The shorty: Man City to win to nil
Sheffield United have improved dramatically from looking like the worst Premier League team of all time a few weeks ago, but their chances of doing the double over the Manchester clubs in their own backyard are extremely bleak.
Chris Wilder’s side shocked a distinctly off-colour Man United on Wednesday night to claim their second win of the season, but City will be a completely different kettle of fish. City have won their last 11 games in all competitions, conceding just three goals in that ruthless run.
They boast the best defensive record in the league by some distance and haven’t conceded a goal at home since their shock 1-1 draw with West Brom in mid-December. That result will give Sheffield United some hope, but City have improved immeasurably in the last month and should sweep the Blades aside.
City haven’t been as impressive as some pundits have suggested however, and have struggled against the likes of Brighton and Aston Villa. So, there is always a chance that they will be thwarted by Sheffield United’s low block on Saturday, but it really should be a routine win.
Saturday 15:00 – Man City v Sheffield United
Sky Sports Main Event
Value Bet: Phil Foden anytime goalscorer
Pep Guardiola’s outfit are in pole position to regain the Premier League crown that they surrendered to Liverpool last year, but they could still be undone by the lack of an out-and-out goalscorer in their side. The fact that Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan are City’s joint top scorers in all competitions is indicative of City’s attacking problems and there could come a time when they find goals hard to come by.
Having said that, Foden has been exceptional this season and has really established himself as a key player in Guardiola’s plans. The 20-year-old has scored nine goals in all competitions, but has only notched four in the league and will be desperate to improve on that figure. Foden has already scored four times in January and could round off an impressive month by putting one past a stubborn Sheffield United defence.
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Long(ish) shot: Correct score 2-0
The Blades may have lost 16 of their 20 Premier League games to date, but they have been desperately unlucky to lose a number of them. The fact that their goal difference is only -21 despite losing 14 more games than they have won shows how close Sheffield United have been to getting a result in a number of games and they have only lost by more than two goals on two occasions all season.
Chris Wilder’s men have also improved significantly since the turn of the year and seem to have taken confidence from their FA Cup wins against lower league opposition. They have now won two of their last three league games and will set up to frustrate City, like Villa and Brighton did. The chances of them actually getting anything from the game are very slim, but they may leave the Etihad with their heads held high.
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