Sky Sports pundit David Prutton believes Sheffield United will come out on top in this match in a narrow 2-1 win against Preston North End tomorrow night, providing his predictions ahead of a busy midweek schedule in the EFL.
Braces from Iliman Ndiaye and Ben Osborn on Saturday afternoon helped the Blades to a stunning 6-2 victory against lowly Peterborough United on Saturday afternoon, grabbing their first league win of the season in front of their fans who haven’t had much to cheer about over the last 12 months.
After being relegated from the Premier League last term having scored just 20 goals and failing to win any of their opening 17 league matches during the 2020/21 campaign, the South Yorkshire side continued in the same vein this term, even under new boss Slavisa Jokanovic.
Are each of these 18 celebrities a Preston North End supporter or not?
They drew two and lost three of their opening five games of the season before the international break, with their lowest point being the 4-0 away defeat to West Bromwich Albion last month.
However, they will be hoping to put that behind them after the thumping Peterborough win as they face a Preston North End side who have bounced back in recent games after losing their opening three.
A 0-0 draw away at Bristol City may not seem hugely impressive on paper, but Ashton Gate is a tough place to go and they have now stretched their unbeaten league run to three games after winning their two fixtures before the international break.
After conceding four on the opening day of the season against Hull City, the Lilywhites have let in just one goal in their previous three and David Prutton believes this will be a close tie.
Providing his prediction on this 7:45pm clash at Bramall Lane, he said: “The return to the second tier was, initially, a little bit rocky for Sheffield United, but they do seem to be settling in a little bit better now – not least thanks to the six they put past Peterborough at the weekend.
“It’s the sort of win that does wonders for the confidence of a squad.
“Preston have had a pretty positive month, with three wins and a draw in their last four outings in all competitions.
“They too have started to score goals, but though they will be hoping to forget the drab goalless draw with Bristol City, I’m not sure they’ll take anything at Bramall Lane (2-1 Sheffield United win).”
You’d have to say David Prutton is probably spot on with his prediction. Although Sheffield United did well on Saturday, you have to question their defence for letting in two goals and they won’t be counting their chickens yet.
This may sound harsh considering they put in such a good performance against Peterborough, but Preston are unlikely to let in as many and after going three games unbeaten, Frankie McAvoy’s side will have regained their confidence.
Sheffield United do have the boost of some new signings though, with Morgan Gibbs-White likely to make an impact again, along with Conor Hourihane, although it still remains to be seen whether Robin Olsen will make his debut in goal.
Iliman Ndiaye, who scored a brace at the weekend, could prove to be crucial again. In terms of their defence, they should be keeping an eye on Emil Riis who is enjoying a decent 2020/21 campaign despite enduring a tough first season at Deepdale.
It will certainly be a fascinating tie for two sides who will be desperate to pick up all three points, although both will probably see it as a ‘must not lose’. Preston, because it would end their unbeaten run and damage confidence. And Sheffield United, because it would undo all their hard work from the weekend.