Carl Asaba has emphasised the importance of staying “compact” for Sheffield United as they aim to build on their victory over Wolves last weekend when they face Brighton on Sunday.
Since Roberto De Zerbi took charge of Brighton in his first game last October, the Seagulls have excelled in several passing-related statistics in the Premier League.
They are second in successful passes with 22,292, average possession with 62.2%, and accuracy of passing at 87.4%, with Manchester City leading in all three categories [Opta]. They’re also second in shots on target per game with six.
To add, Brighton are tied in big chances created with Manchester City (34), once more highlighting the incredible attacking output from De Zerbi’s team.
In spite of these positive stats, they have struggled with form of late in the Premier League having not won since the end of September against Bournemouth at home.
Considering the current injury issues and fitness worries, with them playing in Amsterdam on Thursday evening, could this fixture have fallen at the right time for Sheffield United?
Former Blades striker Carl Asaba told BBC Radio Sheffield’s Blades Heaven podcast that United will “have to nullify them” on Sunday, and he explained how:
“You don’t want to give them any incentive early on. You need to fill the midfield because they’re an incredible passing team – one, two, three, four and they’re in behind.
“You don’t want to give them spaces – you want to be very compact. You want the midfield to drop back onto the defence to stop passing through the lines or you all go.”
He later admitted that he hopes to see Oli McBurnie in the starting eleven at the AMEX stadium as he “offers different dimensions” in a defensive and attacking sense. However, United’s number nine will be touch-and-go having only just returned to training on Friday.