Team news and stats ahead of Sheff Utd vs Everton in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 8pm.
Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge is out of the Boxing Day clash with Everton as he faces up to four months on the sidelines.
The Norway international has undergone surgery to repair a tendon damaged during the 3-2 Premier League defeat by Manchester United on December 17 and is expected to be missing for between three and four months.
Striker Oli McBurnie has an outside chance of returning from a shoulder injury and fellow frontman Lys Mousset could be involved after an ankle problem, but only as a substitute at best, while midfielder John Lundstram begins a three-match ban.
Everton are set to be without Richarlison and James Rodriguez.
The Brazil international is likely to be sidelined under concussion protocols after sustaining a heavy blow to his head in the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United.
Rodriguez will miss a fifth successive match with a calf problem but goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is set to return after being rested in midweek.
How to follow
Follow Sheffield United vs Everton in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Jones Knows Prediction
To tar Sheffield United with the Derby County brush is very, very harsh on the Blades.
That Derby team in 2008 became the first team in Premier League history to be relegated in March, ending the season with an all-time top-flight record low points tally of just 11. If United continue at their points-per-game path, then they could overtake – if that’s the right word – Derby as the worst ever Premier League side.
It’s saddens me to think that.
Chris Wilder’s boys are not even the worst team in this year’s Premier League.
Despite their woeful points haul, I am adamant the Blades remain a fantastic team full of brilliant footballers. If Wilder’s team faced that Derby team – I would be all over the Blades with maximum stakes to come out on top.
We came very close to predicting that elusive first Blades win last weekend at Brighton, where they were tactically superb when down to 10-men and defensively majestic. Buoyed by that result, I see no reason why the hosts cannot build on that showing and get that elusive win.
One of those outstanding footballers is David McGoldrick. His resurgence in form has coincided with the Blades putting back-to-back performances in that were on a par with last season. He scored twice in the defeat to Manchester United and was creator in chief against Brighton, going close from a free-kick and setting up the goal for Jayden Bogle.
He is Sheffield United’s main goal threat on current form but is priced up at 100/30 to score anytime against Everton. That looks on the large side to me. And I will be combining that with the Blades to avoid defeat.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)
- After winning both Premier League meetings with Everton in the inaugural campaign of 1992-93, Sheffield United have won just one of their last six against the Toffees (D2 L3), winning 2-0 at Goodison Park last season.
- Following their 1-0 win at Bramall Lane last season, Everton are looking to win back-to-back away league games against Sheffield United for the first time since January 1897.
- The team bottom of the table have not won any of their last six Boxing Day Premier League games (D3 L3), with Sunderland the last such side to win against Everton in 2013 (1-0).
- Sheffield United are unbeaten in their last four league Boxing Day games (W3 D1) since a 1-2 loss at Port Vale in 2014. However, in the top flight the Blades are winless in their last five December 26th matches, since a 1-0 win at Luton in 1990, a match which featured Chris Wilder for the Blades.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last five Premier League Boxing Day games (W4 D1) since losing 0-1 against Stoke in 2014. Away from home, the Toffees are unbeaten in their last seven such matches (W4 D3) since a 0-4 loss at Aston Villa in 2005.
- Sheffield United remain winless in their 14 Premier League games this season (D2 L12) and are just the third side to be without a win by Christmas in English top-flight history after Burnley in 1889-90 and Bolton in 1902-03.
Pitch to Post Review: What if Man Utd actually clicked? Plus: Arteta’s stats debunked
Manchester United are in contention having barely performed this season – how good could they be if they actually clicked?
In the last Pitch to Post Review of 2020, Jasper Taylor is joined by Gerard Brand and Ben Ransom to discuss Manchester United’s chaotic 6-2 win over Leeds, and whether in fact Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are title contenders (04:12). As for Leeds, we analyse Marcelo Bielsa’s unapologetic style, and whether it can last (13:00).
The shambles at Arsenal continues as they are beaten at Everton, and after Mikel Arteta channels his inner Rafa Benitez with a list of statistics, the panel provide some other damning metrics (16:47).
In the Regional Review, Adam Bate discusses West Brom, Aston Villa and Wolves (32:59), and in part four we look at Tottenham’s defeat by Leicester as Jose Mourinho was played at his own game to cap off a bad week (42:36).
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