Burnley welcome Sheffield United to Turf Moor. The Lancashire outfit secured promotion back to the Premier League thanks to a 2-1 victory vs Middlesbrough on Good Friday. They will now be looking to move one step closer to the title by beating their nearest challengers Sheffield United. The Blades have a 9 point cushion to 3rd placed Luton, still with a game in hand. Any points they could obtain here would be most welcome.
If you’re backing a bet on the game, take that form into account not just the league position, as well as all the stats I’ve provided below from their seasons so far. With the help of the numbers alongside my Stats Pack Guide you should be well on track for a bet builder boom.
Burnley should lineup in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. One possible change could be in central defence where Taylor Harwood Bellis was rested vs Boro. He could replace Al-Dakhil in the team. Manager Vincent Kompany might also be tempted to make a change in attack where Vitinho could replace Gudmundsson. The core of the side should stay in place for such a big match though.
Sheffield United still have injuries to the likes of Jebbison, Osborn and Enda Stevens. John Fleck and Ciaran Clark could come into contention. Manager Paul Heckingbottom said he is ‘considering changes’ with such a short turnaround in matches. The visitors are unlikely to change their usual 3-4-3 system though which has served them well all season.
Burnley average 1.95 goals per game and 0.77 against. They have significantly overachieved in front of goal with their xG being just 1.42. It has just been a season where they’ve been really clinical and scored some fantastic goals. Defence is where the Clarets excel though conceding just 8.69 shots against per game and only 2.82 on target. Burnley have averaged nearly two more corners per game (5.72) than their opponents (3.82). Cards have been relatively high in their fixtures at an average of 4.13 in each contest.
Sheffield United average 1.54 goals per game and 0.85 against. This correlates very closely to their xG and xGA metrics and they have been a legitimately strong team. The Blades average close to five shots on target per game and only 2.69 against. Corners have been really high in their fixtures, averaging 10.79 overall. Cards have also been significant at over 4.60 per match
Player Shots and Shots on Target
The trio of Tella, Barnes and Zaroury all average over 2 shots per 90 mins. Tella and Barnes are the most likely to hit the target with Gudmundsson also an option if he starts. Midfielder Josh Brownhill and fullback Isaac Maatsen both average over one shot per 90 mins and might try their luck at some stage.
Olly McBurnie has been very accurate with his shooting this season converting his 2.70 shots into 1.80 on target per 90 mins. The trio of Doyle, Ndiaye and McAtee all average around 2 shots per 90 mins and will likely pepper the Sheffield United goal here. Sander Berge and Jayden Bogle are not particularly accurate with their efforts but both average over 1.50 shots. If the opportunity presents itself, they may well have a crack.
Player Goals and Assists
Nathan Tella has scored 17 goals for Burnley this season and leads their scoring charts. Zaroury, Brownhill and Barnes have all chipped in to hit the back of the net several times. Assists have been shared around equally with a lot of different players contributing. Josh Brownhill is the leading assist provider for the Clarets with 8 and can be a threat to provide from set pieces.
Iliman Ndiaye and Ollie McBurnie lead Sheffield United with 12 and 11 goals respectively. Ndiaye also has 7 assists which is the most of anyone for The Blades. He is clearly a key man for the South Yorkshire outfit. A couple of other players to watch out for in terms of goals and assists are both Sander Berge and James McAtee. They have contributed well from midfield.
Burnley average 63.40% possession and only Swansea can come close to matching that in this league. Vincent Kompany has adopted a ball hungry system here and totally transformed the tactical style of the team. Centre back Jordan Beyer averages over 80 passes per 90 mins and is a strong candidate to rack up the numbers here.
Sheffield United average around 51% possession but are more of a natural counter-attacking side and will play direct if needed. In this sort of fixture, they may well sit back and try to soak up pressure. None of their players on this list average more than 47 passes per 90 mins so this is a market probably best left alone with Sheffield United.
Burnley Cards and Fouls
The Clarets have been a relatively clean team this season for Championship standards. There are still some players to watch out for though in terms of cards and fouls. Josh Brownhill averages close to a couple of fouls per 90 mins and leads Burnley with 8 cards. Ashley Barnes is a pressing type of forward who will harass defenders, sometimes over enthusiastically. Both Cullen and left back Isaac Maatsen are also guys worth considering in the fouls and cards market.
The trio of attackers Ndiaye, McAtee and McBurnie are most likely to draw fouls. The former two are more skilful and elusive, both averaging over 4 dribbles per 90 mins. McBurnie can be a more awkward physical customer and also the sort who will get in people’s faces to wind them up.
Matchups to watch
Josh Brownhill vs James McAtee
Ashley Barnes vs John Egan
Josh Cullen vs Iliman Ndiaye
Sheffield United Cards and Fouls
Anel Ahmedhodzic has amassed a huge 12 cards for Sheffield United and is a clear candidate to go into the book here. He also averages 1.40 fouls per 90 mins and will be up against Burnley top scorer Nathan Tella. John Egan is another defender worth looking at in this market, as is striker Ollie McBurnie. He will happily get stuck in and chase down balls, giving away several cheap free kicks. He averages 1.53 fouls per 90 mins, the most of anyone on this list.
Nathan Tella has been brilliant this season and is a constant menace in the Burnley attack. He is fouled on average 2.59 times per 90 mins and has a dribbling rate of 4.07. Both Jayden Bogle and possibly Robinson will be tested fully by him in this match. Ashley Barnes will have to be handled upfront and Ahmedhodzic may well be tasked with keeping him quiet. Jordan Beyer is fouled nearly once every 90 mins and could win a couple of cheap free kicks against McBurnie.
Matchups to watch
Jayden Bogle vs Nathan Tella
Anel Ahmedhodzic vs Ashley Barnes
Ollie McBurnie vs Jordan Beyer
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Taking a read through the data above, there’s a few bet builder selections that I liked the look of and stuck out as a bit of value. It’s a small odds balance builder at 3/1, or you can add the selections to boost a bet builder of your own.
Burnley vs Sheffield United
Burnley games average 9.54 corners per game.
This increases to 10.20 at Turf Moor.
Sheffield United games average 10.69 corners per game.
This decreases slightly but still breaks double digits at 10.15 away from home.
There were 16 corners when the two sides met in November.
Burnley games average 4.13 cards per game.
Sheffield United games average 4.61 cards.
Referee Michael Salisbury may average 2.67 cards per game in the Championship, but this increases to 4.77 in the Premier League – where both teams are destined to be.
There were 6 yellow cards in the reverse fixture this season.
Nathan Tella averages 2.66 shots p/90.
He’s had 2 or more attempts in 12 of his last 16 games in all competitions.
He’s surpassed the 2 shot mark in each of his last 6 Championship games at Turf Moor.
Anel Ahmedhodzic has received a hefty 12 cards this season.
He averages 1.40 fouls p/90.
He’s committed at least 1 foul in each of his last 6 Championship games, at a rate of 2.33 fouls per game.