Sheffield United’s third pre-season friendly sees them take on Sliema Wanderers this evening.
The Blades started their preparations for the 2011-12 League One campaign with a 1-1 draw against Sheffield FC and a 1-0 win over Worksop last week.
Their next test will see Sheffield United travel to Malta to compete against a team with the fifth-best attacking record in the BOV Premier Division last season, scoring an average of 1.54 goals a game.
The also had the third-best defence in the league, with an average of 1.29 goals conceded every game, although this still wasn’t enough for them to make it to the promotion pool.
Instead, Sliema finished top of the defensive pool following the table’s division after 18 games, suggesting Sheffield United should have enough in their locker to secure a win.
The Blades are 11/50 favourites to emerge from the match victorious, with a draw priced at 19/4 and a win for Sliema at 15/2.
However, Sheffield United are a team in transition and new manager Danny Wilson’s determination to reshape his side could leave them vulnerable at such a formative stage of their development.
With money tight at Bramall Lane, Wilson is looking to move the club’s highest earners on and bring in fresh talent.
At the same time, he is promoting a passing game at the expense of the long-ball alternative favoured under previous regimes.
Teething problems were exposed in United’s draw with Sheffield FC, when Wilson said his side lacked penetration.
“We spent too long passing it around at the back but it’s a learning process for both them and me at the moment,” he told the Sheffield Star.
“The lads will get used to how we want them to go about things. That’s one of the main things that we want to get out of these games.”
With this in mind, a draw could be the best bet, with a £25 free bet on a stalemate, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, set to return 143.75.
Similarly, with Sheffield United having scored just twice in the last two matches, a bet on there being under 2.5 goals at odds of 7/4 could reap dividends.
New customers can register here to claim a £25 free bet.