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Oct 16, 2021 at 3pm UK
Sheff UtdSheffield United
StokeStoke City
Mousset (80'), McGoldrick (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Brown (55')
Smith (27'), Brown (56')

Preview: Sheffield United vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sheffield United vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Sheffield United and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to avoid a third successive Championship defeat, Sheffield United welcome Stoke City to Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon.

The Blades are unbeaten in each of their last four home matches, while the Potters have failed to win any of their last three league games on the road.

Match preview

After enjoying a five-game unbeaten league run, claiming 11 points in the process, Sheffield United have since suffered back-to-back defeats away from home against Middlesbrough and Bournemouth.

The Blades were leading in their most recent encounter against the Cherries thanks to a strike from Morgan Gibbs-White, however Scott Parker's side turned the game on its head with two goals in three minutes midway through the second half from Dominic Solanke and Philip Billing, condemning the visitors to their fifth defeat of the campaign.

Slavisa Jokanovic's men remain in the bottom half of the Championship and have slipped down to 14th place, six points behind the playoffs and just four clear of the relegation zone.

Sheffield United have only faced Stoke twice in the last 14 years, claiming score draws in both home and away matches during the 2018-19 season.

The Blades are set to face a challenging opponent on Saturday, but if they are serious about their promotion hopes this campaign, then a consistent run of positive results is required, starting with three points against the Potters.

Stoke City became the first side to defeat high-flying West Bromwich Albion before the international break, claiming a slender 1-0 victory on home soil.

After Sam Surridge had his second-half penalty saved by Sam Johnstone, the deadlock was eventually broken in the 79th minute when Nick Powell dinked the ball over the outrushing Johnstone, to seal all three points for the Potters.

The 27-year-old has now scored in each of his last three league matches and is the club's top goalscorer so far this term with six strikes to his name.

Michael O'Neill's men have consolidated their place in the playoffs and have climbed into fourth, just four points behind Championship leaders Bournemouth, who they will face next Tuesday.

Stoke are enjoying their best league start in 17 years, and another victory against one of the Championship's pre-season favourites on Saturday would see them viewed by the rest of the league as real contenders for promotion.

Sheffield United Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Stoke City Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Stoke City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Sheffield United's centre-back Jack O'Connell and midfielder Sander Berge remain out with respective knee and hamstring injuries.

George Baldock, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Oliver Burke and Luke Freeman have not trained with the first-team squad due to injury and so will also miss this weekend's game.

Right-back Jayden Bogle is set to be handed his first league start of the season in Baldock's absence, while Enda Stevens will continue at left-back ahead of Norrington-Davies.

With Oliver Norwood and John Fleck expected to remain in centre-midfield, attacking midfield trio Gibbs-White, Iliman Ndiaye and Ben Osborn will likely start again, providing support for lone striker Billy Sharp.

As for Stoke, assistant coach Dean Holden confirmed the injury picked up by Mario Vrancic against West Brom is not as serious as first feared and so the Bosnian is set to be in contention to feature on Saturday.

Tyrese Campbell (knee) and Tashan Oakley-Boothe (back) remain long-term absentees, while Abdallah Sima (ankle) and Morgan Fox (hamstring) will miss out this weekend.

O'Neill may decide to freshen up his attack, with Surridge and Steven Fletcher hoping they can force their way into the first XI ahead of Jacob Brown, who started against West Brom.

Midfielder Romaine Sawyers was ineligible to face his parent club last time out but will be in contention to start ahead of either Joe Allen or Jordan Thompson.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Bogle, Egan, Davies, Stevens; Norwood, Fleck; Gibbs-White, Ndiaya, Osborn; Sharp

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Wilmot, Souttar, Chester; Smith, Allen, Thompson, Tymon; Powell, Vrancic; Surridge

We say: Sheffield United 1-2 Stoke City

A closely-fought contest is to be expected at Bramall Lane on Saturday, with the visitors the slight favourites given their impressive start to the campaign.

Stoke have only claimed one victory from their first five away matches this season, but we feel they might just do enough to secure a narrow win in Yorkshire.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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