Preview: Sheffield Utd v Manchester Utd
Manchester United return to action after the October international break with a trip to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday (20:00 BST kick-off).
The Reds went into the recent pause to the domestic season on a high, following Scott McTominay’s late show against Brentford at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag and his men will now be aiming to build on that euphoric victory ahead of another busy period, with the crucial UEFA Champions League clash against FC Copenhagen and a Manchester derby following hot on the heels of this fixture.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE ACTION?
Our meeting with Sheffield United kicks off at 20:00 BST and the game is being shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. The unusual start time is due to our UEFA Champions League home match against FC Copenhagen taking place on Tuesday, meaning the original date of Sunday 22 October could no longer be fulfilled.
Live updates of the encounter can be followed in the United App and across our Match Centre on ManUtd.com. Radio commentary will also be available throughout the 90 minutes. Fans wishing to watch exclusive build-up and post-match reaction can do so on our Match Day Live show on MUTV, which begins at 18:55 BST.
WHEN CAN I SEE THE HIGHLIGHTS?
Short highlights will be available two hours after full-time, with extended editions following shortly after.
WHAT IS THE TEAM NEWS?
Ten Hag will hold his pre-match press conference on Friday and Sergio Reguilon and Raphael Varane could be among the topics of discussion. Reguilon has missed the last four matches due to a minor injury, while Varane had to sit out the 2-1 win over Brentford, leaving the Reds with just four fit senior defenders as Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are long-term absentees.
Lisandro Martinez has joined them on the sidelines as his metatarsal issue requires further surgery. Casemiro sustained a knock during international duty, with the midfielder substituted after 79 minutes of Brazil’s 1-1 draw at home to Venezuela.
The home side will definitely be without Chris Basham, after the 35-year-old broke his ankle at Fulham before the international break. John Egan is another defender set to be out for much of the season, while reports suggest that Tom Davies is also out for an extended period after suffering a training-ground injury during the break.
George Baldock (calf), Max Lowe (ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh), Ben Osborn (groin) and William Osula (muscular) are also doubtful for Saturday.
HOW ARE SHEFFIELD UNITED FARING?
Paul Heckingbottom’s men currently prop up the top-flight table, having taken just one point from their opening eight games. That draw came at Bramall Lane last month, in a 2-2 draw against Everton, but Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Newcastle United have all left South Yorkshire with three points, the latter after an 8-0 defeat which stands as the worst in the Blades’ league history.
The home side’s last outing saw them beaten 3-1 at Fulham. The Blades were level at 1-1 heading into the final 15 minutes, but an own goal from goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and Willian’s strike gave the Cottagers victory on an afternoon overshadowed by the awful injury to long-serving defender Basham.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME WE MET?
The Blades are back in the big time after two seasons away, following relegation in 2021. The Yorkshire club struggled throughout that campaign, finishing bottom with 23 points and failing to win any of their opening 17 fixtures. They did, however, secure a 2-1 win at Old Trafford in January, at a time when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were top of the Premier League table.
Our last visit to Bramall Lane saw us claim a 3-2 victory in December 2020, with Marcus Rashford scoring twice and Anthony Martial also registering. There have been goals aplenty in this fixture in recent years, as the sides shared six in a thrilling 3-3 draw the preceding campaign.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Reds haven’t lost in the league at Bramall Lane since 15 August 1992 – the first-ever day of Premier League football.
Marcus Rashford has registered four goal involvements (three goals, one assist) in his two Premier League visits to Bramall Lane.
United have won each of the last nine Premier League games against newly promoted sides, our longest such run since winning 12 in a row from May 2011 to March 2013. Away from home, we have won our last six against promoted sides, only ever winning more in row once before in the competition (seven, from November 2006 to May 2009).
WHO ELSE IS PLAYING?
The weekend is bookended by derbies, with an all-Merseyside clash kicking things off on Saturday and a London affair bringing proceedings to a close on Monday…
Liverpool v Everton (12:30 BST)
Bournemouth v Wolves
Brentford v Burnley
Manchester City v Brighton
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Nottingham Forest v Luton
Chelsea v Arsenal (17:30 BST)
Sheffield United v Manchester United (20:00 BST)
Aston Villa v West Ham (16:30 BST)
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham (20:00 BST)