Sheffield United’s FA Cup third round tussle with Wrexham in Wales at the end of January had as many plot twists as a Hollywood blockbuster and this evening’s replay at Bramall Lane promises to be another gripping drama.
The Red Dragons came within a whisker of blunting the Blades at the Racecourse Ground before United skipper John Egan notched an equalizer deep into injury time to tie the scores at 3-3. However, despite their late disappointment, Wrexham showed enough mettle to suggest they can cause an upset in the Steel City later on.
I’ve laid out my stats pack for this evening’s FA Cup clash below which is packed to bursting with useful info for your bet builder coupons. Use the research in conjunction with my Stats Pack Guide to increase your chances of success.
Sheffield United will be without the services of defenders Jack O’Connell, George Baldock and Enda Stevens today, while John Fleck and Rhian Brewster also absent further up the pitch in midfield and attack.
Loanee James McAtee is expected to reprise his role at number ten, while Oliver McBurnie – who scored in Wales last month – should be partnered in attack by veteran frontman, Billy Sharp.
Wrexham performed brilliantly in their first meeting with Sheffield United at the end of January, so expect manager Phil Parkinson to lean on the same XI and tactical setup in this evening’s replay against The Blades if he can.
Thomas O’Connor will once again be aiming to provide thrust from midfield, while dynamic duo, Ollie Palmer and Paul Mullin, will hope to combine to good effect in the final third.
Sheffield United are mounting a strong push for promotion in the Championship this season and Paul Heckingbottom’s side have been performing well across a number of metrics, particularly in defence, where The Blades hold the division’s best record in terms of goals conceded.
United have also been conceding fewer shots on target per 90 than any other outfit in the second tier, however, Wrexham bucked the trend in last month’s FA Cup contest, when they mustered 21 attempts against them, seven of which hit the target.
Like their hosts, Wrexham are engaged in a promotion charge this term and the Red Dragons have been posting the kind of underlying stats you’d expect to see from a team ready to climb the league ladder.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side have been full of goals in the fifth tier and they showcased their attacking threat against Sheffield United last month when they became the first team to put three goals past The Blades since mid-October.
Wrexham have been collecting fewer cards than United in 2022/23, though the teams picked up three each when they met in Wales a couple of weeks ago.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Ten different Sheffield United players registered shots on goal against Wrexham last month and 70% of those efforts were accurate. 26-year-old Oliver McBurnie accounted for one of those strikes on target and the Scottish striker is generally a reliable performer when selected to start.
Indeed, McBurnie has clocked an impressive 11 shots on target in his last five starts for Sheffield United and the frontman is available at a tempting 8/11 to lodge at least two more accurate pops later on.
Wrexham talisman Paul Mullin gave Sheffield United’s back three a torrid time in Wales last month and the prolific 28-year-old racked up seven attempts against the Blades, four of which found their mark.
Mullin has a number of weapons in his armoury and he looks good value at 4/9 to register at least one attempt on target at Bramall Lane this evening, while 21/10 to hit at least two accurate efforts also appeals for those looking to push the boat out a little more.
Irish midfielder Thomas O’Connor also threatened with three shots against United last month and the 23-year-old’s odds of 13/8 to notch at least one strike on target later on should interest a few.
Player Goals and Assists
Oliver McBurnie is already into double figures in all competitions for Sheffield United this season, despite starting just 14 times in the Championship and FA Cup combined. The 26-year-old scored against Wrexham after just two minutes in Wales and McBurnie is even money to do some damage anytime again today.
Tommy Doyle meanwhile, chipped in with two assists for The Blades against Wrexham in January and the 21-year-old has created three goals in his last three appearances overall. Doyle has a wicked delivery from set pieces and he is available at 5/2 to finish with another assist this evening.
Wrexham’s Paul Mullin has been in electrifying form in the National League this season and the 28-year-old has already reached 20 goals for the campaign. Mullins has also transferred his prowess to the FA Cup and his 86th-minute goal against Sheffield United last month allowed him to continue his streak of scoring in every round of the competition so far.
Mullin is a generous-looking 21/10 to score anytime again at Bramall Lane later, while his foil in attack Ollie Palmer – who rattled the bar with a fierce strike in last month’s cup contest – is a slightly longer 11/4 in the same market.
The possession was split relatively evenly between Wrexham and Sheffield United in Wales, though the scales should tip more in The Blades’ favour at Bramall Lane during this evening’s replay.
Holding midfielder Oliver Norwood generally sets the pace for United with his clever range of distribution and the 31-year-old played more passes than any other player on the pitch in Wales last month (62). Expect Norwood to top the charts again later today.
Sheffield United Cards
Sheffield United skipper John Egan is the club’s joint-most carded player in the Championship this season and true to form, the Republic of Ireland international was booked against Wrexham last month.
Egan (16/5) is one to consider in the card market again this evening alongside fellow Blades stalwart Oliver Norwood (15/8). Jayden Bogle meanwhile, had an uncomfortable time of it in Wales in United’s first tussle with Wrexham. The wing-back committed a whopping five fouls, one of which earned a yellow card and Bogle is 10/3 to enter the referee’s notebook again later today.
Unsurprisingly, Wrexham hot-shot Paul Mullin has been one of the Red Dragons’ most-fouled players this term and his skirmish with John Egan has card-producing potential again today.
In midfield, schemer Elliott Lee could be in for some rough treatment from Oliver Norwood, while left wing-back Callum McFadzean will hope to push Jayden Bogle to the brink again with his rampaging surges down the flank.
Match-Ups to watch
John Egan vs Paul Mullin
Oliver Norwood vs Elliott Lee
Jayden Bogle vs Callum McFadzean
Luke Young is a combative presence in midfield for Wrexham and the 29-year-old tops the charts for yellow cards in the National League this season. Young was also cautioned against Sheffield United last month and he could tackle his way into trouble again this evening, which makes him an interesting prospect at 16/5 in the card market.
Ollie Palmer loves to ruffle defender’s feathers and the striker tends to rack up his fair share of fouls as a consequence. Palmer (11/2) will be determined to shake things up again this evening, as will Wrexham centre-half James Jones.
Jones (11/4) can be a little heavy-handed at the back and the 26-year-old could be drawn into industrial action against a physical Sheffield United frontline in the Steel City.
James McAtee loves to carry the ball past opponents, though the talented playmaker often draws fouls from beaten markers and Wrexham’s Luke Young could be the latest midfielder to aim some punishment in McAtee’s direction today.
Chris Basham has been consistently fouled at centre-half this season and the defender could be knocked about again later by Wrexham’s old-school centre-forward, Ollie Palmer.
At the opposite end, the battle-hardened Billy Sharp could be involved in another skirmish or two with Wrexham centre-half James Jones. The card-spawning potential in that head-to-head feels also feels high.
Match-Ups to watch
Luke Young vs James McAtee
Ollie Palmer vs Chris Basham
James Jones vs Billy Sharp
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
The last meeting between these two provided us with an absolute treat that was great for bet builders. I’ve put together a few selections below that landed in that fixture that look good value once again.
Sheffield United vs Wrexham
Sheffield United average 1.66 goals for a game, and 0.83 goals against.
Their xG for is 1.89 P/90, whilst their xGA is 1.26 P/90, suggesting that teams create chances regularly against them.
Wrexham score 2.57 goals per game, and concede 0.86 per game.
The have a staggering xG of 2.05 P/90 and an xGA of 1.25 P/90.
The reverse fixture between these two finished 3-3.
Paul Mullin averages 1.58 shots on target P/90 from 3.34 shots.
He managed 4 shots on target in the reverse fixture.
Sheffield United average 5.93 corners per game, and concede 5.10 per game (11.03 match corners P/90).
Wrexham average 7.25 corners per game, and concede 4.00 on average (11.25 match corners P/90).
There were 9 corners in the first meeting.
Sheffield United average 2.28 cards both for and against P/90.
Wrexham average 1.07 cards for, and 1.65 cards against P/90. These numbers should increase against a stronger side (they picked up 3 in the first meeting).
The reverse fixture saw a total of 5 cards.