Arsenal head coach Unai Emery says he has “gained respect” for Sheffield United this season.
The Blades host Emery’s side in the Premier League this evening. It kicks off at Bramall Lane at 8pm and is live on Sky Sports.
Chris Wilder and his team have impressed Emery in their first campaign back in the top flight in 12 years.
“We have gained respect for them,” the Spaniard told football.london.
“They have a big atmosphere in their stadium and their coach’s career is amazing and how they are playing is the same to how they played in the Championship.
“They play with confidence and their style is to be offensive but they are still defensively strong.
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“After analysing them we will use our game plan, quality and skills but we know it is going to be difficult and we will need to be very competitive for the whole 90 minutes on Monday.”
Why is Unai Emery impressed by Sheffield United?
The thing that has stuck out about the Blades this term is their defensive resolve. They had the joint best record in the Championship in 2018/19 and kept more clean sheets than anyone else.
That has continued into this season and only leaders Liverpool have conceded as few as their seven goals so far. Where Wilder’s men have struggled is scoring at the other end. Only Newcastle United and Watford have netted fewer and they are both in the bottom three.
Their form at home has also been shaky in recent times. United have lost their last three at Bramall Lane in the league. However, all of those defeats have been narrow.
As for the Gunners, they know victory tonight will lift them up to third and a point behind second-placed Manchester City. Their main strengths lie in their attack, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having scored seven league goals already.