In a Premier League match between two teams at opposite ends of the table, Spurs will be hoping to continue their impressive start on Saturday. Look ahead to the game with our Tottenham vs Sheffield United prediction and preview.
Tottenham vs Sheffield United: The Quick Hits
- Tottenham (58.9%) are strong favourites to defeat Sheffield United (16.2%) with the Opta supercomputer.
- Spurs have made an unbeaten start and sit second in the Premier League table, with key clashes against Arsenal and Liverpool to come.
- All four of Sheff Utd’s matches have been close, but they are one of just five winless teams so far in 2023-24.
After a change in management and the departure of talisman Harry Kane, most Tottenham Hotspur fans would have rejoiced in pre-season if they had been offered second place in the Premier League at the first international break of the campaign.
That lofty position is where manager Ange Postecoglou has led Spurs and if his side can dispatch Sheffield United in a home match on Saturday as club football returns, they will take enormous momentum into crucial upcoming fixtures with rivals Arsenal and fellow top-four contenders Liverpool.
Confidence is high at Tottenham after a thumping 5-2 win at Burnley last time out and it is another side recently promoted from the Championship who they now face, with this contest against Sheffield United only Spurs’ second at home this season.
Spurs have scored two or more goals in each of their four top-flight games under Postecoglou. If they repeat that again here, the Australian will be the first EPL boss since Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea in 2018 to achieve that feat in their first five matches in the competition – an accomplishment also reached by Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare.
Sheffield United have been in tight matches over the opening weeks of the season, even running champions Manchester City close in Matchday 3. Rodri had to score a late winner to preserve a 100% start for Guardiola’s men after Erling Haaland had earlier missed a penalty and then scored before Jayden Bogle equalised.
The Blades are yet to be beaten by more than one goal but will be disappointed to have only collected one point from those close opening four matches, especially having led relegation rivals Everton in their previous fixture before having to settle for a dramatic 2-2 draw. That was their first draw in 28 Premier League games.
Spurs hope defender Cristian Romero, who is battling a thigh injury, will be passed fit. The Argentina international has scored two Premier League goals in four matches this season after only netting once in his first 49, with his fine strike against Burnley being one to savour.
Even more crucial to Spurs achieving victory could be attacking midfielder James Maddison, who has made a flying start to the season that resulted in him being named as a starter for England in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Ukraine.
Since the start of 2021-22, Maddison has racked up 43 Premier League goal involvements, scoring 24 times and adding 19 assists, all the more impressive given he spent most of that time playing for Leicester City, who were relegated last season.
The only two English players with more combined goals and assists in the Premier League during that time are Tottenham great Kane (59) and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (46), with Maddison hoping to make it three top-flight matches in a row with a goal when he takes to the field against the Blades.
Yves Bissouma has also thrived across the opening weeks, making an impact at both ends of the pitch in Postecoglou’s system after struggling to carve out his place in the side under Antonio Conte.
As for Sheff Utd, Cameron Archer is a player to watch after his strike against Everton last time out. Only once before have the club had a player score in both of his first two Premier League appearances for them, and that was Brian Deane way back in the first season of the competition in 1992-93.
Tottenham vs Sheffield United Head-to-Head
Tottenham do not have fond memories of the last fixture between the two sides, as Sheffield United defeated Spurs 1-0 at Bramall Lane in March to dump them out of the FA Cup in the fifth round.
Iliman Ndiaye, who has since joined Marseille, scored an impressive winning goal in the closing stages as Spurs produced a lacklustre performance, with the introduction of Kane from the bench not enough to save them.
The last two Premier League meetings are more positive recollections for Spurs, performances they will look to replicate when we reach kick-off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In the 2020-21 season, Spurs won 3-1 away and their last home fixture against the Blades was a 4-0 victory in May 2021.
Gareth Bale was the Tottenham hero that day, scoring a hat-trick against already relegated Sheff Utd, with Son Heung-min also netting in an impressive outing as Spurs were led by interim manager Ryan Mason.
The league double that season ended what had been a poor Tottenham record in recent fixture history, as they had only won twice against Sheff Utd in the 11 meetings which came before.
Having said that, the Blades have always been more of a threat in home matches against Spurs than on their travels. Their last win at Tottenham came way back in November 1991.
Son has previously scored in this fixture and his hat-trick at Burnley added further to his impressive record against promoted sides. The South Korean forward has been directly involved in 31 goals in his last 31 Premier League appearances against such teams, with 21 goals and 10 assists.
The former Golden Boot winner is hoping to become the eighth player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick in successive appearances. It may not surprise you to learn that the previous star to achieve the feat was Haaland for Man City in August 2022.
Since an entertaining draw at Brentford on the opening weekend, Tottenham have defeated Manchester United, Bournemouth and Burnley in convincing fashion, scoring nine goals and conceding just two across those three contests.
A penalty shootout defeat to Fulham in the Carabao Cup has been their only setback to date, but an emphatic response against Burnley, which included the treble from Son, meant Spurs sprinted into the international break.
Sheffield United got their first point of the campaign against Everton, but it has been a frustrating start, with Paul Heckingbottom also seeing his side crash out of the cup at the same stage as Spurs when they lost on penalties to League One outfit Lincoln City.
A win for Tottenham in north London would see them move on to 13 points from their opening five matches, which would be their best-ever start in the Premier League era and their fastest opening to a top-flight season for 58 years.
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.
Tottenham vs Sheffield United Prediction
The Opta supercomputer does not believe an upset is likely based on its Tottenham vs Sheffield United prediction.
Spurs are strong favourites with a 58.9% chance of victory according to our model, while Sheffield United are down at 16.2%. Given the form of the two teams coming into this Premier League fixture, the Blades would likely be glad to take a draw, which is given a 24.9% chance.
In terms of the overall Premier League season, the Opta supercomputer has simulated the campaign 10,000 times and looked at the longer-term predictions for both teams.
Tottenham’s impressive start to the campaign has significantly improved their projection based on the pre-season. Their overall chance of a top-four finish in the standings is now 32.0%, which has rocketed up from 9.5% when the campaign started.
Tottenham fans will enjoy learning that their most likely finishing position is rated as fourth, which they achieve in 17.8% of simulations, though there is still a wide range of outcomes for Spurs, who finish in every position between third and eighth at least 9% of the time. It looks like an intense battle for UEFA Champions League qualification as the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Brighton lie ahead.
The simulator is not as enjoyable viewing for supporters of Sheffield United. Their relegation odds were already worrying at 49.0% at the start of the campaign and that chance has now gone up to 64.8%.
Sheff Utd finish bottom of the table in 25.7% of our projections, with only Luton Town (28.4%) faring worse in that regard.