Although not mathematically confirmed quite yet, you’ll struggle to find a Sheffield United fan in the land that doesn’t believe the Blades will be playing Championship football next season. After sacking manager Chris Wilder before their 5-0 thumping at Leicester City, the Blades’ performances have improved, despite results not quite following suit.
Arsenal really are the definition of inconsistent, at the moment. They’ve won two, drawn two, and lost two of their last six games, and boss Mikel Arteta will be hoping they pick up maximum points after losing 3-0 at home to Liverpool last time out in the league, and after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague in the Europa League this week.
The Gunners currently sit 11th in the Premier League table, 10 points off of European places and Liverpool and will be under no illusions that they need to start picking up wins to get back in the hunt, as there are currently a number of teams ahead of them who look much more likely to gain European qualification than they do.
Team News – Sheffield United
The Blades are currently joint top of the injury table, and they have been there for some time.
Sander Berge, Billy Sharp and Chris Basham are still all sidelined, but it is hoped that all will be back in the next couple of weeks.
Jayden Bogle and George Baldock both went off with concussion-related injuries last Saturday against Leeds United and will face late fitness tests.
Both Jack O’Connell and Jack Robinson are also out.
Team News – Arsenal
The Gunners will be boosted with the return of Calum Chambers after he missed Thursday’s clash with Slavia Prague.
David Luiz, Martin Odergaard and Emile Smith-Rowe are all unlikely to feature, however Smith-Rowe could be available if he passes a late fitness test.
Kieran Tierney is out for an extended period of time after ligament damage.
Arsenal came out on top when the two sides met towards the start of the season in October. Two quick fire goals in the 61st and 64th minute from Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe set the Gunners firing, but David McGoldrick made it an interesting finish after his effort curled past Bernd Leno.
The Blades were opened up around the hour mark when Hector Bellerin stood up a lovely cross to the back past where Saka was there unmarked to head in from close range.
Minutes later, Pepe made it two when he drove at the Sheffield United defenders and then picked his spot beautifully in the bottom corner past a stretching Aaron Ramsdale.
McGoldrick curled a lovely effort in from 18 yards out, but it wasn’t enough to spark a resurgence in the Blades as they succumbed to defeat.
Ones to watch
Sheffield United: Aaron Ramsdale
After getting a lot of stick from fans early in the season, Aaron Ramsdale has really come into his own in recent months with some great goalkeeping performances between the sticks.
United have had a lot to thank Ramsdale for after a number of good performances recently, most notably against Liverpool at the end of February when he made a number of excellent saves to keep the Blades in it, despite eventually losing 2-0.
Ramsdale has made the second highest number of saves in the Premier League which illustrates clearly how busy the England U-21 international has had to be throughout a season which has been filled with turmoil for the Blades.
Arsenal: Alexandre Lacazette
The Frenchman is the Gunners’ second top goalscorer this season with 13 goals but has the highest goal conversion percentage (27%), highest goals per 90 minutes (0.54), and the second smallest minutes per goal (165 mins).
29-year-old Lacazette has scored three goals in his last five Premier League appearances and will be hoping to add to that tally and take advantage of Sheffield United’s leaky defence, despite having never scored against the Blades.
Sheffield United (3-5-2): Ramsdale, Baldock, Ampadu, Egan, Bryan, Osborn, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, McGoldrick, Burke
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno, Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Soares, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Willian, Aubameyang, Lacazette
How to watch
Sheffield United vs Arsenal will kick off at 19:00 BST on Sunday 11 April 2021, and is available to watch, live from Bramall Lane, on BT Sport.