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First Team

18/19 Sky Bet Championship Preview: Sheffield United

The Blades are next up in our look ahead to the new season

15 June 2018

A top 10 finish on their return to the second tier, Chris Wilder's Blades will be looking to push on again next season in their quest for Premier League football.

Sheffield United's 2017/18 season

League Position: 10th

Average league attendance: 26,854 

Top league goalscorer: Leon Clarke (19)

While few expected Sheffield United, who romped to the League One title in May 2017, to struggle last season, not many could have predicted the way in which The Blades took to second tier football after a six-year absence. 

Chris Wilder's side carried their imperious form, especially at Bramall Lane, into the new term, winning 12 of their opening 17 league games to sit second in late November. However, a run of one win in ten over Christmas and the New Year derailed their automatic promotion hopes as they struggled for consistency in 2018. 

Only once did they win back-to-back games after their high-point in November and a run of just two wins in their final nine games also saw Wilder's side miss out on a place in the top six. 

The key for The Blades next season will be the goals of Billy Sharp and Leon Clarke with the team's form very much mirroring the personal form of the experienced strike duo. 

The Ground

Bramall Lane

Miles from Brentford: 175

Capacity: 32,702

Address: Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4SU

Directions to Bramall Lane

The Manager

Chris Wilder is building up an impressive CV with four promotions to his name as a manager thus far. As a defender he made nearly 500 appearances for Sheffield United, Rotherham United, and Halifax Town amongst others during a 15-year playing career. 

After retiring in 2001, he took over at Alfreton Town and won four trophies during his 27 weeks in charge. A six-year spell at Halifax Town followed before the club was wound up in 2008 and he moved to Oxford United, via Bury. Promotion through the Play-Offs came during his first full season and he followed that up with two top-half finishes back in League Two. 

In January 2014, Wilder departed The Kassam Stadium for Northampton Town. After saving The Cobblers from relegation that season, he led them to the League Two title in May 2015, with a points tally of 99. Nigel Atkins departure at Bramall Lane saw Wilder take over at his boyhood club in May 2016 and he proved to be an instant success as The Blades ran away with the League One title during his first season in charge. 

The Key Man

Leon Clarke - 2017/18 39 appearances, 19 goals

Clarke seems to have at last found a home in English football after a nomadic career through the leagues. After 19 spells at various clubs, it all seemed to click for the powerful striker in South Yorkshire last season. His 19 goals was a career best and included all four in the win over Hull City and a hat-trick against Fulham. Alongside Billy Sharp he formed the most potent strike duo in the second tier last season and The Blades will need more of the same this time round if they are to crack the top six. 

Last Season

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 12

Draws: 9

Sheffield United wins: 10

2018/19 Odds with Leo Vegas Sport UK

Championship Winners: 22/1

Promotion 7/1

Relegation 7/1

Odds correct at time of writing. 

Get ready for our upcoming campaign by supporting The Bees as a 2018/19 Season Ticket Holder. Secure your place online now.

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