Despite having had a run of five straight victories snapped in their last league game at the beginning of the year, Sheffield United enters the match on Saturday with a healthy lead over the playoff spots and a six-game unbeaten run in the Championship.
Paul Heckingbottom’s team picked up right where they left off with victories over Huddersfield Town and Wigan Athletic when they returned from the World Cup break in second place with 38 points from 21 games. They would carry on their strong play with a 3-1 home victory over Coventry City on Boxing Day.
The Blades travelled to face Queens Park Rangers in their first game of the new year after winning at Blackpool to make it five straight wins. They appeared to be headed for a narrow loss after failing to respond to Ilias Chair’s early goal, but John Egan scored an equaliser in stoppage time to rescue a crucial point for the South Yorkshire team.
Heckingbottom’s team still has a healthy nine-point cushion in second place with a five-point gap up to league leaders Burnley despite the fact that their lead over the chasing pack was slightly reduced as a result. They also head into the weekend coming off a 2-0 FA Cup victory.
They welcome Stoke City, who have fallen to 18th place in the league after back-to-back losses, and are also looking to resume winning ways.
With 25 points from 21 games during an inconsistent stretch leading up to the World Cup, the Potters were in the bottom half of the table. However, they seemed to find their form when they returned to the field, drawing with Cardiff City and Rotherham United before winning 2-1 away at Bristol City.
Now with just a four-point lead over the relegation zone, Neil’s men head into one of their toughest tests of the season thus far with the need to kickstart a run of results to avoid dropping any closer to the bottom three.
1×2 Betting Odds
Even though the Blades are missing a number of key players, we can only expect them to win again at home on Saturday. Ndiaye is especially expected to cause problems as Stoke faces a particularly difficult test away at one of the league’s strongest teams!
And the betting market agrees!
The home team is the outright favourite to win in this one @ 1.79.
Stoke, who are fighting with relegation will face their toughest game! They are the underdogs in this @ 5.20,
The odds that this one ends in a stalemate, stands @ 3.75.
Total goals over/under
The odds that the total number of goals scored will be over 2.5, stands @ 2.10.
While the odds that the total number of goals will be under 2.5, stands @ 1.89.
The market expects this game to be a low scoring one, with the home side massive favourite for a victory!