Bramall Lane will be rocking on Saturday when Sheffield United entertain Everton in the Premier League’s early kick-off.
With the two sides without a point, they’ll both see this game as a huge opportunity to get their tallies up and running this campaign.
Sheffield United’s squad is beginning to take shape after seemingly writing off the first game of the season. Everton’s squad is also looking much better with the recent acquisition of Beto, who netted in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
Former Everton midfielder Tom Davies is pushing for involvement against his old side. But Ben Osborn, Max Lowe, Daniel Jebbison, John Fleck, and Rhys Norrington-Davies are sidelined for extended periods.
Meanwhile, Oli McBurnie could be in for his first Premier League start of the season after starting in the Carabao Cup against Lincoln City. New signing Luke Thomas could make his Blades debut on Saturday.
Due to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence, Toffees manager Sean Dyche might consider starting Beto, who scored after coming on at halftime during Everton’s Carabao Cup victory over Doncaster. Dyche told Liverpool Echo that Beto is “another weapon” that they’re glad to have.
Nevertheless, the team is still missing Alex Iwobi, Jack Harrison, Seamus Coleman and likely Dwight McNeil.
The Blades have missed the presence of Oli McBurnie up top in the Premier League. But he did play the last part of the game against Manchester City, and in that short cameo we saw exactly what the big striker brings to his team. He held the ball up well and brought teammates into play. And on another day, he may have even set up United’s equaliser when he teed up Anel Ahmedhodzic at the far post.
Another player to single out in this game is George Baldock. Baldock’s high average position, when the Blades are on the ball, often provides an outlet down the right. On occasions he will be found with an over the top pass, and he gets in behind the opposition’s left-back.
Interestingly, Everton have already conceded six big chances from crosses or cutbacks from their left side. It could be a combination of Baldock getting in behind his fullback and then delivering for McBurnie in the middle that sees the Blades score.
For the visitors, Arnaut Danjuma is the biggest threat to United’s goal. Danjuma’s ability to exploit the space behind the defensive line is something the Blades will be wary of. He has had nine shots so far this season, missing two big chances [SofaScore], in just one start (two sub appearances).
Although Everton have zero points on the board and zero goals scored, it is not because they lack creativity. The Toffees have created an expected goals of 4.7 [Fbref]. That tally would put them firmly in mid table. However, they’ve missed all of their chances, thus ranking them the worst side in front of goal by far.
But new signing Beto could change that on Saturday. The big Portuguese forward netted 10 goals in Serie A last season, with eight of them coming in and around the six-yard box. Additionally, he has the power, pace and skill to hurt defences with the ball at his feet.
This one could all depend on who starts the best, and if Sheffield United can start fast and build up some momentum then I’d expect them to break the deadlock first. However, do not be fooled by the poor start of Everton – they are dangerous in attack, especially with Beto now spearheading the attack.