Sheffield United vs Bristol City – Match Preview – Considering it is December and now 20 games deep into the Championship season, the fact that this fixture pits third against fourth is remarkable.
Winners of League One last season, Sheffield United grasped their return to the second tier of English football with both hands and have made a blistering start to the campaign – winning 12 of their opening 17 games.
A slight blip in recent form for Chris Wilder’s team, (losing 5-4 at home to Fulham before drawing 1-1 with Birmingham City and losing to Millwall) still sees them in 4th place and just six points away from Cardiff City in 2nd – testament to their wonderful season.
Bristol City have been equally impressive, finishing in 17th last term and just three points away from the relegation zone, surpassing all expectations in reaching 3rd place at this stage in the year.
This is no accident according to Manager Lee Johnson, (who is the son of former manager Gary Johnson), who speaks openly of trying to achieve promotion – so the sights and standards have been set.
Bristol City come into this match after a stellar week where they dispatched two sides relegated from the Premier League last season, coming from 2-0 down to win against now manager-less Hull City 3-2 before beating Middlesbrough 2-1 at Ashton Gate.
Goals are to be expected in this one with an emphasis on both teams to score; City have scored 2+ goals in six of their 10 away games this year and 55% of all matches in total – coming second only behind the dominant Wolves in our club +2 goal stats table. Sheffield United have also found scoring easy this year, scoring 2+ goals in nine of their 20 league games too.
Additionally, between the two sides there have only been 12 clean sheets (seven for Bristol City and five for Sheffield United) from a combined total of 40 Championship matches.
Pair that with the lethal strikers on show in the shape of dynamic duo Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke for The Blades and Bobby Reid for The Robins and we have quite the prospective attacking display.
In summary, this match is a showcase for the wonderful unpredictability of the Championship. The division’s two biggest surprise packages will do battle with the aim of gaining more ground on the glorious goal of Premier League promotion. Something has got to give.
Expect corners in this one. In our club corner stats table, this match features the team that have been awarded the second highest number of corners in the division (Sheffield United, with 127 at an average of 6.3 per game) against Bristol City who’ve had the sixth most corner-kicks (109, at an average of 5.5 per match.
The excitement doesn’t just end with the chance of goals, as the referee is likely to be kept busy too. The Blades rank in fifth in our club card stats table, after being awarded 39 yellow cards and a red card so far this year. This gives Wilder’s side a heavy figure of 20.8 average booking points per game. Bristol City are marginally less active in the booking game, with similar stats of 35 yellows, one red and an average of 18.8 booking points per match. There is bound to be drama.
- Skybet Price Boost – Leon Clarke to score a brace – 8/1
- Skybet Both Players to Score – Billy Sharp and Bobby Reid – 11/2
- Skybet RequestAbet Up to 10/1 – Sheffield Utd to score 2+ goals, 5+ Sheffield Utd corners and 20+ Bristol City booking pts – 3/1
- Skybet RequestAbet Up to 10/1 – Clarke to score, Sheffield Utd to win, over 2.5 goals and 4+ corners each team – 10/1
- Bet365 Correct Score – 2-2 – (link no longer available)
- Bet365 First Goalscorer – Bobby Reid to score first – (link no longer available)