As we approach the weekend, Sheffield United are positioned 18th in the Premier League, having accumulated only five points in the first 12 games following their promotion back to the top flight.
In their recent outing, Paul Heckingbottom’s team secured a 1-1 draw against Brighton, extending their unbeaten streak to two matches after securing their first win of the campaign against Wolves the previous week.
Sheffield United are aiming to achieve a three-game unbeaten run in the top flight for the first time since July 2020.
Bournemouth secured a 2-0 victory against Newcastle before the international break, bouncing back from a challenging 6-1 defeat at Manchester City earlier in the month.
The Cherries currently occupy 16th, two places above the relegation zone, holding a four-point cushion with six of their nine points this season earned in the last three matches.
Despite their recent success, Bournemouth have struggled away from home, failing to secure a win so far this term. In five away matches, they have suffered four defeats and earned just one point, which came from a 2-2 draw against Brentford at the beginning of September.
While we know John Egan and Chris Basham are still recovering from their bad injuries, the Blades are also without Tom Davies, Rhian Brewster and Daniel Jebbison.
Rhys Norrington-Davies has still not recovered from his hamstring tear over a year ago.
Anel Ahmedhodzic and Oli McBurnie will be fit for the weekend, Paul Heckingbottom revealed in his pre-match press conference.
Bournemouth’s summer signings Tyler Adams and Alex Scott, along with midfielder Philip Billing, continue to be unavailable. Additionally, there are doubts surrounding the availability of Max Aarons, Ryan Fredericks, and Emiliano Marcondes for the upcoming fixture.
United have improved of late, but they still aren’t creating many clear cut chances. This season the Blades have had to rely on pieces of brilliance from the likes of Cameron Archer and Gustavo Hamer. And other times they’ve relied on huge slices of luck.
But on Saturday I can see scenarios where Gustavo Hamer can find voids in the Bournemouth shape and he should be able to carve open some chances for Archer to run in on goal.
There’s no doubt Hamer is United’s most dangerous player, he has recorded the second-highest shots per game in the Blades ranks (1.5) and the highest key passes per game (1.5), via SofaScore.
The main threat for Bournemouth is Dominic Solanke. That’s pretty obvious when you consider he has scored 50% of the Cherries’ goals in the Premier League (6/12).
If Paul Heckingbottom’s team can cut off the supply line to Solanke then it will make the game a little bit easier.
Sheffield United have conceded the opening goal in four of their last five Premier League home matches.
On the other hand, Bournemouth have allowed two or more goals in each of their five away games this season.
Furthermore, both teams have scored in four of Sheffield United’s last five Premier League home matches.
The Blades have a huge opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone with a win this weekend. Granted they need to hope Luton Town don’t beat Crystal Palace at home. Even if that’s the case it draws Bournemouth closer to the bottom three by a point.