Let’s go back four months to the beginning of the Premier League season, where everyone begins to make their pre-season rankings. If you were to ask anybody who they have winning the league, everyone will begin talking about Manchester City and Liverpool. When you move on to the topic of the team most likely to get relegated, there was an obvious answer. It will be Sheffield United.
Sheffield United: An Incredible Start for the Blazing Blades
The Start of the 2019/20 Season:
Sheffield United had an extremely successful 2018-19 campaign, winning 26 of their 46 matches played in the championship, along with drawing in 11 more. On the other hand, transitioning from the Championship to the Premier League can take a few seasons, if you are even to survive that long.
Just a season ago, the Wolverhampton Wanders went from promotion to seventh in just one year’s time. The difference between these two is that Wolverhampton had expected success.
Taking a look at writer’s predictions over at NBCSports, allows us to see what many knowledgeable Premier League writers were thinking for Sheffield going into this 2019/20 season. After looking at the six writer’s predictions, we found that three of the six predicted Sheffield United to finish dead-last, 20th place in the league. Two of the other three predicted 19th and 18th finishes for Sheffield, with the final writer, Andy Edwards, having an outlier pick of 13th place. Edward’s colleagues and co-workers may have called him hundreds of names for his prediction on Sheffield United, but little did we know, even Edwards, pre-ranking them at 13th, was underestimating the Blazing Blades.
What is exactly happening in Sheffield?
We are currently 17 matches into the 2019/20 Premier League season, and Sheffield United is sitting at 7th in the table. Placed above teams such as Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and the upcoming Wolves team we previously mentioned. While the blazing blades have the same amount of points as Manchester United, they are where they are, instead of 6th due to a goal differential of five this season, as opposed to Manchester United’s six.
Starting off the season with a record of 2-2-3, things were looking somewhat decent for Sheffield United. A draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at home, and a 2-0 win against Everton in Liverpool. Everyone quickly realized, this team might not be as bad as they thought, but this was just the start of it.
Ever since that 1-0 loss against an undefeated Liverpool team back in late September, the Blades have only lost one game out of their previous 10. This was accompanied with a 1-0 win against Arsenal, and a 2-1 win against Norwich City, the team they had just finished below in the Championship last season. Along with these two wins, they were also able to snatch a 2-0 win against Aston Villa recently. However, the most impressive win out of any of these fixtures was a 3-0 win against Burnley. This win included two goals from John Lundstram, and a goal from John Fleck, coming one minute after Lundstram’s second.
The team has also had some pretty impressive draws on the season. This included a 1-1 finish at Tottenham Stadium against a solid Spurs team, and a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton. The most impressive was a six-goal, 3-3 thriller, taking place at home against Manchester United.
The Upcoming Months for the Blazing Blades:
With just over half of the Premier League season left, anything can happen. There are two roads that Sheffield can go down. They can either continue to play great, or they can meet reality.
Sheffield United has yet to finish in the top half of the table. The highest they have finished was 14th place back in the 92/93 season. Blades fans everywhere are craving a chance to prove themselves and be at the top. If they continue to play as they have been, Sheffield United will become a major contender in the upcoming years.
Embed from Getty Images