ll need to start winning some games if they want to avoid moving down to the Championship next season.

The team’s been better lately but at the midway point of the season it could already be too little too late.

Dancing with the Red Devils

 Sheffield United has had its share of struggles with Manchester United in the top-flight.

The Red Devils have won their last seven top-flight encounters with the Blades at Old Trafford going back to August 1975.

In addition to that Sheffield seems to struggle defensively when they face Man United.

They have just one clean sheet in their last 34 top-flight matches against the Reds.

Man United goes into this game 35 points ahead of Sheffield in the standings.

Man U has just one win in their last six Premier League matches against teams they lead by 35 points or more.

Given how bad the season has gone for the Blades they’ll take anything to get a psychological edge.

Getting involved

 Marcus Rashford will be licking his chops at the prospect of playing against Sheffield United again.

The Reds striker has six goal involvements in his three Premier League matches against the Blades.

A date with Sheffield United could be what Anthony Martial needs to break out.

The Frenchman’s first career hat-trick for Man United came at home against Sheffield United last season.

He’s been directly involved in five of his team’s last six Premier League goals against the Blades.

On the other side, Sheffield’s leading scorer David McGoldrick seems to relish playing the best in England.

The Blades’ top goalscorer this season has seven Premier League goals since joining Sheffield.

It’s the teams he’s done it against that makes this impressive.

Three came against Chelsea, two last game against Man United and one against Arsenal and Tottenham respectively.

He seems to know when to elevate his game against the very best.

On a roll

 Man United is unbeaten in its last 13 Premier League fixtures heading into this contest.

One area they’ve improved in is their record at home.

After winning just one of their first five games at Old Trafford the Reds have lost just once in their last seven home matches in all competitions.

The team is starting to find their mojo as they get set for the second half of the season.

Match Info

 Wednesday’s match from Old Trafford kicks off at 8:15 pm. (JSL).

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