Sheffield United will take on bottom-of-the-table side Huddersfield Town in the EFL Championship. The Blades are ranked second in the league table and are looking for promotion to the Premier League. Their opponents are struggling at the bottom and will look to avoid relegation to the third division.
Sheffield United have won 11, drawn five, and lost five matches each. They have managed to score 35 goals while conceding 19. The average xG of the team is 1.73 per match, while their average xGA is 1.12. The Blades have scored the second-most goals and conceded the second-fewest goals in the league. They will be eyeing an easy win in this match.
Huddersfield Town played in the promotion play-offs last season but are at the bottom of the table this time. The team has a record of five wins, four draws, and 11 losses. They have managed to score 19 goals with an average xG of 1.04. Their defence has conceded 26 goals with an average xGA rate of 1.56. Huddersfield have just collected six points from nine away games, so getting a point from this match looks like a big task for them.
We now look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
How have the teams performed?
Sheffield United have been one of the best teams in the league this season. The above viz shows the overall stats in comparison to the other teams in the EFL Championship. The Blades have a very high percentile rank in the attacking department. On the defensive side, they like to press hard and also have a high recovery rate. The passing department is an area where the team has a comparatively low percentile rank.
Huddersfield Town are struggling at the bottom, and their stats also show the same. They are ranked very low in every department, and this has resulted in a poor season. Their percentile rank is extremely low, and they intend to improve it beginning with this match.
The attacking contrast
Both teams have performed very differently when it comes to the attack. Sheffield United are a more threatening side, while their opponents have failed to create that threat. The Blades average 33.29 positional attacks and 1.52 counterattacks per match. Huddersfield Town, on the other hand, just averages 23.9 positional attacks and 1.55 counterattacks. Sheffield United’s attacks have led to 13.72 shots per match with an accuracy rate of 38.7%. The visitors average just 8.45 shots and have an accuracy rate of 41.4%. The first viz shows the difference in ranking between the two teams. However, the second image shows that Huddersfield Town have the best xG rate per shot. They are ranked at the top, and this shows that the team is efficient with the shots they take. Sheffield United have to make sure that Huddersfield players do not get enough chances to score a goal.
Another reason behind Huddersfield’s struggles in the attack is their high number of entries into the opposition’s penalty area per 90 minutes. They only make 11 entries, while their opponents average seven more per 90 minutes. The visitors have to make more of these types of entries to rise up the league table and avoid relegation.
Sheffield’s pressing efficiency
Sheffield United have a very high pressing efficiency in the league. The team is ranked second-best in the league for exerting pressure on their opponents. Huddersfield Town have struggled in that department as well and have one of the lowest efficiencies in the league. The Blades will look to apply pressure and keep the ball in their sights.
Oliver McBurnie is enjoying his best season in a Sheffield United shirt. The striker has nine goals to his name and will look to reach double figures in this game. He averages 3.97 shots per 90 minutes and has an accuracy rate of 54.9%. The striker has found space just on the edge of the six-yard box and has scored most of his goals from such dangerous areas. He will be the main threat for the Blades in this match.
Sorba Thomas is the most creative player in the team for Huddersfield Town. The player features as a right wingback and right winger and has five assists to his name. He has provided five assists, with four coming from set pieces. He will look to create chances for his teammates and help his team return to winning ways.
The Blades might be without the likes of Oli McBurnie, John Fleck, Sander Berge and John Fleck in this match. Illman Ndiaye might lead the line in the absence of McBurnie.
Jonathan Hogg and Yuta Nakayama are the likely absentees for the visiting side.
Sheffield United will be the favourites to take three points from this fixture. They have a better record in the attack as well as in the defence. Huddersfield Town will try to put up a challenge and end their poor start to the EFL Championship 2022/23.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine