Arsenal brace for a tough trip to Bramall Lane as they take on Sheffield United in the Premier League, looking to keep themselves in the top-four.
But the game is a potential banana skin for Unai Emery and his men. Not only Sheffield United have impressed one and all with their football this season, but they are a force at Bramall Lane. Ask Liverpool. The current league leaders just about managed to escape with all three points, riding all their luck on that particular day.
Then there’s a history behind this fixture which doesn’t bode well for the Gunners. Sheffield remain unbeaten at home to Arsenal in the four meetings in the Premier League era.
That said, this Arsenal team emanates a different feeling about them. There’s a tenacity in the midfield, more discipline at the back, while the front is always a threat for any team. No wonder, Pep Guardiola mentioned Gunners as the Darkhorse for the Premier League.
But the top-four is the realistic and the minimum target for Arsenal this season. The team is still in transition, yet to hit its full potential.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, must address this season as the “First-Season Hurdle” after earning the top-flight ticket this summer. They should not get carried away at all with the optimism the team created so far this season. It takes a game to create a barrier. Remember Blackpool from the 2011-12 season.
Ian Holloway’s men made a fantastic start to that season, recording some memorable result, but none more attention-grabbing than the 1-2 win over Liverpool at Anfield. But Blackpool were relegated that season.
The Premier League match will be played between Sheffield United and Arsenal at Bramall Lane, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The ground has a capacity of 32,702.
The game will start at 12:30 AM (IST), on Tuesday, October 22.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Sheffield United – D W L L D W
Arsenal – W W W D W W
Sheffield United Team News:
John Fleck, Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick all will face late fitness test before the game against Arsenal.
McBurnie and Fleck both pulled put from the Scotland squad through injury while McGoldrick has missed the last four games for Sheffield with a groin problem.
Dean Henderson, who is on-loan from Manchester United, has been declared fit to play, and Chris Wilder will hope that Callum Robinson, Enda Stevens and John Egan do likewise. The trio picked up injuries while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Sheffield United Probable XI:
Henderson (GK), Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Norwood, Stevens, Lundstram, Fleck, McBurnie, Robinson
Arsenal FC Team News:
Reiss Nelson has been diagnosed with a knee ligament injury and won’t return to the training until November.
Arsenal released pictures of Alexandre Lacazette returning to full training on their social media accounts, although the former Lyon hitman will have to prove his match fitness on Monday. Emile Smith-Rowe is also available for selection.
Arsenal Probable XI:
Bernd Leno (GK), Tierney, Luiz, Holding / Sokratis, Bellerin / Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Saka, Ceballos, Pepe, Aubameyang
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
ARS vs SHF Dream11 potential winner:
Arsenal must win these kinds of games if they are to challenge for the title as well as top-our.