Sheffield United’s start to their second season in the Premier League has been, at best, underwhelming. At worst, their two defeats in their opening two games is the start of a worrying run of results that could lead to their relegation from the Premier League.
The Blades were always unlikely to equal their heroics last season, but they have not been the same team since Project Restart in mid-June.
Chris Wilder’s side have failed to score in their opening two goals and gave away uncharacteristically sloppy goals against both Wolves and Aston Villa. Leeds were excellent against Liverpool and caught the eye going forward against Fulham last week.
Leeds should have too much for Sheffield United on Sunday at 12:00 even if the form books are likely to be torn up during this derby fixture.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds side seem capable of scoring at least three goals each time they play, even if they look equally incapable of keeping a clean sheet. Leeds’ swashbuckling return to the Premier League has been mesmerising, scoring seven and conceding seven in just two games.
Sheffield United may have failed to score in their two games this season, but they will rarely get such an opportunity to find the back of the net. Leeds’s defending so far this season has bordered on shambolic and Marcelo Bielsa’s side seem to actively help the opposition score goals.
It’s not like Sheffield United haven’t had chances in their two defeats either; they hit the post in one of several chances they created at home to Wolves on the opening day, while John Lundstram saw his penalty saved at Villa Park on Monday.
At the other end, Leeds have been captivating and seem capable of scoring from all angles. The Blades, on the other hand, have looked porous, offering several gilt-edged chances. Even John Egan’s sending off, harsh though it was, was another example of how leaky Chris Wilder’s side have become at the back.
Egan is now absent for the visit of Leeds, which is bad news for Sheffield United and excellent news for the visitors.
It would be a genuine shock if this game was low-scoring so we’re on Over 2.5 Goals.
Many people doubted Patrick Bamford’s ability to perform in the Premier League, doubts that were only bolstered by Leeds smashing their transfer record to sign Rodrigo from Valencia. Bamford, however, has been excellent in Leeds’ two games so far this season, scoring in both and doing so much more around the pitch.
He took his goal against Fulham last Saturday with great aplomb, coolly slotting the ball beyond Alphonse Areola with ease.
Against Liverpool, Bamford showed quick reactions to capitalise on a rare error from Virgil Van Dijk to lift the ball over Alisson. Bamford also won a penalty and set up Helder Costa during Leeds’s win over Fulham and he is justifiably keeping Rodrigo out of the number nine position.
He should get another chance to lead the line on Sunday and, by extension, he should get several chances to improve his Premier League scoring record at Bramall Lane and we’re backing Bamford to Score Anytime.
Tips for Sheffield United v Leeds on Sunday at 12:00
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