It may be very early in the season, but this game very much feels like a relegation six-pointer. Sheffield United, who have scored once in four games and picked up no points, take on Fulham, who have conceded 11 in four games and, you guessed it, picked up no points.
It is fair to say that it’s not exactly a clash of the titans at Bramall Lane on Sunday since both sides have been awful so far this term. One side has been far more awful than the other, however.
Fulham, even at this early stage of the season, look perfectly capable of emulating Derby County’s 11-point season. The Cottagers are simply diabolical at the back and don’t look much better going forward either.
Granted, they have scored three goals this season, but they all came at Elland Road at a time when Leeds seemed hellbent on either winning or losing 4-3 in every game this season. It’s difficult to see where Fulham will pick up points from this season and Sheffield United, who have at least been half decent at the back this year, should have no problems keeping them out.
Only six teams have conceded fewer goals than the Blades this season, even though they find themselves in 19th and it is clear that Chris Wilder’s men need goals up front if they are to stay up. The signing of Rhian Brewster is a huge gamble, but he was excellent for Swansea last season and he might energise their attack.
Neither Preston nor Cardiff have set the world alight in their opening four games this season. Both clubs would have had their sights set on a top-six place this season, but both have plenty of work to do if they are to force themselves into the Play-Off equation.
Still, it is very early doors and the Championship table is liable to change course with every gameweek, so there is still plenty of time. A win on Sunday would be a great way to go about kick-starting either club’s season, but it is difficult to see a winner at Deepdale.
Preston, for example, have failed to pick up a point or even score a goal in their two home league games this season, while Cardiff have also failed to pick up a point at home. Both clubs have four points on the road in their opening two away games and you would think that Cardiff must be favourites to win on Sunday as a result.
However, statistics do not show context and Cardiff’s solitary win of the season came against a Nottingham Forest side that has lost every game of the season so far, while their draw with Blackburn was admittedly impressive.
Preston, meanwhile, played 68 minutes with 10 men in their most recent home defeat against Stoke, while they were very unlucky not to come away with anything from their opening home game of the season against Swansea. The two sides should cancel each other out.
* All odds correct at time of first publishing but may change. Prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget.
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