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Man City vs Sheffield United tips and predictions: Champions on mission to re-assert dominant status

Man City are looking to put their stamp back on the Premier League title race when they face Sheffield United on Saturday afternoon.

Since failing to win four of five in late November and early December, Man City have reeled off three consecutive victories in all competitions.

It shouldn’t matter that the level of competition was low at the FIFA Club World Cup. The mid-season getaway was a positive one and Pep Guardiola’s side look refreshed.

Their performance against Everton, Phil Foden in particular, was that of a side who are hungry to give a response and show they’re still the team to beat.

Chris Wilder instantly made Sheffield United harder to beat, toppling Brentford 1-0 in his first game in charge and pinching a point at Villa Park.

Those results made Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Luton hard to stomach as the Blades missed a golden six-point opportunity in the relegation battle.

 

 

 

Despite producing just shy of 3xG and dominating the game, Wilder’s side scored two own goals late in the day to undo their good work.

Equally as damaging was a pair of yellow cards brandished in the direction of Anel Ahmedhodzic and Gustavo Hamer, who will serve a suspension on Saturday.

Adding to their woes is the fact James McAtee cannot play against his parent club, so we’ll see a combative midfield with no creative outlet.

Although City haven’t been as devastating as previous seasons, they did beat Fulham 5-1 and Bournemouth 6-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

The 3-1 win against Everton could have been bigger if it were not for Jordan Pickford and the frame of the goal, so Sheffield United could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Their four previous Premier League defeats against City have come by a goal to nil so they’ve shown they have the blueprint, but we expect the hosts to be clinical.

 

Team news

Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Jeremy Doku and John Stones are unavailable due to injury.

Ruben Dias is likely to return to the squad after recovering from a virus.

Chris Basham, John Egan, Tom Davies and Daniel Jebbison are ruled out but Jayden Bogle will return from a one-match suspension.

Sheffield United will also be without Gustavo Hamer, who is suspended, and James McAtee, who is ineligible to face his parent club.

 

Key stats

- Man City have won six of six against newly-promoted teams across the past two seasons, outscoring them 24-2
- Man City are averaging 2.75 goals per game at home
- Man City have kept 10 consecutive clean sheets at home to Sheffield United. The Blades last scored in 1992
- Sheffield United are averaging 2.55 goals against per game away from home

 

Suggested bets

Man City -3 Asian handicap

Phil Foden to score

Man City win to nil

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