Wrexham, who are best known for their Hollywood relations rather than football these days welcome Championship club Sheffield United to the Racecourse Ground. The place is going to be absolutely rocking and the club owned by Ryan Reynolds will be hoping for a giant killing. The visitors are strongly in the promotion hunt back to the Premier league and will have to be careful not to suffer the same fate that Coventry did in the previous round.
If you’re planning a bet builder for the game, which there are full markets available for, you’ll want to back up your picks with some stats. Use the numbers below alongside my Stats Pack Guide to boost your chances of winning bets.
Wrexham have been very consistent in a 3-5-2 formation this season, and nothing is likely to change from that perspective. A similar XI to the one which beat Coventry in the previous round is to be expected. Key striker Paul Mullin will lead the line and either Sam Dalby or Ollie Palmer will join him upfront. New signing Andy Cannon could be a candidate to start in defence, but he will find it hard to upset an established backline.
Sheffield United have several players on the sidelines still, including Ciaran Clark, Enda Stevens and John Fleck. Striker Ollie McBurnie recently returned form injury and could be a candidate to start here, although is more likely to make an appearance from the bench. There is a strong chance that Billy Sharp will be in the side upfront for this cup tie. Manager Paul Heckingbottom has been employing a 3-5-2 this season, so nothing will change there.
Wrexham average a massive 2.59 goals per game and just 0.85 against. We must bear in mind that they are one of the most dominant teams in the Conference division and this will be a more difficult and different test for them. The Welsh outfit average a massive 16.39 shots per game and just 9.42 against.
It is unsurprising to see Wrexham with a high corner count of 7.30 per game. They only concede an average of 4.07 corners in each fixture. Cards have been on the low side. Wrexham have been very well disciplined only obtaining 1.19 cards in each game. Their opponents have only been drawn into 1.70 cards which is surprisingly a little low considering how dominant Wrexham have been.
Sheffield United average 1.71 goals per game and only 0.86 against. Their xG is as high as 1.90 so this is clearly a team with great offensive potential. They average 13.93 shots per game, of which an impressive 5.04 are on target. Just 2.64 SOT against per game demonstrates their excellent defence.
Corners have been high in Blades matches. They average nearly 6 corners per game themselves with 5.18 against. Cards have also been on the high side and their fixtures have averaged exactly 2.32 cards for and against.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Three players average over 2.70 shots per game: Mullin, Lee and Palmer. All of them average at least one SOT per 90 mins with Mullin offering the most (1.65). Other players to consider for a shot could be Hayden, Young or Jones who all average at least 1.20 shots per 90 mins.
Ollie McBurnie has averaged a massive 4.73 shots per 90 mins with an impressive 2.32 SOT rate. He is the clear go-to man upfront. Three other players, Bogle, Doyle and Ndiaye all average over 2 shots per 90 mins with decent accuracy stats as well. This is a team which shoots plenty but also on target.
Player Goals and Assists
Paul Mullin has amassed a monstrous 20 goals this season and is a clear hitman to watch out for. Palmer has scored 13 times and Hayden 11. Luke Young has the most assists for Wrexham in the league with 8, whilst Paul Mullin has 6.
Iliman Ndiaye is the leading scorer with ten goals. He also tops the Sheffield United supply list having amassed 7 assists. Ollie McBurnie has scored 9 goals and enjoyed an excellent season. From midfield, Sander Berge has scored four goals and supplied 3 assists. Centre back Anel Ahmedhodic has been lethal from set pieces nailing four goals. Midfield playmaker Oliver Norwood has five assists which is the second most on this list.
Wrexham have been well disciplined this season. Luke Young has six cards but only averages 0.88 foul per 90 mins. Ollie Palmer averages higher with fouls at 1.61 but nobody else really stands out. It will be much different for them against a top EFL Championship side though.
Striker Iliman Ndiaye has been fouled 1.73 times per 90 mins and is a matchup nightmare for any defence. He dribbles over 4 times per game and is an elusive threat. Whoever players alongside him upfront, Billy Sharp or Ollie McBurnie will also be a tough task for the Wrexham backline. Attacking midfielder James McAatee is another high dribbler (3.05) and gets fouled 1.43 times per 90 mins.
Match-ups to watch:
Luke Young vs James McAtee
Jordan Tunnicliffe vs Iliman Ndiaye
Aaron Hayden vs Billy Sharp or Ollie McBurnie
Sheffield United Cards
Defenders John Egan and Anel Ahmedhodzic rank highest for cards with 8 and 7 respectively. Striker Ollie McBurnie averages 1.58 fouls per 90 mins, the most of anyone on this list. Midfielders Oliver Norwood and James McAtee are also worth looking at for cards and fouls.
The strike duo of Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer rank fairly high for fouls drawn. Those two, alongside creative playmaker Elliot Lee are going to cause the most problems to the Sheffield United defence.
Match-ups to watch:
John Egan vs Paul Mullin
Anel Ahmedhodzic vs Ollie Palmer
Oliver Norwood vs Elliot Lee
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
Here’s a few bet builder picks that stood out as value when making the stats pack. Comes in at 4/1.
Wrexham vs Sheffield United
Wrexham are averaging 2.59 goals scored per 90 minutes and it’s 1.71 for Sheffield United.
Paul Mullin is comfortably Wrexham’s most accurate shooter with him having 1.65 shots on target per 90 minutes. He’s also their leading goalscorer with 20 goals in 27 appearances.
Sheffield United are averaging bang on 5 shots on target per match and they take on inferior opposition here, albeit a side who’ll compete for sure.
Wrexham are averaging 11.37 corners per match with over 7 of those being taken by themselves. As for Sheffield United, they’re averaging 11.14 corners per match.