With a game still to play, Sheffield United has a five-point lead over third-placed Luton Town after a come-from-behind 4-1 victory against Cardiff on Saturday. Paul Heckingbottom, the manager, described being in “a position where it’s about us” as the hosts try to balance their priorities before their forthcoming trip to Wembley for their first FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City since 2014, where they will play.
That momentous event may offer United more motivation to maintain their positive attitude and great home record. The Blades have a clear advantage over Bristol City, a team they haven’t lost to since March 2019 (W3, D1), while the hosts have won 11 of their past 13 competitive games (L2) at Bramall Lane.
The visitors suffered a 2-0 loss at Watford on Saturday, which put them firmly in the middle of the table and close to halfway between the relegation and play-off zones. The team was “playing really well,” according to manager Nigel Pearson, but the true issue would be to motivate his team when there is little to gain or lose.
After a narrow 1-0 H2H loss in November, City is trying to avoid dropping both league head-to-heads in a single season for the first time since 2013/14. The Robins also owe it to the traveling supporters because they had them suffer through six road trips during which they suffered four losses (W1, D1) and only one goal.
On Saturday, James McAtee scored United’s first goal. In his last three league games, he has made three direct goal contributions (G2, A1). Andreas Weimann may relish the moment because he scored a hat-trick here in Bristol’s most recent head-to-head victory in March 2019, but he has also received three yellow cards in his past four H2H games.
Due to Wesley Foderingham’s continued absence due to suspension, Adam Davies will once again start in goal for Sheffield United.
For the match against Bristol City, the Blades will also be without injured players Ben Osborn, Enda Stevens, Rhian Brewster, Jack O’Connell, and Rhys Norrington-Davies.
Following the match against Cardiff, head coach Heckingbottom will need to evaluate the players’ condition, although it would not be unexpected to see the same starting lineup used for this game.
For Bristol City, injuries will prevent Joe Williams, Tomas Kalas, Rob Atkinson, and Ayman Benarous from playing.
Alex Scott and Kallum Naismith are likely to be inserted into the starting lineup by head coach Pearson from the lineup that faced Watford at the start of the game.
Nahki Wells, 32, will make another start at center forward despite the fact that he has scored 11 goals in the Championship so far this season.
Possible starting lineup for Sheffield United
Davies, Baldock, Egan, Robinson, Bogle, Berge, Doyle, Lowe, McAtee, McBurnie and Ndiaye.
Possible starting lineup for Bristol City
O’Leary, Tanner, Vyner, Pring, Dasilva, King, James, Cornick, Weimann, Bell, and Wells.
We Predict: Sheffield United 2-1 Bristol City
We anticipate that Sheffield United will win this game, giving them a chance to win consecutive Championship games. Even though it can be a difficult game, the home team should eventually be superior than their opponents on Tuesday night.