Will The Blades be ‘sharp’ enough to cope with Premier League football?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to check out the third and final newly-promoted side in… Sheffield United.
MANAGER: Chris Wilder
CAPTAIN: Billy Sharp
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 2500-1 (via Oddschecker)
Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the first time since their unceremonious dumping from the top flight in 2007.
Since then, the Yorkshire side slid to League One and only escaped at the sixth time of asking following three doomed play-off promotion attempts. Hometown hero Chris Wilder guided the Blades back into the Championship and achieved the unthinkable within two seasons – his Sheffield United side returning back to the Premier League.
Wilder faces a tough battle to keep his men in the big time but fans, players and the red and white half of the city will all back him to do exactly that.
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 5th (League One)
2015-16 – 11th (League One)
2016-17 – 1st (League One)
2017-18 – 10th (Championship)
2018-19 – 2nd (Championship)
Championship – 2nd
FA Cup – Third Round
Carabao Cup – First Round
Top Scorer – League: Billy Sharp (23), All: Billy Sharp (24)
Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City – £20m)
Lys Mousset (Bournemouth – £10m)
Luke Freeman (Queens Park Rangers – Undisclosed)
Callum Robinson (Preston North End – Undisclosed)
Ben Osborn (Nottingham Forest – Undisclosed)
Phil Jagielka (Everton – Free Transfer)
Ravel Morrison (Östersunds – Free Transfer)
Dean Henderson (Manchester United – Loan)
Ched Evans (Fleetwood Town – Undisclosed)
Paul Coutts (Fleetwood Town – Free Transfer)
Martin Cranie (Luton Town – Free Transfer)
Conor Washington (Hearts – Free Transfer)
GK – Henderson, Moore
DF – Baldock, Stevens, O’Connell, Basham, Egan, Wright, Jagielka, Freeman, Stearman, Graham, Heneghan, Mallon
MD – Fleck, Lundtsram, Freeman, Morrison, Norwood, Bryan, Duffy, Osborn, Holmes, Carruthers
FW – McBurnie, Sharp, Robinson, McGoldrick, Mousset, Clarke
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – RAVEL MORRISON
“Sir Alex Ferguson, I remember, called me and Wazza (Wayne Rooney) over one day and said: “Look at this kid, he’s better than you. Rooney when you were a kid, he’s better than you. Rio, better than Ryan Giggs when you were kids. This is the best kid you’ll ever see.”
Rio Ferdinand, remembering what Sir Alex Ferguson said about Ravel Morrison. But since then, Morrison’s talent and potential has been wasted. Badly.
Poor attitude issues, problems off the pitch… Morrison bounced from club-to-club, desperate to recapture the magic that had many in the game believing he had the world at his feet.
Still only 26, Morrison arrives at his ninth club in Sheffield United, hoping to finally live up to all the hype that has surrounded for over a decade now.
They say a cat has nine lives. This could very well be Morrison’s last.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 80
Won – 27
Drawn – 15
Lost – 38
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
With only two games between the clubs this century – with Chelsea winning both of them – I would be very surprised if United pose any threat whatsoever.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Just like the last time United were in the Premier League, their stay in the top flight will not last longer than a season.
Despite the squad being a tight-knit group, this will be an immensely tricky season for Wilder to navigate their way to survival.
Sheffield United enter this season as rank outsiders and will end that way too, as The Blades will end up being too ‘blunt’ to avoid the drop.
Predicted position: 20th
Come back for part 16 as we go back to the coast and visit… Southampton.
• Part 1 – Arsenal
• Part 2 – Aston Villa
• Part 3 – Bournemouth
• Part 4 – Brighton & Hove Albion
• Part 5 – Burnley
• Part 6 – Chelsea
• Part 7 – Crystal Palace
• Part 8 – Everton
• Part 9 – Leicester City
• Part 10 – Liverpool
• Part 11 – Manchester City
• Part 12 – Manchester United
• Part 13 – Newcastle United
• Part 14 – Norwich City