John Lundstram celebrates scoring for Sheffield United

Who are Sheffield United's key men?

Saturday 23 November 2019 07:00

Sheffield United have impressed everyone this season with their free-flowing and attack-minded approach.

While much of the Blades’ early success this campaign has been down to manager Chris Wilder’s impressive tactics, the squad has also more than held its own against some of the top sides in the league.

In fact, they’ve beaten Arsenal and Everton so far in 2019/20, and have also held the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to a draw.

Therefore, it will be far from an easy task on Sunday when United travel to Bramall Lane. Here, we’ve picked out four men who could be key for Sheffield United's chances of success…

Moore is in line for his first-ever Premier League appearance in the absence of regular goalkeeper Dean Henderson, with the United loanee ineligible to play against his parent club. Moore has struggled to dislodge Henderson as the club’s no.1 but he was a key figure during Sheffield United’s record-breaking promotion to the Championship three years ago. The Englishman kept 17 clean sheets in 43 league appearances as the Blades finished the season as champions on 100 points. The 6ft 3in keeper spent a brief period under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in January 2014, when the Norwegian was manager of Cardiff City.

Moore is set to play his first league game in 18 months this weekend.

O’Connell has formed a reliable partnership at the back next to Chris Basham and John Egan as part of a three-man defence, along with wing-backs George Baldock and Enda Stevens. The Blades have conceded just nine goals this year, a tally which can only be bettered by high-flying Leicester, while the club have kept five clean sheets - the joint highest in Premier League. Facing the Reds will have extra meaning for O’Connell as he grew up supporting our fierce rivals Liverpool and the defender highlighted the importance of this clash in a recent interview.

“The next game is always the biggest game of the season and Manchester United is a massive club, with a rich history," he said. "They have some very good players, internationals all over the pitch, and we’re expecting a tough game. But we’ll be going in it trying to win.”

Following his time at Everton’s academy and various loan spells at lower-league clubs, Lundstram joined Oxford United in 2015, where he made over 100 appearances before signing for Sheffield United two years later. The 25-year-old has enjoyed a bright start to life in the Premier League – contributing three goals, including a brace in the 3-0 home victory against Burnley earlier this month.

Lundstram usually operates as the deepest of a three-man midfield alongside John Fleck and former Reds Academy product Oliver Norwood, although as his form in front of goal suggests, Lundstram can be equally effective at the other end of the pitch. Much like O’Connell, Lundstram was a boyhood Liverpool fan despite his time as a youth player at Goodison Park.

Lys Mousset scored the winner against Arsenal earlier this season.

Sheffield United’s summer signing struggled to make an impact during his three-year spell at Bournemouth, where Joshua King and Callum Wilson’s goalscoring exploits limited Mousset’s playing time. Since his move to Bramall Lane, the Frenchman has flourished, netting three goals and registering three assists in nine Premier League appearances. His trio of strikes this season have all come via first-time finishes inside the box, against Everton, Arsenal and West Ham respectively, proving he will be one to watch for Harry Maguire and co.

The 23-year-old will be vying for a starting berth alongside the likes of Oli McBurnie, Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick on Sunday, with Wilder tending to favour a two-man frontline in a 3-5-2 formation.

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