There’s something of a sizable relegation scrap taking place in the Premier League on Saturday (3pm), as Burnley host Sheffield United. Both teams are in desperate need of points, but can either pick up what would be a huge win? Read on for our Burnley FC vs SUFC preview and betting tips.
Things haven’t gone well for Burnley of late. They lost last time out, going down to West Ham in front of a home crowd, despite taking the lead. That defeat signalled seven losses on the spin in all competitions, and as things stand, Vincent Company’s men are propping up the division. Fortunately, this game is against fellow strugglers, who currently share the relegation spots. So it is likely that the hosts will fancy their chances of picking up what would be a colossal three points.
For the visitors, Sheffield Utd, recent results have not been as bad. Three games ago, they fought doggedly to take three points against Wolves, before once again battling on the south coast, earning a point down in Brighton. Sadly for Blades fans, those positive results could not propel them to further success at home to Bournemouth last time out, as they came unstuck, losing by three goals to one. Conceding goals is a problem for this Blades team, but that is absolutely the case for Saturday’s hosts too, so they may still fancy themselves to get something here.
Burnley battling hard against fellow strugglers
It is clear for all to see that this Burnley team is struggling, and in some games, they have looked some way off the level required to stay in the English top flight. However, they have put together some relatively decent performances against those likely to be down there with them come the end of the campaign, so it would be foolish to write them off here.
After all, the Clarets picked up their only win of the campaign so far against fellow relegation scrappers Luton, winning by two goals to one. All of their best numerical results have come against teams that most people would reasonably expect to finish in the bottom half, losing 2-1 against Bournemouth and drawing 1-1 with Nottingham Forest. In those games, nobody could argue that Kompany’s men failed to compete, so it would be foolish to assume that they will come up short in this fixture purely based on their recent run of results.
Visitors SUFC holding their own against bottom-half teams too
Much the same can be said for Sheffield United, who have picked up most of their better results against bottom-half opposition. Their only home win came against Wolves, who currently sit in 12th, while their only other result at home that was not a loss came against fellow drop zone team Everton, who they held to a 2-2 draw.
Something else that they have in common with Saturday’s hosts is a clear and obvious inability to keep teams at bay, especially on the road. Paul Heckingbottom’s men are without an away-day clean sheet this season, while they have conceded at least two goals in five out of six.
Home teams on top
In recent renewals of this fixture, playing at home has seemingly been an important factor. Each of the last four renewals have gone the way of the hosts, with each side picking up two wins each. When the pair met at Turf Moor in the Championship last season, Burnley won by two goals to nil. Somewhat oddly, neither team has beaten the other away from home since 2008, which is quite surprising given that the pair have met 11 times since.
Goals on Bramall Lane’s menu
This game is a huge opportunity for both and for rather obvious reasons, both teams will view this as very winnable. We should see two teams going at it, fighting toe-to-toe for a win that would be incredibly well received by both sets of fans given the current predicament of both. If we consider this in conjunction with just how poor both teams have been at the back, then a goal bet appeals.
At odds of 11/8, ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’ is easy to side with for my money. There has been a steady flow of goals when both teams have competed in similar fixtures. For starters, look at Sheffield United’s games against the likes of Fulham, Bournemouth and Everton. In each of those three fixtures, both teams scored, while at least three goals went in too. Three or more goals also went in when Burnley took on Everton, West Ham and Luton, and both teams registered on the scoresheet in two of those three.
Throw in the recent efforts of the pair, with Burnley losing 2-1 to West Ham last time out and Sheffield United losing 3-1 to Bournemouth, and it’s not difficult to see both teams getting plenty of joy in this fixture. Punters can profit by getting a goal-filled game on their side in the betting.
McBurnie can make an impact
If you want to go down the player route, then visiting player Oli McBurnie rates as a solid bet in the ‘to Score Or Assist’ market.
Far from the most regular scorer of goals, McBurnie has generally carried a threat for Sheffield United, especially in these sort of fixtures, scoring his two goals against Bournemouth and Everton. He also assisted against the latter. His underlying numbers are quite eye-catching too given that he is playing for a relegation-threatened team. The Scottish international averages a combined 0.58 expected goals and assists per game, while he takes an average of 2.65 shots, 1.33 of which hit the target on average.
Against bottom-half opposition, he typically does his best work, especially from a shots point of view, taking four against Bournemouth, two against Everton and two against Fulham, firing off five shots on target against those three teams. So the betting tips against the bookies for this EPL game preview, at best odds, are:
- Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score @ 11/8 with Bet365.
- Oli McBurnie to Score Or Assist @ 12/5 with Bet365.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.