Sheffield United begin their long awaited return to the Premier League with an opening day fixture v Bournemouth.
It was 12 years since the Blades were last in the top flight and manager Chris Wilder has been busy this summer trying to get his squad ready.
The South Yorkshire team have made ten new signings and broken their transfer record four times. So how many of these new faces will make it into Wilder’s starting XI?
Sheffield United predicted XI v Bournemouth
It took longer than expected but eventually Dean Henderson rejoined on loan from Manchester United. Henderson kept more clean sheets than any other Championship goalkeeper last season. He also helped the Blades to the joint best defensive record.
Wilder will hope the 22-year-old will be available for every minute of the league campaign just as he was in 2018/19.
Despite the return of club legend Phil Jagielka, we expect the tried and trusted back three of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell to start the new term.
Likewise, George Baldock and Enda Stevens should continue to occupy the wing-back roles.
It’s a similar story in central midfield, where Oliver Norwood and John Fleck struck up a fine partnership last season. Although several players who can operate in attack midfield have arrived at Bramall Lane, because of his extensive use in pre-season we wonder if John Lundstram might get the nod for this opener.
It mean a slightly more conservative approach from Wilder, but at least then he can switch things up and go more attacking if necessary.
Now David McGoldrick and Billy Sharp were the standout duo upfront last term and it’s tough to drop one, but new signing Callum Robinson could well come in as a quick and mobile second striker.
As captain and club icon, Sharp should get his chance ahead of McGoldrick. This also leaves record signing Oli McBurnie alongside Lys Mousset and Luke Freeman on the bench.