Chris Wilder’s side are rooted to the bottom of the table after a dozen games, six points of adrift of West Brom who sacked Slaven Bilic on Wednesday, and haven’t won a league game all season.
But Wilder isn’t worried for his future despite speculation recently, in a week where he was publicly backed by the club’s owner. He has however insisted the club’s slump is his responsibility and is not shying away from trying to turn fortunes around.
In order to do that, Wilder will be hoping to call upon the services of Oli McBurnie, who will be monitored in the run-up to kick-off after injuring a shoulder in the 3-0 defeat to Southampton. Lys Mousset scored in this fixture last season and is available to deputise, as are Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick.
Jack O’Connell is out for the majority of the season with a knee ligament injury, and one of Phil Jagielka, Ethan Ampadu, Enda Stevens or Jack Robinson will play in Wilder’s usual back three formation.
The Blades boss spoke about his system in Wednesday’s press conference, insisting his players suit the system as pressure to ditch it increases from corners of the media.
In the opposing dugout, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has almost all of his squad available, with only Phil Jones and Edinson Cavani missing. Cavani was described as a risk by the Norwegian, so is unlikely to make the trip to Sheffield.
United are on a run of nine Premier League consecutive wins away from home, and a win would see them become only the fourth side in history to make it ten in a row. They’ll be hoping to stop a run of conceding first on their travels though, as they’ve came from behind in all of their five away games this season so far to win.
A win for Solskjaer would see his side leapfrog Chelsea in the table and keep up the pressure on the front runners as the festive period begins, with the Red Devils also still having a game in hand after their delayed start to the season.
Sheffield United take on Manchester United on Thursday, December 17th. Kick-off is at 8pm.