Last time they faced each other, Arsenal lost to Sheffield United 1-0 at Bramall Lane. At that point, Unai Emery was still head coach in north London, however, the Gunners have a new face at the helm as well as a new attitude. They will want to avenge the loss against the Blades on Saturday.
Arsenal v Sheffield United Preview
Arsenal’s absentee list makes for grim reading as the Gunners have six players who are either unavailable or doubtful for the fixture. First and foremost is top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who saw red during his side’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace last weekend.
Saturday’s match against Sheffield will be the first of his three-match ban. Kieran Tierney will, of course, miss out as well as he continues to rehabilitate from a dislocated shoulder. Similarly, Calum Chambers is unavailable for the remainder of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament tear.
Hector Bellerin has missed a lot of matches recently. He has been contending with a stiff hamstring and the club reports he is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s match. Sead Kolasinac will also face a fitness test as he recovers from a thigh strain.
Finally, Lucas Torreira may have to sit on Saturday as well. Head coach Mikel Arteta told the media, “He trained yesterday as well, but still not 100 per cent confident so we will have to wait and see again.”
Sheffield United are in far better shape as far as their injury list, although theirs includes two players from the same position. Goalkeepers Michael Verrips and Simon Moore are both considered doubtful for the match due to head and groin issues respectively.
Despite having lost against Sheffield United once this season, Arsenal will have confidence. Despite what the table says, the Gunners do have a better squad than their opposition. The trick for them will be to get it right on the day.
The Blades, meanwhile, will have to rely on their organization and work ethic. Arsenal are vulnerable at the back but have enough tools to put a few goals past opponents, even without Aubameyang.
Don’t expect a clean sheet, but with the new confidence that Arteta has instilled in his players, do expect a victory for Arsenal over Sheffield United.
Predicted score: Arsenal 3 Sheffield United 1
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