Everton vs Sheffield United: Preview and Prediction

Everton and Sheffield United will aim to return to winning ways when they clash at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season will resume on Saturday with Gameweek 37 as we enter into overdrive mode until the curtains drop next weekend. The penultimate round of fixtures will kick off with the game between Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage before continuing at Goodison Park, where Everton will host Sheffield United.

Everton would have hoped for a smoother ride under the tutelage of Sean Dyche this season. While the former Burnley manager has been exceptional, two sanctions that have deducted eight points from their tally have threatened to drop them into the relegation zone. However, a four-match unbeaten run has secured the Merseyside club’s spot in the top flight for another campaign.

As for Sheffield United, they have been dreadful for most of the 2023/24 season. The Blades have managed only three wins thus far this term while conceding 100 goals and losing 26 times. So, it is hardly surprising that they were never in contention to escape relegation, having been in the drop zone nearly throughout the campaign.

The reverse fixture saw Everton come from a goal down to hold Sheffield United to a 2-2 draw, with Arnaut Danjuma scoring the equaliser. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Sean Dyche does not have any new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Sheffield United on Saturday, the Everton manager will be bereft of the services of three first-team players.

Vitaliy Mykolenko is the most notable absentee due to an ankle ligament injury that has prematurely ended his campaign. The Ukrainian international accompanies Nathan Patterson (thigh) and Dele Alli (groin) on the sidelines.

Jordan Pickford will take his spot between the sticks, with Everton lining up in a 4-4-1-1 formation in front of him against Sheffield United. The backline should feature Seamus Coleman, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, and Ashley Young.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past James Garner and Idrissa Gueye in the central areas. Abdoulaye Doucoure should reprise the no. 10 role, while Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison will be the two wide attackers. Finally, Dominic Calvert-Lewin will lead the line for the home side on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Young; Harrison, Garner, Gueye, McNeil; Doucoure; Calvert-Lewin

Sheffield United

Unlike his counterpart in the Everton dugout, Chris Wilder has new roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to Goodison Park. The Sheffield United manager will be without ten first-team players on Saturday.

Anel Ahmedhodzic is the latest absentee after seeing red against Nottingham Forest last weekend. In addition, Mason Holgate is ineligible to face his parent club. The duo has joined Max Lowe (ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh), John Egan (ankle), George Baldock (calf), Chris Basham (ankle), Tom Davies (thigh), Daniel Jebbison (illness), and Oliver McBurnie (thigh) on the sidelines.

Ahmedhodzic’s absence means Sheffield United will line up in a 4-3-3 formation instead of the usual 3-5-2 system, with Wes Foderingham taking his spot between the sticks. The backline should feature Jayden Bogle, Jack Robinson, Auston Trusty, and Ben Osborn.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Vinicius Souza, Gustavo Hamer, and Oliver Arblaster, who will don the captain’s armband. Finally, Cameron Archer will deputise for McBurnie, with Ben Brereton Diaz and James McAtee completing the numbers in the attack.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Foderingham; Bogle, Robinson, Trusty, Osborn; Souza, Arblaster, Hamer; McAtee, Archer, Brereton Diaz

Key Stats

  • Everton have lost five of their last seven home league games against Sheffield United (including the most recent two). The exceptions are a 4-2 win in August 1993 and a 2-0 victory in October 2006.
  • Sheffield United have won more Premier League away games against Everton than they have any other opponent (three). In addition, their four wins overall against them in the competition is their joint-most versus one side (also four against Chelsea).
  • Everton have lost their final home league game in just one of the last eight campaigns. They have also won their last match of the season at Goodison Park for three successive years since a 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth in 2019/20. On the other hand, Sheffield United have lost their final away tie in their four most recent Premier League terms. The last time they won their last Premier League game on the road came at Everton in 1992/93.
  • Jordan Pickford has kept 12 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, his second-most in a single campaign after 2018/19 (14).
  • Despite only joining the club in January, no Sheffield United player has scored more Premier League goals this season than Ben Brereton-Diaz (six). His rate of a strike every 158 minutes is the second-best by any Blades player who has managed a minimum of 500 minutes in a campaign after Nathan Blake in 1993/94 (one goal every 145 minutes).

Player to Watch

Dominic Calvert-Lewin

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The last few years have been a trial by fire for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with injury horrors curtailing his time on the pitch. However, the Englishman has bounced back in recent weeks after struggling for most of the 2023/24 campaign.

The 27-year-old has found the back of the net four times in his last five Premier League games, with this scoring run helping Everton stave off relegation. So, amid uncertainties surrounding his Everton future, Calvert-Lewin will be eager to continue the momentum and stamp his authority against Sheffield United.


Everton 3-0 Sheffield United

The reverse fixture ended in a stalemate. But while Sheffield United have remained stagnant since then, Everton’s progress under Sean Dyche has been rapid. If not for the twin sanctions and a minor reprieve, the Merseyside club would have 45 points and be in contention for a top-half finish.

Nevertheless, the Toffees have shown their class and will continue impressing the onlookers with another top-notch performance. Meanwhile, Sheffield United will draw a blank after another horrendous display, with the Hard Tackle predicting Everton to beat the away side 3-0 on Saturday.

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