Sheffield United vs Manchester CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Oct 31, 2020, Bramall Lane
SHEFFIELD UNITED are still seeking their first win of the new Premier League campaign and it's hard to see it coming when Manchester City head to Bramall Lane.
Second-season syndrome was always going to be a concern for Chris Wilder's men after their stunning return to top-flight action last term.
And the Blades certainly seem to be suffering from it, having picked up a single point from their first six league games.
Manchester City's start has also been poor, with Pep Guardiola's men collecting only eight points from their first five fixtures to languish in the bottom half of the table.
Injuries and Covid-19 have played their part, robbing Guardiola of several top players, and they will take on Sheffield United without a recognised striker with Sergio Aguero joining Gabriel Jesus on the sidelines.
But that didn't bother them too much in midweek as they eased to a 3-0 Champions League win at Marseille, with Raheem Sterling capping victory with a strike that brought up one of my tips while busting another.
If City show the same levels at Bramall Lane then it's hard to see them slipping up, even though Sheffield United's own performances have picked up in recent weeks.
How the bookies view it
The Blades are rank outsiders and are as big as 9/1 for a win with BetVictor, with the draw a 5/1 shot at Bet365. City don't offer much value at a best 1/3 with William Hill but doubling it with a clean sheet pays 11/10 at Genting. That bet came up in both games between these sides last term.
Recent head to head
It ended 1-0 to Manchester City when they came to Bramall Lane last term (below) while Guardiola's side claimed a 2-0 triumph at the Etihad. The last meeting before that was a 2-1 victory for Sheffield United in the 2007/08 FA Cup.
Players to watch
Aguero will be a big miss for City as he scored two of their three goals against the Blades last season. Kevin De Bruyne netted the other but the Belgian might be rested for this one having only just returned from injury.
Sterling will probably spearhead Guardiola's attack again so I will stick with him for anytime scorer at 23/20 with BetVictor.
Oli McBurnie's aerial prowess caused Liverpool plenty of problems in Sheffield United's 2-1 loss at Anfield so Wilder (below) might try to target City in the same way. The Scotland striker is 15/4 with Betway for a goal.
Anything else catch the eye?
City's incredible record of first-half goals continued in Marseille and they have only drawn a blank in the first 45 minutes once this season. But they are just 4/11 with Betway to score in the first half here and you need to back over 1.5 first-half City strikes to increase the odds to 19/10.
The odds are better on Guardiola's men netting in both halves, priced 10/11 at William Hill, and I will have a nibble at that.
It's always worth backing a goal from outside the area when City are in action, with the likes of De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Sterling all capable of scoring from distance. It pays 6/5 here at Betfred.
This English Premier League match between Sheffield United and Manchester City will be played on Oct 31, 2020 and kick off at 12:30. Check below for our tipsters best Sheffield United vs Manchester City prediction.