Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United preview, team news, stats, prediction, kick-off time
Crystal Palace will still be without defender Gary Cahill, while John Lundstram completes a three-match ban for the Blades; follow Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 2.30pm on Saturday; kick-off 3pm
Friday 1 January 2021 16:05, UK
Team news and stats ahead of Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 3pm.
Crystal Palace will still be without defender Gary Cahill as they prepare to face Sheffield United at Selhurst Park.
Cahill sat out the 1-1 draw with Leicester after injuring his hamstring against Aston Villa, and is yet to return to full fitness.
Boss Roy Hodgson has no new injury concerns with defender Martin Kelly (calf), goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (thigh), right-back Nathan Ferguson (knee) and striker Connor Wickham (thigh) all still out.
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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder does not expect to have any of the players available who missed Tuesday’s defeat by Burnley.
Two unnamed players are isolating after testing positive for coronavirus while a couple more are doubts with knocks picked up in the loss to the Clarets.
Oli McBurnie, Billy Sharp and Phil Jagielka were all absent from the squad on Tuesday. John Lundstram completes a three-match ban, while Sander Berge and Jack O’Connell are long-term absentees.
How to follow
Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 2.30pm on Saturday; kick-off at 3pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
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- Crystal Palace lost both Premier League meetings with Sheffield United last season – they’ve not lost three consecutive league games against the Blades since April 1973.
- Crystal Palace were one of just two sides Sheffield United won home and away against in the Premier League last season (along with Norwich), and were also one of two teams the Blades kept two clean sheets against (also Aston Villa).
- Sheffield United lost their first league game of 2020, going down 0-2 at Liverpool. They’ve not lost their first league game in consecutive calendar years since doing so in 2011 and 2012.
- When playing their first league game of a calendar year at home, Crystal Palace have won just one of their last six such matches (D2 L3), beating Wolves 3-1 in 2013.
- Sheffield United have won just 8% of their Premier League games in London, winning two of their 25 visits (D8 L15). Indeed, of all teams to have played at least 20 Premier League away games in the capital, only Derby have a lower win rate (2.6%).
- This will be Sheffield United’s 15th Premier League game starting the day in the relegation zone this season, already three more than they played in the drop zone the last season they were actually relegated from the division (12 in 2006-07).
- Sheffield United are winless in their 16 Premier League games this season (D2 L14) – equalling Queens Park Rangers’ Premier League record of longest winless run from the start of a campaign (16 in 2012-13). The last English top-flight side to fail to win any of their first 17 games in a season was Bolton Wanderers in 1902-03 (22).
- Only West Brom (43) have had fewer shots on target in the Premier League this season than Sheffield United (46). The Blades also have the biggest negative difference between expected goals (16.3) and goals scored (8) this season, netting around eight goals fewer than would normally be expected based on the quality of their chances.
- Only Sheffield United (19) are on a longer current run of games without a clean sheet in the Premier League than Crystal Palace (15). The Blades are the only side in 2020-21 yet to record a Premier League shutout, while the Eagles have the second lowest total so far (1).
- Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has scored eight goals in 14 Premier League appearances this season, twice as many as he netted in 2019-20 (4 in 38 apps). Indeed, Zaha is looking to reach double figures for goals in a Premier League campaign for only the second time in his career, also doing so in 2018-19 (10 goals in 34 games).
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