Sheffield United v Liverpool betting preview: Reds to sneak away win

Liverpool are on a terrible run but their away form is decent and should be enough to take them to a narrow win at Sheffield United this weekend

When: Sunday, February 28, 19:15 GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports

Last three Premier League meetings:

Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United (October 24, 2020)

Sander Berge's penalty gave rock-bottom United a shock lead but goals from Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota secured a 28th win in 29 home league games for the Merseysiders.

Liverpool 2-0 Sheffield United (January 2, 2020)

Not a rout but the Blades ended this game still in eighth spot so were no pushovers. Mo Salah's early strike and a clincher from Sadio Mane secured an 18th straight Premier League win for the Reds.

Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool (September 28, 2019)

Liverpool couldn't stop winning games back then; everything was going their way. This narrow win highlighted the point, the outcome decided by Gini Wijnaldum's volley which squirmed through the legs of Dean Henderson. The visitors managed just four shots on target in a tight game.

Liverpool in the middle of a nightmare

The visitors have taken a pathetic nine points from the last 11 Premier League games. Manchester City disappearing over the hill is one thing but to somehow have Champions League qualification hanging in the balance is something else entirely.

The bookies still have some faith in Jurgen Klopp's men and, as it stands, they're rated 8/11 to bank a top-four finish, ahead of Evs Chelsea and 4/1 West Ham. Man Utd (1/7) and Leicester (2/7) are big odds-on to wrap up two of the spots.

The hope for Liverpool comes when applying an away filter to their recent miserable run.

While the defeats keep racking up at Anfield, their last four away games in all competitions show:

Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool (Firmino, Alexander-Arnold, Mane)

West Ham 1-3 Liverpool (Salah 2, Wijnaldum)

Leicester 3-1 Liverpool (Salah)

RB Leipzig 0-2 Liverpool (Salah, Mane)

That's three wins out of four and, if you want to put a further positive spin, they were the better team for 78 minutes against Leicester before a 1-0 lead became a 3-1 defeat.

Still, Liverpool are clearly enjoying the extra freedom afforded on the road and nine goals in those four games contrasts significantly to one home goal in five home games.

The problem is, Sheffield United are hardly going to come out and play with the high line that Leipzig did.

The lucky 1-0 win at Bramall Lane last season was a right old grind and Sheffield United have won two of their last four home games which is, to be frank, better than Liverpool have managed at Anfield.

The two defeats in that run have come against Spurs and Chelsea while it's worth noting that they've also lost at home to everyone in the current top seven. Perhaps there is a ceiling for Chris Wilder's men.

Scoreline prediction: Sheff Utd 1-2 Liverpool

Okay, no-one can justify backing Liverpool at 4/9 right now so the scoreline markets are a better way to try and cash in.

Sheffield United have scored just nine home goals. Then again, they may be up against a central defence consisting of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak after skipper Jordan Henderson became the latest victim of the central defensive injury curse.

Can Liverpool really be expected to keep a clean sheet? I'll say not but they may just have enough at the other end to absorb a goal and still win. In which case I'll go for a repeat of the 2-1 scoreline at Anfield.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is the latest to be sidelined
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is the latest to be sidelined

That's an 8/1 shot but also look at Liverpool to win by exactly 1 goal at 12/5 with Paddy Power.

Sheffield United have lost to everyone else in the top seven but six of those were by the minimum margin. They'll put up a fight but recent history says they'll still lose it.

Goalscorer punts

First stop has to be Mo Salah. While all is crumbling around him, Salah is still firing them in. He's the Premier League's top scorer with 17 and has seven goals in his last six away games in all comps.

Notably, he's scored the opener in four of his last five road trips so Salah first goal can easily be justified at 14/5 (Unibet).

Jota could be back for the Reds and is 13/10 to score but it's best to keep powder dry on that bet until nearer kick-off.

For United, Billy Sharp has scored five goals in his last seven home games. The veteran may just be able to outsmart Liverpool's defensive rookies.

Sharp is 3/1 with bet365.

Interestingly, in the aforementioned last four away games for Liverpool, they have conceded all of their goals in the second half and all but one after the 78th minute. Equally interestingly, Sheffield United's five goals in their last four Premier League home fixtures have all come in the second half. The Blades to score last at 13/5 with bet365 therefore appeals.

Best bets

Liverpool to win 2-1 at 8/1 (bet365)

Liverpool to win by exactly one goal at 5/2 (Paddy Power)

Mo Salah to score first at 14/5 (Unibet)

Billy Sharp to score anytime at 3/1 (bet365)

Latest Soccer Videos