Chris Bland (@blandc_1996) previews Sheffield United v Arsenal and provides us with his best bets for Monday’s Premier League clash] by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.
- 2019/2020 Season Profit & Loss: +5.54pts
Sheffield United v Arsenal Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: 21/10/19
- Time: 20:00
- Venue: Bramall Lane
- Channel: Sky Sports Main Event
Sheffield United host Arsenal on Monday night as they look to return to winning ways in the Premier League. Without a home win since their opening home games against Crystal Palace in August, Chris Wilder’s side will need to see an improvement in their home form quickly before the pressure begins to build.
Sheffield United’s games have represented tight affairs so far this season, with only seven goals for and seven against, however the underlying statistics suggest that they have been profligate in front of goal, highlighting a problem finishing chances rather than creating, underperforming their xG by 2.06.
Arsenal sit third in the league on 15 points, and have only tasted defeat once away at Liverpool. Juggling European football with the domestic competitions well so far, Unai Emery will once again look to balance his squad ahead of Thursday’s home tie with Vitoria.
They have had troubles away from home under Unai Emery, and have only won once away from home in the league this season, and that was on the opening day against Newcastle.
John Fleck, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick are rated 50/50 for the game and facing late fitness tests.
Arsenal’s only absentee is Reiss Nelson, who has been ruled out till November. Alexandre Lacazette has returned to training and could feature.
Potential Sheffield United Starting XI: Henderson; Basham, Egan, O’Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McBurnie, Robinson
Potential Arsenal Starting XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira; Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang
Head To Head
- Sheffield United Wins – 39
- Draws – 26
- Arsenal Wins – 39
Key Stats & Facts
- Mike Dean is the referee for this game, and is averaging 4.4 yellow cards per game.
- Arsenal have picked up 20 yellows and 1 red in their 8 league games this season, with Granit Xhaka leading the way with 4.
- Sheffield United’s last 6 league games have seen under 2.5 goals.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has seven goals to his name in the league this season.
- Sheffield United are yet to see a player score over 1 goal in the league.
- Sheffield United 16/5
- Draw 14/5
- Arsenal 24/25
Monday night’s clash pits together an interesting tactical battle, as Chris Wilder continues to implement his 3-5-2 formation. The issue for Sheffield United has been scoring goals this season, and have drawn blanks in their last two games. However, there are avenues they can exploit against an Arsenal side who could be vulnerable to their direct play, as well as overloads out wide.
Oli McBurnie will lead the line (fitness test allowing) and will fancy his chances in the air, particularly against Arsenal’s backline. Sokratis is winning 3.1 aerials per game, however if McBurnie can isolate himself against either Luiz (1.3 aerials per game) or the full backs, he will be able to win a lot of headers, and allow Sheffield United to look to pounce on the second balls.
Attacking wide will be where Sheffield Untied will look to get at Arsenal, particularly against two wingers (Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka) who can be questionable in their defensive contribution at times. Creating the overloads down the flanks, it should allow them to get plenty of crosses into the box, and as a result McBurnie and Robinson will fancy their chances up against the Arsenal backline. In Oliver Norwood, they also possess an excellent dead ball specialist, and this will be another avenue that Sheffield United look to target as a direct game against this Arsenal side may be the best approach.
Although there are areas that Sheffield United can exploit, Arsenal’s front three have been impressive this season, and its hard to see Sheffield United shutting them out. The wing backs pushing on should leave space in behind for Arsenal, and despite their strong defensive record, they are overperforming the xGa by 3.84 goals, which is a cause for concern.
They were exposed when caught in possession out of shape by Watford on a number of occasions, and if it wasn’t for Andre Gray and Danny Welbeck spurning chances, should’ve lost the game. They are also susceptible to being run at, as shown by Moussa Djenepo’s goal for Southampton, as well as a number of chances Chelsea spurned in their draw at Stamford Bridge. Despite a patchy start, the underlying numbers from Nicolas Pepe suggest he is due to pick up, and this could be the perfect game for the Ivorian to make his impact.
Arsenal are of interest at 24/25 (MarathonBet), however to score over 1.5 goals (RoyalPanda) looks a safer bet, especially for the reasons identified above regarding their defensive vulnerabilities, particularly against Sheffield United’s attack. It is the price of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that stands out to me on the goal scorer markets, and with 7 in 8 league games against a defence vulnerable to his runs in the channels and pace if it stretches, 1/1 (SkyBet) is too good to turn down.
If Arsenal are to net early and allow Sheffield United to press on, it should leave the space in behind discussed for Arsenal to pick them off. This also opens up the card markets, and with card-happy Mike Dean as referee, the game could easily see a number of cynical fouls leading to cards. Arsenal’s ill discipline has also seen them rack up 20 yellow cards and 1 red card across the season so far, and priced at 23/20 (William Hill), each team over 1 card stands out.