Premier League newcomers Sheffield United will look to get off the mark on Saturday lunchtime when they host a struggling Everton side (12.30pm). Can the hosts get that much-needed first win? Or will the visitors finally pick up their first EPL points of the season? This preview, with its betting tips, aims to clarify.
It hasn’t exactly been a vintage start to the new Premier League season for the Blades, who will arrive for their game on match-day four without a win and without any points on the board. First time out, they lost narrowly to Crystal Palace at this venue, but were outplayed in most areas and thus absolutely warranted their defeat.
On match-day two things got slightly better for the Sheffield United squad as they appeared to be on their way to a share of the spoils away at Nottingham Forest after Dutch midfielder Gustavo Hamer scored a second-half equaliser, but in cruel fashion, their opponents scored a last-minute winner. Such a blow wasn’t exactly what they wanted to send them into last weekend’s game against Man City, and they predictably came up short, again going down to a late winner having fought so hard to get back into the game through striker Jayden Bogle.
Fortunately for the Blades, Saturday’s visitors arrive at Bramall Lane in similarly poor form. First time out, the Toffees lost at home to Fulham, despite creating plenty, which should have given them a platform from which to build. That turned out not to be the case on match-day two as they were thumped 4-0 by Aston Villa, before once again losing at home to Wolves last weekend. Not only have Sean Dyche’s men failed to collect any points, but they have also failed to score any goals, which is a big worry. Things need to improve and fast or Dyche will be looking at the exit at Goodison Park.
SUFC need to tighten up
There were clear positives to Sheffield United’s losses against both Manchester City and Nottingham Forest. The Blades showed a real fighting spirit to get back into the game after first-half setbacks on both occasions, but defensive deficiencies were very much apparent on both occasions, while much the same can be said for their opening-day defeat to Crystal Palace.
Of course, at some point, they will need to offer a bit more going forward, having produced rather muted expected-goals total of 0.81, 0.43 and 0.39 in their first three Premier League games, but first and foremost, they need to tighten up at the back. They conceded just once against Palace, but were fortunate not to ship more, as they allowed a rather generous 24 shots.
They have now conceded multiple goals in two Premier League games in a row following that and really do need to keep things tighter. Naturally, a game against a yet-to-score Everton side does present them with a chance to do so, but don’t be surprised if their leaky backline gives way once again.
End-product needed from EFC
While Sheffield United come here having scored a couple of goals despite not really creating much, the Toffees have created chances in each of their three games so far, but seem to have a real issue with converting. Despite not getting the ball in the net on game-day one against Fulham, Dyche’s men created no less than 3.07 expected goals, which tells us that they absolutely should have scored in that game. They have since created scoring opportunities against both Villa and Wolves, so they really ought to be carving out a few chances against what ultimately looks like a weak rear-guard.
Thankfully, a mid-week League Cup tie against lower-league Doncaster gave Dyche’s men a chance to sharpen their offensive tools. They scored twice through new additions, Beto and Danjuma, both of whom will be hoping to kick on here. The former played his first ever game for the club in the week having recently moved from Udinese, and after scoring, could find himself in the starting line-up here.
Away teams on top
Strangely, when these teams have met in recent times, whoever has been playing on the road has tended to thrive. They’ve each won two of the four renewals of this fixture since 2019, with each of those four victories going the way of the visiting team. When the teams last met, back in 2021, Sheffield United won by a goal to nil at Goodison Park. When they last met at Bramall Lane, Everton won by a goal to nil.
Bet on both to score
Both teams really ought to fancy their chances here, and god knows, they could both do with scoring a few goals. So we could see something of a more cavalier approach. At the prices, ‘Both Teams to Score’ stands out as a decent bet.
The one thing the pair have in common is the fact that they’re both without a clean sheet since the start of the new Premier League campaign. Not only has neither side kept a clean sheet, but neither has really prevented their opponents from creating.
In their three games, The Blades have conceded xG totals of 1.58, 1.21 and 3.98, while the Toffees have surrendered totals of 1.56, 3.17 and 1.14. Such numbers don’t exactly suggest that we’ll see two teams keeping things tight here, so we really shouldn’t be surprised if at least one goal goes in at both ends. All the time even-money is available, that’s exactly what I’ll be betting on with one of our recommended bookies. So for the betting tips for this SUFC vs EFC preview, rely on this one:
- Both Teams to Score @ best odds of evens with William Hill.
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.