This Saturday, Everton will look to bounce back from a hugely disappointing 3-1 defeat against Bournemouth, when they take on the 15th placed Sheffield United at Goodison Park. Make sure to check out the Toffee TV YouTube channel for match preview videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTEPsLbPz-Y
Sadly, Everton’s poor away form continued last weekend, with a dismal defensive display as well as a lack of creativity contributing to a 3-1 defeat.
Sheffield United, Everton’s opponents this weekend, have accumulated some good results so far this season, with the newly promoted side winning once, losing twice, and drawing twice. They opened the season with the fixture that Everton just played; away at Bournemouth, however Sheffield United drew 1-1. They then beat Crystal Palace at home the following weekend, 1-0, before losing 2-1 at home against a decent Leicester side.
Sheffield United’s most notable result arrived the week after, when they came from being two goals behind to draw 2-2 away at Chelsea. They then, most recently, lost 1-0 at home against Southampton. Despite some decent results being accumulated by Sheffield United, this is certainly a game that Everton should be winning.
Sheffield United play with a fairly unorthodox 3-5-2 formation, with the outside centre-backs occasionally overlapping the centre-midfielders and overloading the wide areas. This may be a concern for Everton, particularly down the right due to Seamus Coleman’s recent shaky performances. Both sides will look to attack out wide, with both sides favouring this style of play so far this season.
Oliver Norwood is the nucleus of the Sheffield United team. The central midfielder has made the 20th most amount of passes out of any Premier League player this season, as well as the 16th most amount of touches.
Especially with Billy Sharp being suspended, Sheffield United will be primarily relying on Oliver McBurnie for goals. The young Scotsman scored 22 goals in 42 Championship appearances for Swansea last season.
With just one wide player on either side, Everton should look to overlap and overload on the flanks. Much like the Wolves game, Everton should look to expose the space either side of Sheffield United’s back three. The likes of Lucas Digne will be hoping to overlap and create in this area, whilst Gylfi Sigurdsson drifting into a wide right position and crossing in to the box will be needed again.
Evertonians will be wanting a much-improved performance and result from last weekend, and with Everton’s home form, a win should be expected. Everton haven’t lost at home since February (against Manchester City) and so should be winning this weekend. Having said this, Sheffield United are yet to lose in an away game this season, with draws against both Chelsea and Bournemouth.
Score prediction: Everton 3-1 Sheffield United
I’m expecting a much improved performance this Saturday, with Everton’s home form continuing to contrast with the away games. It’s likely to be a similarly open match to that of the Wolves game, with lots of crosses and overlapping out-wide from both sides. Everton’s quality should shine through and deservedly beat the newly promoted side.
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