Crystal Palace vs. Sheffield United
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick off: 4PM
Crystal Palace will be aiming to build on their hard-fought draw against Leicester City when they welcome Sheffield United to Selhurst Park for today’s Premier League bout.
While Roy Hodgson’s men managed to take a point from their clash with Leicester, Sheffield United’s abysmal run continued with a narrow defeat to fellow strugglers Burnley in midweek.
Even though Crystal Palace’s winless run in the Premier League stretched to five matches against Leicester, Hodgson can no doubt be pleased with the manner of his side’s performance against the Champions League hopefuls.
The Foxes named a weakened team and went behind just before the hour mark as Wilfried Zaha bagged his eighth goal of the campaign – with Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho having already seen his penalty saved by Vicente Guaita – but the effervescent Harvey Barnes ensured that Palace would not be taking the spoils as the game ended 1-1.
The Eagles faithful will certainly welcome that result after two downright dismal performances against Liverpool and Aston Villa, although this afternoon’s hosts can only boast one triumph from their last seven and are slowly slipping closer to the danger zone.
Eight points separate 15th-placed Palace from the dotted line as things stand, although Fulham do have a game in hand after their midweek clash with Tottenham Hotspur was postponed, and Hodgson’s men will temporarily rise above Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United should they prevail against an out-of-sorts Sheffield United.
With Sheffield United struggling for results with a fully-fit squad, the last thing that Chris Wilder needed before a trip to Burnley was a coronavirus cluster in the Blades camp.
Despite COVID-19 outbreaks up and down the country forcing matches to be postponed, Sheffield United’s fixture with Burnley continued as planned, but Wilder’s men once again came out on the wrong end of the scoreline in an all-too familiar sight this season.
Ben Mee – the man who hardly ever scores – headed in the only goal of the game at Turf Moor just after the half-hour mark, although Wilder refused to blame the Blades’ coronavirus cluster for their 14th defeat of the Premier League season.
As the only team yet to taste victory in the current Premier League season, Wilder’s side find themselves 11 points adrift of safety as the season approaches its midway point, and the eight goals that Sheffield United have notched up is the lowest in the top flight.
Both meetings between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United last season ended in 1-0 triumphs for the Blades, although this weekend’s visitors are certainly not the force that they were in the 2019-20 campaign.
Crystal Palace possible XI: Guaita, Clyne, Kouyate, Tomkins, Van Aanholt, Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Eze, Zaha, Benteke.
Sheffield United possible XI: Ramsdale, Basham, Egan, Robinson, Baldock, Fleck, Ampadu, Stevens, Burke, Mousset, Brewster.