Manchester United face Sheffield United this week in a game which has become a ‘must win’ for us after drawing against Tottenham.
We are now five points behind Chelsea, and just two ahead of opponents Sheffield United, who could overtake us with an away win.
Blades boss Chris Wilder is taking the flattery approach ahead of the fixture, and says he wouldn’t bet against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side overhauling Chelsea.
Speaking at his press conference, reported by the Sheffield Star, Wilder hailed the Red Devils’ squad depth, boosted by the returns of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.
Wilder said: “All I know is that they had a behind-closed-doors game about 10 days ago and about three or four players didn’t get in the 22 that would get in majority of PL clubs, amazing club. Had the pleasure of meeting Sir Alex a few times as a young manager and followed them closely and it’s an amazing football club.
“They’ve got great players and a great academy, excellent manager and staff, and this is as tough as it gets. Couple of players back from injury that wouldn’t have played against us so they’re at their strongest in terms of personnel and quite rightly they’re pushing for top 4 and even higher and wouldn’t bet against them.”
Be ready for a tough game
Wilder’s words may come across as ‘mind games’, but he is simply saying what he sees and expressing himself.
Sheffield United do not have the depth we do, and they face defensive problems heading into the game.
Dean Henderson is ineligible in goal, while John Egan is suspended, and Jack O’Connell has missed the last two games with injury and is battling to be fit for this one.
They are coming off a surprise 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United at the weekend and will want to show a reaction.
It is important we score early and don’t give them a chance to get in the game and rediscover their confidence.
If we are going to stand a chance of overhauling Chelsea, three points is essential. But we shouldn’t be fooled by the Blades’ latest defeat. They are tough opponents who will likely put up a hard fight, and are capable of springing an unwelcome surprise.
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