Newcastle United vs Sheffield United: Preview and Prediction

European hopefuls Newcastle United look to bounce back from a midweek stumble and reclaim their top-six hopes by relegating 20th-placed Sheffield United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Newcastle United host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, with the Magpies desperately needing a win for a top-six finish in a game that could see Chris Wilder’s side get relegated this weekend.

Eddie Howe’s side lost 2-0 at Crystal Palace on Wednesday night. But their form had been excellent before that, racking up three wins and a draw in their four-game unbeaten run. Having finished in the top four last term to book a seat at Europe’s top table, battling for a berth in the Europa Conference League next term is not how Newcastle’s Saudi owners would have envisaged this season to turn out.

Although the midweek result sank them behind Manchester United in the race for sixth place, the Magpies have been a different animal at home this season and will look to pile the pressure on the Red Devils with a positive result here.

If Sheffield United lose this weekend, then their demotion back to the Championship will be sealed. It has been a tricky campaign for the Blades, picking up only 16 points while winning just three games and conceding 92 times so far. They fell to yet another defeat earlier this week despite going ahead twice against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Sheffield United were humiliated the last time they faced Newcastle United, crashing to an 8-0 defeat at Bramall Lane earlier this season. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Newcastle United

Newcastle United continue to be decimated by injuries. But Callum Wilson made a welcome return of the bench in midweek and could feature again here. The hosts are without as many as ten players for the visit of Sheffield United.

With little room for rotation, Eddie Howe may go with a similar looking XI that took on Crystal Palace in midweek, although he is expected to revert to a 4-3-3 setup. Anthony Gordon has been in great form recently, picking up as many as six goal involvements in his last five games, including a hat-trick of assists against West Ham United.

He has also scored ten goals so far this season. But alongside Alexander Isak and Harvey Barnes in attack, he should find a few chances against struggling Sheffield United, who look doomed for relegation.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Livramento, Krafth, Schar, Burn; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Anderson; Gordon, Isak, Barnes

Sheffield United

While not as ravaged as the hosts, the Blades are still without the services of Max Lowe, John Egan, Chris Basham (all ankle), George Baldock (calf), Rhys Norrington-Davies, Tom Davies (both thigh) and Daniel Jebbison (illness), while Jack Robinson (ankle) and Rhian Brewster (thigh) are both doubtful.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder revealed after the defeat at Manchester United that both Jayden Bogle and James McAtee picked up knocks and will be game-time decisions here, as will Oliver McBurnie, who recently underwent a scan to determine the extent of his groin issue.

Young defensive midfielder Oliver Arblaster will continue to captain his boyhood club on Saturday, while Wes Foderingham will hope he gets the nod ahead of Ivo Grbic after a positive display at Old Trafford.

Ben Brereton Diaz has made a decent impact for Sheffield United since signing on loan from Villarreal. The former Blackburn Rovers star has netted five times since January and will be a confirmed starter up top alongside Cameroon Archer.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Foderingham; Holgate, Ahmedhodzic, Trusty; Bogle, Souza, Arblaster, Hamer, Osborn; Brereton Diaz, Archer

Key Stats

  • Sheffield United have failed to win their last ten Premier League matches.
  • Eight of the last nine Premier League matches at St. James’ Park have seen over 2.5 goals scored in them.
  • NewcastleUnited won four of their last five meetings against Sheffield United (three by a margin of two or more goals).
  • Alexander Isak opened the scoring in Newcastle’s last four Premier League home games.
  • The Blades have conceded four or more goals in eight Premier League games this season.

Player to Watch

Alexander Isak

Embed from Getty Images

Alexander Isak drew a blank in midweek but has been on fire at St. James’ Park, with eight goals in his last six games at home. The 24-year-old is a fluid mover who makes channel-running look oh-so effortless. Isak can go from 0-60 in the blink of an eye, with such searing acceleration rendering him a tremendous threat on the counter. With the Swede gunning for Erling Haaland’s Premier League top-scorer crown, expect him to bag a few here.


Newcastle United 4-0 Sheffield United

Newcastle United failed to hit the net in the midweek fixture. But they should be confident of success in the final third this weekend. The Toon faithful will demand a massive turnaround from their side after the midweek disappointment in the same vein as the eight-goal Bramall Lane blitz.

While that may not happen here, they should see Eddie Howe’s Magpies firing a fair few goals at St. James’ Park this weekend. The Hard Tackle predicts a 4-0 win for Howe and his charges for Saturday’s fixture.

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