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Sheffield United vs Man City Stats and Bet Builder Tips Preview

Sheffield United vs Manchester City Stats and Bet Builder Tips Preview Featured Image

Two sides who could not be further apart in their ambitions this season. Man City enter this season looking to complete the unprecedented. Four consecutive titles – and become the first ever team in English football to do it. Back-to-back trebles and back-to-back Champions Leagues – no English club has done the latter aside from Nottingham Forest.

Sheffield United are simply hoping to hang on to their Premier League status and Paul Heckingbottom has one of the toughest jobs in the league managing that. He has lost star performers Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge, his captain Billy Sharp and loanees James McAtee and Tommy Doyle, who played pivotal roles in promotion on loan from Man City. They have been valiant but short so far, losing 1-0 and 2-1 against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest but the signing of Gustavo Hamer and potential addition of Cameron Archer has lifted the spirits at Bramall Lane.  

A result for the hosts would make this game one of the shock results of the season, even at this early stage. We have broken down the key performers for the fixture and found some excellent options for your Sheffield United vs Man City bet builder.  

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Heckingbottom lacks options for change 

One of the problems with Sheffield United’s money and injury troubles is that Heckingbottom has found it difficult to upgrade his side so far. It means a similar XI is likely to face Man City despite two defeats in two. Former Liverpool youngster Yasser Larouci could come in at left wing back while Ben Osborn is expected to keep his place on the right, despite being a left footed central midfielder. William Osula has another opportunity to impress in attack.  

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City could go unchanged 

It perhaps said a lot about City’s depth at present that when they 1-0 up against Newcastle, Pep Guardiola decided against making any changes. We could see the same XI perform on Sunday, meaning consecutive starts for new man Josko Gvardiol and a return to Bramall Lane for Kyle Walker, who will wear the captain’s armband.  

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Sheffield United understandably struggling 

Paul Heckingbottom has his work cut out and that has shown early doors with his team managing just 0.5 xG in each of their opening two matches, leaving them bottom of the table for xG, shots and shots on target for sides that have played two or more games. They have also conceded the second most shots (40) and most fouls (13.5 per 90), showcasing the difficulties the Blades are having.  

Man City remain phenomenal 

Man City are rightfully lauded for their attacking output but their success often comes because teams can’t get anywhere near their defence. They are the only Premier League side yet to concede a goal after two games and have conceded 0.6 expected goals. No side has conceded fewer shots (13), shots on targets (two) and even corners (three). They have also picked up just one yellow card this season – perhaps one to avoid in your Sheffield United vs Man City bet builder.  


Norwood remains the central hub of everything Blades 

Oliver Norwood has proven to be a promotion master in recent years, helping Brighton, Fulham and Sheffield United (twice) into the top flight. In the Premier League, his form has been hit and miss but there is little denying that the Northern Irishman remains central to everything Sheffield United do, sitting at the base of midfield and popping the ball about the pitch. Despite his team averaging just over 30% of the ball, Norwood has averaged 63 passes per 90 and is available at 1.30 to make over 50 on Saturday.  

Hamer deservedly a Premier League footballer 

Gustavo Hamer stepped into the Premier League and did what made him such a pivotal figure for Coventry City in their promotion bid last term – he scored. Hamer hit 20 goal contributions for the Sky Blues so seeing him getting off to a positive start under Heckingbottom was little surprise. With the Blades still blunt in attack, the Brazilian will likely be his team’s best chance of producing against the might of Man City – he’s available at 5.50 to score or assist if you fancy Sheffield United action in your bet builder.  

Ahmedhodzic bold but brilliant 

Sheffield United’s previous time in the Premier League was dominated by talk of overlapping centre-backs and Anel Ahmedhodzic was signed, in the summer of 2022, with that in mind – the Bosnian is a proactive, front-foot defender who enjoys having the ball at his feet. His team have struggled in the final third yet he has managed two shots so far – he’s available at 5.50 to have a single shot on Sunday afternoon. He’s also committed four fouls – notable given he could have Phil Foden and Jack Grealish nearby.  

Haaland remains the man for City 

It’s nigh on impossible to talk about a Man City bet builder these days without discussing Erling Haaland, the semi-robotic striker who scores goals. He already has two to his name this campaign and remains very lively in front of the opposition goal, mustering eight shots and four shots on target – he’s available at 1.36 to have two or more shots on target. He’s also enjoying more of the physical stuff, committing three fouls and drawing two.  

Pass-master Rodri to select cruise control at Bramall Lane 

Rodri is like a magnet to a football. He averaged over 90 passes per 90 last season with over 90% accuracy. So far this season, he has attempted 110 and 135 passes – and he’s about to play a side likely to have very little of the ball – he’s 1.36 to make 90 or more passes on Sunday. He’s also getting forward to good effect too, managing four shots of which three were on target and one hit the back of the net against Burnley on the opening weekend. Finally, he has committed four fouls in both matches – one to keep an eye on.  

Phil Foden looking to make his mark 

Foden has started in electric fashion, managing three shots and one on target in both league matches, as well as a shot on target off the bench against Arsenal in the Community Shield. He’s 1.30 to match that feat here.  


Benie Traore vs Kyle Walker 

Benie Traore is a young man keen to make an impact as he looks to justify his selection before the big guns return for Sheffield United. That eagerness has seen him cross the line on a number of occasions, committing six fouls in his first two Premier League starts, five against Crystal Palace and another against Nottingham Forest. He has been the left-sided forward in the Sheffield United attack so it stands to reason that his pace will be matched up against Kyle Walker, at the other end of his career but showing few signs of slowing down. Walker has already been fouled three times this term.  

Anel Ahmedhodzic vs Erling Haaland 

It’s been referenced already in this piece but Ahmedhodzic faces the unenviable task of finding himself at any given moment up against Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez or Jack Grealish. He is going to have to show everything in his armoury to get the better of those duels. With Sheffield United likely to be sitting deep and narrow, Ahmedhodzic’s focus will be primarily on Haaland, who has already been fouled twice this season. Yet Haaland hasn’t been afraid to challenge himself, committing three fouls and Ahmedhodzic is likely the man brave enough to try and escape.  

Gustavo Hamer vs Rodri 

Sheffield United have signed a fireball in Gustavo Hamer, the Dutchman who will do whatever he can to get on the ball, commit people and stop the opposition playing. His duel with Rodri could be a fascinating one, looking to start the press and get on top of the Spaniard. Hamer committed and drew one foul in his season opener, committed two fouls in his only start for Coventry and averaged 1.79, 1.91 and 2.56 fouls in his three Championship seasons. Rodri, meanwhile, has committed four fouls of his own this term and is fouled more than once every two games.


We have put together a four-leg bet builder for your consideration, adapt and amend our selections with your own picks of the pack to enhance your enjoyment of this fixture.

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Sheffield United v Manchester City

Calendar 27th August
Football icon kick off 14:00
Football icon Benie Traore 1+ fouls
Arrow down

Traore has committed six fouls in two matches, Traore is up against Walker, who has been fouled three times.

Football icon Anel Ahmedhodzic 1+ fouls
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Ahmedhodzic has committed four fouls in his two matches and the Bosnian is likely to be up against Haaland (fouled twice) and Grealish (most fouled player in the Premier League last season).

Football icon Phil Foden 1+ shots on target
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Foden has managed a shot on target in all three domestic appearances this season. Sheffield United have conceded more shots than any other Premier League team (20 per 90)

Football icon Erling Haaland to score or assist
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Haaland broke the Premier League record for goals scored last season and the Norwegian scored a brace against newly-promoted Burnley on the league’s opening night.

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