Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur – Preview

Already relegated Sheffield United will attempt to finish off a poor season on a positive note against Spurs on Sunday afternoon at Bramall Lane. Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur head into their final match of the Premier League season needing just a single point to ensure a fifth-placed finish.

Sheffield United’s form all season has been dismal. Their latest outing saw them fall 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park, with Abdoulaye Doucoure’s header sealing their fate. This defeat was particularly painful as it marked the Blades’ 101st goal conceded this season, setting an unenviable Premier League record. Chris Wilder’s side has endured a harrowing campaign, marred by defensive frailties and an inability to maintain consistency.

Spurs’ manager Ange Postecoglou was visibly frustrated after his side’s recent 2-0 defeat to Manchester City. The loss was not just another entry in a turbulent season but was also fraught with off-field controversy.

During the build-up to the game, some Tottenham fans openly debated whether it would be better for their team to lose, as a victory over City would have placed arch-rivals Arsenal on the verge of clinching the Premier League title. This sentiment was expressed so openly that it reached the players and the manager, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. Postecoglou’s visible irritation reflected his disapproval of the notion of not striving to win every match.

Team news

The Blades will have Mason Holgate back after he was ineligible to play against his parent club last week. Anel Ahmedhodzic will return after serving his one-match suspension. United will be without Chris Basham, Oli McBurnie, Rhys Norrington-Davies, George Baldock and John Egan for the clash. Tom Davies is also likely out.

Ben Osborn, Andre Brooks and Oli Arblaster could play a part pending late fitness tests, according to Premier Injuries.

Meanwhile, Tottenham will miss Giovani Lo Celso, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Ben Davies, Manor Solomon, Timo Werner, Ryan Sessegnon, Fraser Forster and Destiny Udogie.

Players to watch

With a weakened Spurs side due to injuries, and with them being at home, Sheffield United will be up for this as they try to send their fans home on a high note. And one player I think will be the catalyst for the Blades is Gustavo Hamer.

Since the inclusion of Arblaster in the midfield it has allowed more space for the Dutchman to operate in, and as a result he has five goal contributions over the last two months – and I think he can add to his tally of ten goal contributions on the final day of his debut Premier League campaign.

Tottenham’s danger man will be their captain Heung-min Son. Spurs have played without a natural number nine this season after Harry Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich in the summer. But nevertheless, Son has stepped up and bagged 17 goals to add to his nine assists. Against the weakest defence in recent Premier League seasons, Son will definitely be hoping to cap the season off in style.

Key stats

Sheffield United face a challenging history against Tottenham Hotspur, having lost their last three league encounters with the Lilywhites, matching the number of defeats they suffered in their previous 13 meetings (W5 D5).

Despite this, the Blades have a strong record in their final league games, winning each of the past three seasons. Their most recent streak of four consecutive final-day victories from 1969/70 to 1973/74 included a win against Tottenham.

In contrast, Tottenham have been resilient in their season finales, losing only once in the past 13 seasons, a surprising 5-1 defeat to already-relegated Newcastle in the 2015/16 campaign.

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