Sheffield United are still chasing their first win of the Premier League season, while Newcastle United are looking up after ending a three-match losing run. We look ahead to Sunday’s matach at Bramall Lane with our Sheffield United vs Newcastle United prediction and preview.
Sheffield United vs Newcastle United: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is siding with the visitors ahead of Sunday’s game, giving Newcastle a 42.9% chance of beating Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
- Sheffield United have had fewer shots per game than any other Premier League team in 2023-24 (8.2), while their total of 114 shots faced is the highest in the division.
- Since the start of last season, only Erling Haaland (43) and Harry Kane (30) have scored more Premier League goals than Newcastle’s Callum Wilson (21).
Sheffield United approach Sunday’s tussle with Newcastle still seeking their first victory since winning promotion back to the Premier League, and the Blades must pick themselves up following last week’s agonising near miss at Tottenham.
Gustavo Hamer’s 73rd-minute strike put Sheffield United on the brink of a smash-and-grab win in north London, and the visitors still led 1-0 going into the 98th minute. From there, goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski caused bedlam as Spurs recorded the latest winning comeback in Premier League history, with Kulusevski’s strike – timed at 99 minutes and 53 seconds – the latest winning goal since Premier League records began in 2006-07.
Brentford (six) were the only Premier League side to drop more points from winning positions than Sheffield United (five) across the first five matchdays of 2023-24. Paul Heckingbottom’s side remain near the foot of the table with one point, having also dropped five points to goals conceded in or after the 88th minute.
They will need cool heads to respond to last week’s collapse. Heckingbottom made headlines with his comments about the “appalling” level of officiating in the Premier League after the Tottenham defeat, questioning the number of yellow cards being issued due to new anti-timewasting directives.
With 12 cards shown – including two bookings for Oli McBurnie, who was dismissed in stoppage time – Sheffield United’s defeat to Spurs tied the Premier League record for most cards in a single game, and another feisty affair is likely on Sunday. The Blades (16 yellows, one red) and Newcastle (17 yellows) have received the joint-most cards in the Premier League this season, while Newcastle have also drawn a league-high 17 cards (one red) from their opponents.
With McBurnie suspended, Bénie Traoré could partner Cameron Archer – who scored on his first Premier League start in Sheffield United’s last home game against Everton – in attack. Further back, Jayden Bogle and James McAtee should be fine after being withdrawn at Spurs, but George Baldock is doubtful.
Newcastle travel to Bramall Lane after enjoying a promising few days, having ended a three-game Premier League losing run by beating Brentford before holding Milan to a goalless draw at San Siro in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League opener.
Eddie Howe must get used to balancing domestic and continental commitments this season, with his club having lost their last eight away Premier League games immediately following a midweek match in Europe, though Sunday’s contest will be their first such game since March 2013 (a 2-1 defeat at Wigan Athletic).
Callum Wilson‘s penalty handed Howe’s side a nervy 1-0 win over Brentford last Saturday, with the striker now tied for fifth in Newcastle’s all-time Premier League scoring charts, joining Les Ferdinand on 41 top-flight goals for the club.
Since the start of last season, only Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (43) and former Tottenham star Harry Kane (30) have bettered Wilson’s tally of 21 Premier League goals.
With Wilson replaced by Alexander Isak, Newcastle failed to show much attacking endeavour in Milan and were indebted to Nick Pope for making eight saves to preserve their clean sheet. Milan’s tally of 25 shots (nine on target) was their most without scoring in a Champions League game since 2005, with the Magpies shot-stopper looking back to his best as he clinched consecutive shutouts.
Sven Botman’s return from injury has been crucial for Howe, and he will continue at the heart of Newcastle’s backline. In midfield, Joelinton is expected to miss out with a knee issue, but Sandro Tonali recovered from a knock to face his former club in midweek and should retain his place in the lineup alongside Bruno Guimarães.
Sheffield United vs Newcastle United Head-to-Head
Newcastle have a strong record against Sheffield United, winning six of their last seven league meetings.
The exception was a 1-0 defeat on their last trip to Bramall Lane in January 2021, when Billy Sharp’s penalty handed Sheffield United their first win of the 2020-21 Premier League season in their 18th game.
Newcastle earned a measure of revenge four months later in what remains the teams’ most recent meeting, with Joe Willock heading in Jacob Murphy’s cross to secure a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.
None of the eight all-time Premier League meetings between Sheffield United and Newcastle have finished level, with Newcastle earning five wins and Sheffield United triumphing three times.
Newcastle had a strong record on the road last season, only losing three of their 19 Premier League away games (eight wins, eight draws). However, they have lost both of their away matches this season, at Manchester City and Brighton.
They could lose three successive away league games for the first time since April 2022, while Sheffield United are chasing their first top-flight victory since 23rd May 2021 when, despite already being relegated, they beat Burnley 1-0.
Newcastle are unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League games against promoted teams, winning seven and drawing seven since losing 2-1 to Leeds in January 2021. That represents their longest such streak since a run of 15 games between September 2002 and January 2005.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Sheffield United vs Newcastle United Prediction
The Opta supercomputer makes Newcastle favourites for Sunday’s game, giving them a 42.9% chance of victory.
Sheffield United are assigned a 27.5% chance of earning their first win of the season, with the likelihood of a draw rated at 29.6%.
A winless start for Heckingbottom’s side has done nothing to ease the supercomputer’s fears regarding their long-term prospects. Across 10,000 season simulations ahead of kick-off, Sheffield United were relegated in 65.5% of scenarios.
Newcastle are predicted to compete for European qualification again, with the supercomputer giving them a 21.4% chance of another top-four finish. Fifth and sixth (both 16.1%) are seen as their most likely finishing positions.