Sheffield United take on Manchester United at Bramall Lane next weekend, with some key battles set to decide the outcome. 

The Blades players will know they need to win their key battles against Manchester United (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

The Blades are looking to make it six unbeaten. Man United, on the other hand, are looking pick up a crucial away win and maintain their recent upturn in form.

It will be no easy feat for the away side. They’ve only once away from home this season, at Norwich. That win is, in fact, their only away win since beating Fulham at Craven Cottage in February 2019.

Red Devils manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will be hoping his squad come back from international duty unscathed.

Blades boss, Chris Wilder, finds himself in a similar boat, especially with his Irish contingent all set to play some part this week against Denmark.

If both teams can put out their best XI’s, then it should make for an intriguing encounter at Bramall Lane.

With that in mind, then, we’ve looked at THREE of the key battles we see unfolding as Sheffield United host Manchester United in a weeks time…

David McGoldrick and Harry Maguire

The England centre-half returns to his first home as the world’s most expensive defender. He’ll have quite the afternoon on his hands, too.

In David McGoldrick, Sheffield United have found their key man in attacking areas. It’s going to be a key battle between the Irishman and Maguire.

David McGoldrick will once again be key for Sheffield United (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Maguire will have to decide if he follows McGoldrick into the deep positions he occupies. If he does do that, the space could well open up for the likes of Lys Mousset. Failing that, Maguire will be reliant one someone like Scott McTominay stepping in and preventing McGoldrick from dictating play.

Marcus Rashford and Chris Basham

Basham has dealt admirably with a host of attacking threats this season. In Marcus Rashford, however, he faces one of his toughest assignments to date.

Rashford will drop into the channel occupied by Basham and right wing-back, George Baldock. He’ll also switch places with Anthony Martial, throwing the Blades defence when he can.

It’s going to be one of the key battles on the day. If Basham can keep Rashford quiet, then the game could well swing in the Blades’ favour.

Enda Stevens and Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Stevens has arguably been United’s most consistent performer this season. Wan-Bissaka is one of the game’s brightest young right-backs.

Enda Stevens has been key for Sheffield United this season (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

However, he won’t have faced anyone bombing on quite like Stevens does as yet. Stevens, coupled with Jack O’Connell’s bursts from deep, has caused defences all sorts of problems this term.

Wan-Bissaka simply has to stop the left-hand side from dominating for the Blades. If he doesn’t, then he’ll lose one of the key battles and potentially cost Manchester United the game.

 

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