Sheffield United kick-off their Premier League campaign on Saturday afternoon, they host Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.
Both sides are dealing with a number of absentees. For the Blades, Jayden Bogle, Rhian Brewster, and John Fleck are sidelined due to injuries, and Oli McBurnie and Daniel Jebbison probably won’t recover in time to participate due to ankle and groin issues respectively.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will be without Michael Olise as he is nursing a hamstring injury, and Matheus Franca is also unavailable. Manager Roy Hodgson revealed that goalkeeper Vicente Guaita has declined to play during the pre-season, as he attempts to leave the club. As a result, Sam Johnstone is likely to take his place in the starting lineup.
Sheffield United’s squad is thin so they will have to rely on their new signings straight away, Bénie Traoré, Anis Slimane, Yasser Larouci and Vinícius Souza – the latter’s availability is in doubt having only just arrived at the club a few days ago.
Crystal Palace will likely hand a debut to Jefferson Lerma after picking him up via free agency this summer.
The two sides boast a poor opening day record. United have registered an opening-day victory just once in the past nine seasons, losing their previous three. And Palace have lost their opening league fixture in eight of the past 12 seasons, winning three and drawing one.
They met in their opening Premier League fixture in the 19/20 campaign, and Sheffield United edged out a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane via John Lundstram’s strike.
Who will come out on top in this one?