Crucial fixtures as Sheffield United could drag duo into relegation battle

Sheffield United are entering a crucial phase of the season where their focus is on making a significant effort to distance themselves from the relegation zone. The upcoming matches are of utmost importance as the team aims to secure valuable points and improve their standing in the league table.

Despite the prevailing sentiment that Sheffield United are already facing relegation, the recent performances in the last two games, following the return of Chris Wilder to Bramall Lane, have injected a sense of optimism into the club.

In the match against Liverpool, where they suffered a 2-0 defeat, both of the Reds’ goals were contentious, leading some to argue they could have been disallowed. The subsequent resilient display against Brentford resulted in the Blades securing three crucial points, providing a glimmer of hope and revitalising the spirits of Sheffield United supporters.

Sheffield United fixtures

With two encouraging performances under their belt, Sheffield United now faces the challenge of building on those displays. Chris Wilder’s first away trip since his return sees United traveling to face Chelsea over the weekend. While traditionally, this might not be a fixture where the Blades are expected to secure many points, the current Chelsea team seems to lack the formidable aura it once had. As a result, earning a point or more for the visitors should not be entirely dismissed.

Chelsea’s recent form has been less than stellar, having lost their last two matches and winning just three out of their last 10. Among those victories, one was against Burnley, and another was a somewhat unusual win against a depleted Tottenham side. The team’s current performance suggests a period of inconsistency and challenges that they’ll need to overcome to regain their past dominance.

The upcoming fixtures for Sheffield United include matches against Aston Villa, a crucial Boxing Day clash with fellow strugglers Luton Town, and a challenging trip to face Manchester City.

Who Sheffield United could drag into a relegation fight

As of now, Everton appears to be the nearest team in the standings, but their form suggests they might pull away from the relegation battle. There’s also the potential impact of a 10-point deduction, which is currently up for appeal, adding another layer of uncertainty to the situation.

Beyond Everton, Sheffield United’s focus is likely on two main targets—Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace. The recent emotional reaction from Roy Hodgson after Crystal Palace’s dramatic 2-1 loss against Liverpool suggests the pressure he feels. Hodgson is well aware that the Eagles could find themselves in the relegation battle if teams in the bottom three, including Sheffield United, start accumulating more points.

The competition in the lower part of the table is intensifying, making every point crucial in the fight to avoid relegation.

Crystal Palace upcoming fixtures

Crystal Palace faces a challenging path in their upcoming fixtures. Currently, they sit seven points clear of 18th-placed Luton. Despite showing heart in their recent performance against Liverpool, they’ve only managed to pick up one point in their last five matches. The upcoming schedule includes a tough away match against Manchester City, followed by a local “derby” against Brighton at Selhurst Park.

The festive period brings additional challenges with an away fixture against Chelsea on Boxing Day and a home match against Brentford a few days later. Given their current position and form, Palace is very much in a precarious situation and could find themselves in a tough fight to avoid relegation if teams below them start picking up points consistently.

Nottingham Forest upcoming fixtures

The recent draw against Wolves may have provided some relief for Nottingham Forest and Steve Cooper, but the team remains perilously close to the bottom three. Despite the potential lack of quality to secure a comfortable lead, the draw offers a glimmer of hope. There’s speculation about potential financial support from the owner, which could be pivotal in strengthening the squad.

Looking ahead, Forest faces a challenging period with matches against Spurs and Bournemouth at home, followed by an away fixture against Newcastle and a home clash with Manchester United. The home support during these critical weeks could play a vital role in boosting the team’s morale and, potentially, their performance on the pitch.