Preview: Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers – prediction, team news, line-ups

Sports Mole preview Saturday’s Championship clash between Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Two teams enjoying a relatively positive start to the league season will face each other on Saturday, as United Kingdom of Sheffield welcome Blackburn Rovers at Bramall Lane.

The Blades secured their second league win of the season last time out against Sunderland, while their visitors suffered defeat to Reading on Wednesday after winning their first three outings in the English group.


Match preview

© Reuters

Hoping to earn promotion to the Premier League on their second bid this season, Sheffield United’s campaign started with a 1-0 defeat at Watford, but they were soon able to put their first points on the board with a 2- 0. home win against Millwall.

After a first-round EFL Cup exit at the hands of West Bromwich Albion, the Blades traveled to face Middlesbrough in their third league game of the season on Sunday and, after taking the lead twice thanks to Sander Berge and one Ryan Gilles his own goal, they eventually walked away with a point as Chuba Akpom scored two goals for the hosts, with the second leveler coming in the 82nd minute.

Paul HeckingbottomThe Sunderland side then most recently hosted Sunderland on Wednesday, and they managed to make it three league games unbeaten and take their tally to seven points from four games with a 2-1 win.

They had a numerical advantage from the 31st minute, after Dan Neilred card from , and the Blades quickly took advantage of it Anel Ahmedhodzic header in a game opener two minutes later, and after Max Low doubled their lead in the second half and Lynden Gooch pulled one back for the visitors they would see a 2-1 win at South Yorkshire.

Having seemingly maintained their fine form at home under Heckingbottom into the new season, recording two wins from two outings at Bramall Lane so far, Sheffield United will be looking to make it three from three at Bramall Lane and move to 10 points from five outings with another triumph on Saturday.

Blackburn Rovers boss Jon Dahl Tomasson on August 10, 2022© Reuters

Their visitors arrive hoping to bounce back from a midweek loss after making an impressive start to the Championship campaign.

Under the new management of Jon DahlTomassonthe Lancashire side started with wins over Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City, scoring four goals and conceding none in the process, before beating Hartlepool United in their EFL Cup first round tie.

On their return to the league this weekend, Rovers picked up where they left off and maintained a perfect record with a 2-1 win at home to West Bromwich Albion thanks to goals from Ben Brereton Diaz and Sam Gallagher either side of halftime.

Looking to expand that further, Tomasson’s side made the trip to Reading on Wednesday but they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by the Royals as Tom McIntyre, Junior Hoilet and Lucas Joao all listed on the score sheet.

With the defeat ending the last perfect Championship record, Blackburn will be keen to get back to winning ways this weekend and stay top of the division as the table continues to take shape.

Sheffield United Championship form:

Form of Sheffield United (all competitions):

Blackburn Rovers Championship form:

Form Blackburn Rovers (all competitions):


Team News

Sander Berge celebrates Sheffield United's goal on August 14, 2022© Reuters

Given Wednesday’s quick turnaround, both sides can rotate into the weekend, and Sheffield United now have more options to call with Oli McBurnie, Tommy Doyle, James McAtee and Chris Basham all returning to contention after injury issues, leaving Jack O’Connell, Jack Robinson, Enda Stevens and Billy Sharp as the only absentees forced out.

McAtee got a first start on Wednesday but will see his front row spot under threat, as will Rhian Brewsterwith Reda Khadra and McBurnie both in contention to enter from the start after contributing to the win with performances off the bench.

John Fleck will likely return to the starting XI alongside Olivier Norwood in midfield, allowing Sander Berge to operate further forward, potentially in a top three, in which Iliman Ndiaye should also keep its place.

Tomasson will also have a lot of decisions to make around his team on Saturday, with Bradley Dack pushing to mark his return from a long-term injury with a first league start to the season, while Sam Gallagher and ryan hedges are also in contention to return to the XI.

Star man Ben Brereton Diaz is set to keep his place in the front row amid Everton links, having already scored two league goals this season after scoring 22 times in 37 second-tier appearances last time out.

Gallagher will likely function as a lone striker with the support of an attacking trio, while the captain Lewis Travis will again anchor the midfield alongside John Buckley.

Possible starting line-up of Sheffield United:
Foderingham; Ahmedhodzic, Egan, Norrington-Davies; Baldock, Norwood, Fleck, Lowe; Bergé, Khadra; Ndiaye

Possible starting line-up of Blackburn Rovers:
Kaminsky; Brittain, Ayala, Phillips, Pickering; Buckley, Travis; Hedges, Szmodics, Brereton Diaz; Gallagher


SM words green background

We say: Sheffield United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Saturday’s game should certainly be intriguing, given Blackburn’s strong start and the Blades’ growing momentum, and the form Heckingbottom’s side have displayed at home this calendar year tips the scales in their favor in our eyes. .

Sheffield United tout quality all over the pitch and have the tools to hurt their visitors, who should also cause problems but can be contained at Bramall Lane.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.


Trick

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this game. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Under 2.5: data


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