Both teams are in dire need of points ahead of this match. Sheffield United are still rock bottom of the Premier League and The Great Escape seems to have turned to Mission Impossible. Fulham are hoping to get back to winning ways to give their survival hopes a boost.
The Blades were comfortably beaten on Monday night as they travelled to the London Stadium and West Ham United. Today (Friday 19th), boss Chris Wilder spent his pre-match press conference ruing individual mistakes and said: “People keep making mistakes and I’ve got to try and find a solution.”
Fulham have won the same number of games as Sheffield United, but they have drawn the second most number of games in the Premier League this season. They are currently six points from Newcastle United and safety, and they will be looking for three crucial points in the fight for survival.
They come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw with Burnley in midweek.
Team News – Fulham
Fulham are still without captain Tom Cairney as he is missing through his knee injury.
Boss Scott Parker also confirmed that Saturday's game comes too soon for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic as he recovers from injury.
Team News - Sheffield United
Sheffield United were dealt a crucial injury blow in their 3-0 defeat to West Ham United on Monday night as John Egan was stretchered off. Chris Wilder confirmed that the Republic of Ireland international will be missing for two months as he has an operation on a dislocated toe.
John Fleck was a surprise absentee from Monday night’s squad. Wilder confirmed he had been rushed into hospital a few days before the game. Fleck will also miss the Saturday’s game against Fulham as he is being monitored following test results.
George Baldock could return to the 18 for the trip to London on Saturday.
When the two sides met back in October, Billy Sharp rescued a point for the Blades from the penalty spot late on after Ademola Lookman put the Cottages ahead with around 15 minutes left to play.
However, Sharp equalised five minutes from time when Jack Robinson was fouled by Aleksandar Mitrovic. The veteran smashed his penalty down the middle to earn a share of the spoils.
Ones to watch
Fulham: Josh Maja
New signing Maja will be familiar to most because of his infamous departure from Wearside to Bordeaux which was captured on the Netflix series ‘Sunderland ‘til I die’.
Back in 2018/29, Maja was scoring goals for fun for the Blackcats with 15 goals in 24 League One appearances. A product of the Academy of Light, Maja was tempted away from The Stadium of Light in January of 2019 to France’s Ligue 1 and Bordeaux.
He joined Fulham on loan until the end of the season, and immediately made his presence felt as he scored both goals in a 2-0 win against top 4 chasing Everton.
He could cause Sheffield United real problems, as he is a striker who has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The Blades’ goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been known to push balls back into dangerous areas at times this season, and that could be criminal with Maja around. Equally, 38-year-old Phil Jagielka is likely to start at centre-half. Maja’s youthful exuberance could leave Jagielka in a world of knots.
Sheffield United: David McGoldrick
McGoldrick has proven himself as a fans favourite after he signed on a free transfer back in the summer of 2018. In his first season as a Blade, he scored 15 Championship and propelled United to the promised land of the Premier League.
Whilst goals were few and far between for the veteran striker last season, this season he is the Blades’ top scorer with goals against Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Spurs.
At times this season, McGoldrick has found himself playing in a role that was once occupied by another fans favourite, Mark Duffy – in behind the two strikers. Chris Wilder hinted that this could be something that is seen more often after individual mistakes is making him think about team selections.
McGoldrick’s ball control and hold-up play is something that makes him irreplaceable in this Sheffield United team, and the Blades will be hoping that it inspires them to three points this weekend.
Fulham (4-4-2): Areola, Tete, Anderson, Adarabioyo, Aina, Loftus-Cheek, Reed, Lemina, Lookman, Reid, Maja
Sheffield United (5-2-1-2): Ramsdale, Bogle, Basham, Jagielka, Ampadu, Stevens, Lundstram, Osborn, McGoldrick, Sharp, McBurnie
How to watch
Fulham vs Sheffield United will kick off at 8:00pm GMT on Saturday 20th February 2021, and is available to watch, live from Craven Cottage, on Sky Sports.