Thursday, February 25

Sheffield United-Fulham Preview – Sports Illustrated


Scott Parker believes there could still be big twists and turns in the fight to avoid relegation as Fulham gears up for another gigantic match against Sheffield United.

Fulham posted just its third Premier League win of the season last week at Everton and came within six points of safety with a disappointing draw against Burnley.

With 17th-ranked Newcastle United not in action until Sunday, Parker’s men could now cut the deficit further.

However, regardless of Saturday’s result, Parker foresees a situation where a struggling team could quickly turn its season around.

“I think they are seeing teams in this division, and I include us, that can win soccer games,” he said.

“So while it may seem very bleak a week, I think we can win two or three on the rebound.”

He added: “We have a lot of confidence. Confidence is very high and it has been that way for much of the season.”

“It’s a great game for us this weekend and we understand it, we know what is at stake and we know what we have to do.”

Sheffield United are last, 14 points behind Newcastle, but manager Chris Wilder has yet to entertain talks on Championship plans and possible transfer outs.

“You have to watch out for what might happen, of course, but just a little bit,” he said.

“I want to keep everyone and be nice and strong and see if we have a chance. If the inevitable happens, since we are not in a great position right now, then we go on and on.

“But there is still a fight and fire in my stomach and in the players that we can win games from now until the end of the season.”

PLAYERS TO SEE

Fulham – Bobby De Cordova-Reid

Fulham’s home form has been a concern, but De Cordova-Reid has at least served Craven Cottage. He is the only Fulham player with more than one league goal at home this season, his three just one short of matching his tally from last season in the Championship (four).

Sheffield United – Rhian Brewster

Brewster was Sheffield United’s great hope for this season, but his luck has mirrored that of the team. Still waiting for his first goal for the club, Wilder’s patience seems to be wearing thin. Brewster has been an unused substitute in two of the Blades’ last three league games and should seize his chance if another presents Saturday.

OPTA KEY FACTS

– Fulham have lost just one of their last eight league games against Sheffield United (4 wins, 3 draws), losing 2-0 at Bramall Lane in January 2007 in the Premier League.

– Sheffield United have won just one of their last 12 away league matches against Fulham (3 draws, 8 losses) and have not won in their last five visits to Craven Cottage since a 3-2 victory in September 1985.

– After a streak of 196 straight league home games without a goalless draw, three of Fulham’s last six home games in the Premier League have ended 0-0. They had the most goalless draws at home in a single league season in 2001-02 (five).

– Sheffield United only won two of its 27 Premier League matches in London (D8 L17), winning at Chelsea in October 1992 (2-1) and Crystal Palace in February 2020 (1-0).

– Fulham have scored just seven goals in 12 Premier League home games this season (1 win, 4 losses, 7 losses), fewer than any other club. The only two teams with fewer goals after their first 12 Premier League home games of a season were Everton in 1998-99 (three) and Huddersfield Town in 2018-19 (five).



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