Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Sheffield United

The sides share a very even record in the Premier League head-to-head, with 2 wins apiece.

Last season though it was The Blades who came out on top, completing a league double over the Eagles, winning both games 1-0.

There are no fresh injury concerns for Roy Hodgson’s side after their 1-1 draw with Leicester in midweek.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder though is keeping his fingers crossed for the results from the latest round of coronavirus testing.

United’s clash with Burnley went ahead on Tuesday despite two players and several members of staff testing positive for Covid-19.

The club’s players underwent more testing on Thursday and, although no-one else has shown symptoms, Wilder admitted he would not be surprised if Saturday’s match against Crystal Palace is not able to go ahead.

If it does, the game at Selhurst Park on Saturday is the Premier League’s only 3 o’clock kick off.

Sheffield United’s striking struggles leave Chris Wilder worried

A 1-0 defeat at Burnley ensured they would head into the new year with just two points from a possible 48 this term, in addition to three successive defeats at the end of last season.

The Blades are fighting hard to stay in games, with 11 of their 14 defeats coming by a solitary goal, but at the other end of the pitch there is little cause for cheer.

With just eight goals they are now adrift as the division’s lowest scorers, Burnley having pulled clear with Ben Mee’s winner on Tuesday evening.
Reflecting with a touch of gallows humour on what it might take to arrest that slide, Wilder suggested: “About £30-40million and £70-80,000 a week.”

In the absence of such lavish expenditure in January, it will be a case of tapping into the formula that saw United finish ninth in the previous campaign on the back of 14 victories.

Wilder insisted nobody at the club would be throwing in the towel, despite relegation now already appearing more of a likelihood than a possibility.

Blades’ Chris Basham Excited for Leeds United Test

18 months ago, Basham scored the only goal of the game as the Blades beat Leeds in a vital game in the Championship, when both teams were fighting for automatic promotion.

The defender’s strike ensured Chris Wilder’s side leapfrogged the Whites, and a late-season capitulation from Marcelo Bielsa’s squad ensured only one Yorkshire side went up that year, with Norwich clinching the title.

Speaking about the game, Basham said: “Yorkshire derby, we have seen how good Leeds have been since they have come into the Premier League. So, it is a big game for us and it is an opportunity for us to take in a Yorkshire derby. And obviously I have been there and hopefully I can do what I did last time.”

Leeds will likely start as favourites for the game, having scored seven goals in their first two Premier League game. Meanwhile, Chris Wilder will be hoping for a late birthday present in the form of a goal, having not seen his side hit the back of the net in the top flight yet this season.

No Blades return for Dean Henderson as he pens new Manchester United deal

Henderson, 23, included in Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad for next month’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark, has spent the last two seasons on loan at Sheffield United.

The club said: “Manchester United is delighted to announce that Dean Henderson has signed a new contract, which will keep him at the club until June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year.”

Henderson made 86 appearances in total for the Blades after joining them in 2018, helping them to promotion to the Premier League and then a ninth-placed finish in the top flight last season.

Henderson said: “The faith that the manager (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) and the club have shown in me with this contract means a lot to me and will continue my progression as a goalkeeper.

“I’ll be giving everything to improve every day so that I can play as many games as possible for this great club. Now I am looking forward to joining up with the England squad and then preparing for the season ahead.”

Henderson, who joined United aged 14, confirmed earlier this month that he would not be staying for a further season with the Blades, who have signed goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth.

Chris Basham not taking impressive Sheffield United season for granted

The 32-year-old defender was recently rewarded with a new contract at the club, keeping him at Bramall Lane until the summer of 2022.

Basham says that although the Blades can be happy with a 9th placed Premier League finish last season, the hard work shouldn’t stop there.

The centre back said: “We still need to pinch ourselves that we are Premier League footballers sometimes.

“We’ve had a good taste for it but it’s a very dangerous league so we can’t let ourselves get too high, let ourselves think we’ve done it, because we haven’t – we’re a long way from that.

“The important thing is coming in to next year ready for a very tough, hard season.

“It’s something to look forward to, to prove more people wrong.”

Burnley want Nottingham Forest’s Matty Cash, so do Sheffield United

The 22-year-old right back has impressed this season at the City Ground, with Forest finishing 7th in the Championship and agonisingly missing out on a playoff place on goal difference.

Despite being on the verge of turning 23, Cash has significant experience in senior football, having played upwards of 140 times for Nottingham Forest since making his debut in 2016.

His performances this campaign have caught the eye of Sean Dyche, with the Clarets boss keen to bring Cash to Turf Moor – although he will face competition from the likes of Southampton, West Ham and even AC Milan.

It is Sheffield United though who may be the biggest thorn in Dyche’s side in terms of Cash’s capture, with the Daily Mail claiming the Blades have had a bid rejected for Cash over the weekend.

It is understood Nottingham Forest value their man at £15m.

Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale on Blades’ list of transfer targets

Newspaper The Sun claim that Chris Wilder is plotting a move for the 22-year-old stopper, with it uncertain whether on-loan Manchester United man Dean Henderson will return to Bramall Lane next season.

Henderson has impressed between the sticks for the Blades this campaign, which may encourage Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep him at Old Trafford to compete with David De Gea.

That is where Ramsdale enters the frame – the Cherries keeper came through the Sheffield United academy and may be looking for an immediate route back to the Premier League after Bournemouth’s relegation to the Championship last week.