Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United – Preview

Despite winning just one of their last 12 matches across all competitions, Crystal Palace enter Tuesday night’s game against Sheffield United as strong favourites. Roy Hodgson has faced significant pressure due to their recent struggles. Their current run has led to dropping out of the top half of the table, leaving them only five points above Luton in the relegation zone, with Luton having a game in hand.

In their recent London derby, Crystal Palace suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat against a vulnerable Arsenal team, who had only managed to win one of their last seven matches. This loss epitomised Palace’s downward trajectory in recent weeks. Throughout the season, only three teams have performed worse at home than the south London side, managing just two wins in 11 games at Selhurst Park across all competitions.

Sheffield United, currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, make the journey to the capital with only 10 points from their 21 matches this season. Despite being last season’s Championship runners-up, they have struggled in the top flight, managing just one win in their last 11 matches against Premier League opponents.

Since Chris Wilder’s return as manager in early December, they have only secured one victory in eight matches. The Yorkshire side find themselves seven points adrift from safety, making matches like Tuesday’s crucial must-not-lose games against fellow strugglers and out-of-form teams in the bottom half.

Team News

Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise has recovered from a thigh injury and is available for selection, potentially marking his first appearance this year. However, midfielder Cheick Doucoure and defender Rob Holding remain sidelined due to injury and will not be available for the upcoming match.

Meanwhile, Sheffield United forward Rhian Brewster is unavailable due to suspension following his straight red card in last week’s draw with West Ham. Despite conceding five goals on his debut in the FA Cup over the weekend, new signing Ivo Grbic will retain his place in goal for Sheffield United, Chris Wilder stated in his press conference.

The availability of Tom Davies and Max Lowe will be assessed closer to the match due to their respective injuries.

Difference Makers

Eberechi Eze will be the danger man on Tuesday evening as he attempts to add more goals and assists to his existing tally of four in the Premier League this season.

This season, Eze has registered an average of 3.6 shots per game, ranking him in the top 1% of attacking midfielders/wingers in the league. While he also has one of the best successful take-ons numbers in the top-flight as well with 3.3 per game.

For the Blades, Ben Brereton-Diaz can continue to be a huge threat. In his Premier League debut for United he got on the scoresheet, but it was his overall impact on the game which stood out. Ending the match with an expected goals of 0.9 shows he’s getting in the right areas to score, and his two out of three successful dribble attempts gives United that injection of energy and directness that they’ve missed all season.

He will likely be up against seasoned-pro Nathaniel Clyne so it will be interesting to see how he fairs in that individual battle.


Crystal Palace have a strong recent record against Sheffield United in the Premier League, having won their last three encounters and keeping a clean sheet each time. The last time they achieved four consecutive league victories against the Blades was between 1987 and 1991.

Sheffield United managed a solitary away league win against Palace, a 1-0 victory in February 2020, amidst their recent visits.

Interestingly, all seven Premier League meetings between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United have been won by the side keeping a clean sheet, making it the most played fixture in the competition’s history where both teams have failed to score in a game.

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