Manchester City make the trip across the Pennine’s to face Sheffield United for the first time at Bramhall Lane since 2008, when the blues lost 2-1 in the FA Cup. After failing to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday, City will be hoping to pick up three points and try to keep the gap between them and Liverpool as short as possible.
On paper, City should win, but what do the stats say about this fixture?
City last visited Bramhall Lane in the Premier League on Boxing Day 2006, when City won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Stephen Ireland goal 12 minutes from time.
Tuesday’s meeting will be only the third time these two team shave met in the Premier League, with City winning two (both 1-0) and drawing one. The other meetings that have taken place in between were all in the First Division / Championship (basically the second tier of English football). Those four matches yielded only one win for the blues and two defeats, with City’s solitary win coming in January 2002, when the blues won 3-1 on their way to the First Division title.
City’s longest unbeaten run at Bramhall Lane came between January 1975 and January 1991, when City went seven games unbeaten, winning three and drawing four. That run was ended in February 1992, when the Blades beat City 4-2 in an entertaining game at Bramhall Lane (I know as I was there)!
Thankfully, this was not City’s heaviest defeat. That came in October 1925 when the Blades beat City 8-3. This came a year after City beat United 5-0 at Bramhall Lane, which remains City’s biggest win at United’s ground to date.
Tuesday’s meeting will be the 62nd between the two sides, with the blues winning just 19 of those fixtures, losing 24 and drawing 19, with the highest scoring draw being 3-3 in February 1972.
The blues have kept 12 clean sheets at Sheffield United, but have also failed to score on 15 occasions. In total, City have scored 91 goals at United’s home while conceding 106.
In 1988, City asked for tehri match at Bramhall Lane to be brought forward as key striker Paul Stewart had received an automatic ban, meaning he would miss City’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Liverpool, but the Yorkshire side agreed to bring the league match forward, meaning Stewart served his ban in Yorkshire and was free to face the Merseysiders. It did no good as City were thrashed 4-0!
Will City be able to keep a clean sheet tomorrow, or will United keep up their good goal scoring record against the blues? And will any balloons be on the scoresheet?