Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Thursday, 02-07-2020 @8pm
Ref: Chris Kavanagh
Sheffield United are unbeaten in their past five top-flight home games against Spurs, dating back to December 1975 (W3, D2). Paul Stewart and Paul Gascoigne scored Spurs’ goals in their most recent victory at Bramall Lane in the fourth round of the League Cup in November 1990. There has not been an away victory in any of the seven Premier League meetings.
Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram is a doubt because of the shoulder injury that forced him off this past weekend. Defender Jack O’Connell is nearing a return after sitting out all four of their matches since the restart with a knee issue.
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho is still without Japhet Tanganga, who has a back injury. Fellow defender Juan Foyth also remains on the sidelines.
Sheffield United have lost three matches in a row in all competitions for only the second time since Chris Wilder’s appointment in 2016. Having conceded three or more goals in just one of their first 29 Premier League games this season, they have lost their last two by a 3-0 scoreline. Those defeats came after a run of 80 consecutive matches in all competitions without losing by more than two goals. Nonetheless, only Liverpool and Leicester City had conceded fewer top-flight goals than Sheffield United’s 31 after 31 matches of this campaign. The fewest Premier League goals conceded by a promoted club in a season is 41 by Newcastle in 1993-94. The Blades have not won any of their 10 league matches this season against teams who began this round of fixtures above them in the table.
Tottenham are guaranteed to finish on fewer than 70 points for the first time since Mauricio Pochettino’s debut season in 2014-15. After winning 11 of their opening 13 Premier League away matches last season, they have since won just three of 21. Spurs’ only clean sheet in their last 22 away league matches was in a 0-0 draw at Watford on 18 January. However, they are unbeaten in 23 Premier League away games against newly-promoted teams since losing to QPR in April 2012. The last time they played a competitive match in July ended in a club record 8-0 defeat by Cologne in the 1995 Intertoto Cup.
Man City vs Liverpool
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Thursday, 02-07-2020 @10:15pm
Ref: Anthony Taylor
Manchester City are attempting to win three consecutive top-flight home matches against Liverpool for the first time since 1937. The Reds’ only victory in their past 10 league games at the Etihad Stadium came in Jurgen Klopp’s first match in charge against City in November 2015. Liverpool are looking to complete a Premier League double over City for just the third time.
Manchester City remain without the suspended Fernandinho. Sergio Aguero is out for the season, while Eric Garcia could again be absent due to the head injury he suffered against Arsenal.
Liverpool defender Joel Matip will miss the rest of the campaign because of a foot injury. James Milner is back in training after a hamstring issue caused him to sit out the win over Crystal Palace.
City have conceded the opening goal in 11 league games this campaign – three more than their total for the previous two seasons. They have already dropped 30 points, as many as they did in the previous two seasons combined. This is only the third campaign in his 11 top-flight seasons as a manager that Pep Guardiola will not be a league champion. Guardiola has lost 20 top-flight league matches in his four seasons in the Premier League, which is as many as he suffered in his previous seven seasons in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
With seven games remaining, Liverpool have won the title earlier than any other team in top-flight history. Liverpool have now been crowned champions of England in an unprecedented eight different decades. The Reds require 15 points out of a possible 21 in their final seven league matches to break the English top-flight points record of 100, set by Manchester City in 2017-18. They could go five successive away fixtures in all competitions without scoring for the first time since an eight-match run under Graeme Souness from February to April 1992.
Mid-week Results so far
-Brighton 0-3 Man United
-Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle United
-Everton 2-1 Leicester City
-Arsenal 2-0 Norwich City
-West Ham United 3-2 Chelsea