Wakey! Wakey! football fanatics, another weekend with another Premier League episode is on the horizon. The showdown, from the episode, that we are most intrigued about is Sheffield United vs Manchester City. The Blades will be hosting the title defenders at Bramall Lane. Matchday 2 saw us both the team only able to put the ball past the nest only once. It was enough for the Sky Blues to secure the 3 points against Newcastle, while the other felt short of 2 more, to do so against Nottingham Forest.
Sheffield United is one of the three teams to get promoted this season. 2 gameweeks done, and they have not been able to add a single point to their tally. Now, they face Manchester City; there is nothing worse. Having done 7 signings overall in the window so far and waving bye to the same number of numbers, Sheffield have been busy. Maybe a few more addition to the rooster can be expected. Making it past the relegation zone is the least thing the Blades would want to achieve this season.
Speaking of achievement, will City be able to repeat the same amount of success they had last season? I sincerely doubt that. The situation looks quite bleak and dreary. Escaped the previous match on a solitary goal, not properly having the required depth to the squad and the injuries to the first team players are some of the early-season problems that City must face. Having extended the contracts of the likes of Bernardo and Walker surely is a brilliant move. But the departures/lack of interest in making Gündoğan stay or even Cancelo (most likely to go to FC Barcelona) might lead to the downfall of Manchester City. The Paqueta deal has fallen off as well. Although the signing of Nunes from Wolves is a big up to the team. It will be very interesting to see how the season unfolds for Pep, isn’t it always the case though?
Sheffield’s form: L L L W L
Man City’s form: W W W L L
WHEN & WHERE?
Where: Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
When: Friday, 27th August 2023.
Time: 1:00 PM GMT.
Referee: Jarred Gillett.
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Darren Cann.
Fourth official: David Coote.
VAR: Simon Hooper.
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.
A return from George Baldock and Oli McBurnie has brought strength to the squad but the ruling out of Max Lowe has done the exact opposite of that. No other news related to Sheffield.
For Man City, Kevin De Bruyne remains the long-term absentee. Stones get sidelined as well. Pep, who underwent back surgery recently, will be registering his absence, too. Good thing that the Portuguese baller, Bernardo is back into the squad.
Heckingbottom has helped Sheffield to experience top-flight football once again after facing relegation in the 2021-22 season. Spent 2 years in the championship and now back to the PL. The system that Sheffield’s boss uses comprises of 3 centre backs with a 2-man defensive pivot accompanied by the same no. of wingbacks. The front 3 consists of a striker upfront and 2 forwards playing just behind the striker’s line, acting more like advanced n0. 10’s. The formation keeps transitioning between 3-4-2-1 and 3-5-2. So basically, the game relies more upon the wingers, putting the deliveries into the box.
Pep Guardiola is not having a good time currently. Kevin De Bruyne’s absence and lack of fulfilment in the Gündoğan role has led to unsurity in the formation. Just to cover up the lack of creativity due to De Bruyne, Pep has started to play the players in a close vicinity. So, you might notice how close the players are while the buildup is going. This leads to a lack of width which used to be there when De Bruyne was pulling the strings from the middle. Now let us see how Phil Foden steps up during this time. Alvarez has been getting the starts he used to miss in the previous season. Many promising things are ahead for Manchester City, let us see how things roll.
The Stockport Iniesta will have a crucial role in the team this season. Many departures and injuries are to thank for the major role of Phil Foden in the team. He sure is the one to look upto in the fixture. Although having Haaland and Alvarez in front, the job does look easy. But it does not help when the collective expectations from the treble-winning team are too high. This season can truly shape Foden’s career. It only goes up for the lad.
Sheffield’s predicted lineup vs Man City: Foderingham; Ahmedhodzic, Egan, Robinson; Lowe, Norwood, Souza, Osborn; Hamer, Traore; Osula.
Manchester City’s predicted lineup vs Sheffield: Ederson; Gvardiol, Akanji, Dias, Walker; Kovacic, Rodri; Grealish, Alvarez, Foden; Haaland.