Manchester City visit Bramhall Lane on Tuesday, trying to keep their barely existent hopes of winning the Premier League title alive. Manager Pep Guardiola stated after the draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday that’s City’s main objective now was qualifying for next season’s Champion’s League.
Sheffield United stand in their way of another three points on the road and it was a close encounter with the Blades when the two teams met in December. But what are the South Yorkshire side like at home?
The Blades are flying high in the Premier League, much better than anyone anticipated from Chris Wilder’s side, and while City rode their luck against the Blades last month when the visitors had a goal ruled out by VAR, the Blades are not in the position they are in by chance.
Despite their lofty position, United actually have an average home record. From 11 games played, the Blades have won five but lost four so far this season and have only scored 13 goals at Bramhall Lane in the league since August, while conceding ten in the process.
When compared to their away from, it may not seem like much but the Blades seem more resolute on the road. United have lost just two on their travels and drawn seven and won three, and those seven points earned is the main reason they are as high in the table as they are.
City’s away record is second only to Liverpool’s, winning 7 of their 11 games on the road, but losing three (Norwich, Wolves and Liverpool). The blues have scored 33 goals on their travels, the highest in the Premier League, but have also conceded 15, the joint highest in the top six and have actually conceded more goals away from home than Tuesday’s opponents.
United’s home defeats this season have been to Leicester City, Southampton, Liverpool and Newcastle, while they have beaten Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Burnley, Aston Villa and West Ham. Against the so called ‘top sides,’ they have won 1, lost 2 and drawn 1 (if by top sides means Manchester United are included). They are yet to play Spurs and Chelsea at home.
The main threat from the Blades comes in the form of John Fleck. For those how think his name is familiar, then it is – his uncle is Robert Fleck who played for Norwich between 1987 and 1992 and again between 1995 and 1998. Fleck has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists, however another danger is Lys Moussat, who has 5 goals and 3 assists.
The last time the blues went to Bramhall Lane was when Sven Goran Erikssen was in charge back in 2008, when Balloongate dominated the headlines after a balloon scored the Blades opener in a 2-1 FA Cup defeat for City.