Kick-off: 1500, 14/03/2020
Stadium: St James’ Park
Sheffield United’s unlikely quest for a European place continues on Tyneside where they come up against their former manager Steve Bruce.
The Blades start the weekend two places behind fifth-placed Manchester United with a game in hand but Newcastle have kept three successive clean sheets at St James’ Park.
A low-scoring game looks likely and we’re going for ‘no’ in the both teams to score market at 7/10 as our opening Newcastle vs Sheff Utd prediction.
A Look At Newcastle United’s Betting Odds
Newcastle have been struggling for goals lately but they finally found a way past 10-man Southampton last weekend to end a five-match winless run.
Saints had Moussa Djenepo sent off in the 28th minute but Newcastle had gone four games without a goal which was in danger of continuing when Matt Ritchie missed a penalty.
Allan Saint-Maximin finally broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, though, to earn a victory which lifted Newcastle eight points clear of the drop zone.
Bruce conceded his side have been struggling in front of goal but was pleased with the manner in which they adapted to the challenge at St Mary’s.
“We haven’t encountered that before, a team dropping off us and letting us have possession of the ball,” he said.
“And then we have to create and that’s the hardest part of what we’ve found all year – creating a chance and taking the chance has been our Achilles heel.
“That’s why we’ve only scored 25 goals, but we couldn’t have asked for any more opportunities in the first half.”
We expect a cagey first half given the record of these two teams this season and the scores to be level after 45 minutes can be backed at 9/10 in the Newcastle vs Sheff Utd odds.
Last Newcastle line-up: Dubravka, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo, Rose, Shelvey, Ritchie, Hayden, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Gayle.
A Look At Sheffield United’s Betting Odds
United continue to give the more established Premier League clubs a run for their money in the race for the European places.
Last week’s 1-0 win at home to Norwich means the Blades have picked up 10 points from their last four games and they have not conceded more than one goal in a game since the 2-0 defeat at leaders Liverpool on January 2.
On-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson again impressed against Norwich with a stunning triple save late on, having had little to do before then.
Boss Chris Wilder said: “He has had a fantastic season and he has a big 10 games to play and hopefully some more cup games and I would be very, very surprised if he is not named in the upcoming England squad.
“He has matured and his concentration levels are fantastic, as we saw today. He’s got a huge desire to take his game to the very top. He’s a confident boy, he’s not shy, but he backs it up.”
Henderson’s heroics meant Billy Sharp’s goal was all that was needed to earn another win.
Asked about the prospect of Champions League football at Bramall Lane next season, Wilder replied: “The stats are there and the league table is there, we can’t shy away from it.
“There’s some great games to come for us, starting with a huge game at Newcastle next week.”
The victory over Norwich was United’s sixth 1-0 win of the season and four of their last five have been by that scoreline so we’ll back a 1-0 away win at 11/2 as the last of our Newcastle vs Sheff Utd betting tips.
Last Sheff Utd line-up: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Egan, Fleck, Lundstram, Norwood, McBurnie, Sharp.
Southampton 0-1 NEWCASTLE – Allan Saint-Maximin
SHEFF UTD 1-0 Norwich – Billy Sharp
Head-to-head: Sheff Utd 0-2 Newcastle, Newcastle 2-1 Sheff Utd, Sheff Utd 0-1 Newcastle
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