Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic will be hoping that tomorrow’s clash with Peterborough finally yields that first Championship win of the season.
Jokanovic will enter the game with new players at his disposal. Late transfer window deals saw the likes of Conor Hourihane, Morgan Gibbs-White, and Robin Olsen all arrive. Those three, in addition to the earlier arrival of Ben Davies and the re-emergence of Iliman Ndiaye after his contract was resolved, should freshen things up at Bramall Lane.
So far, Jokanovic has struggled to settle on a system. A return to the 3-5-2 made famous in the Chris Wilder days has been the go-to of late. But the Serbian has been keen to stress it’s not just about one system. As with Fulham and Watford, Jokanovic wants options and fluidity.
And with some new signings – albeit not as many as some would have liked – Jokanovic now has the chance to tinker a bit should he wish to do so.
Here, then, we’ve looked at THREE different ways Sheffield United could line up against Peterborough and beyond, now that the window is closed.
Jokanovic does seem to want to play a back four and he now has the players to make that work – to an extent, anyway. The wider positions in the ‘three’ could be a problem. However, Gibbs-White could help with that.
The lone striker is also a position up for debate. Oli McBurnie seems the most natural fit. However, Billy Sharp is the man in form as things stand.
The signing of Gibbs-White is the one which has given Jokanovic the most freedom really. He could play the Wolves loanee at the tip of the diamond, allowing Sander Berge to either drop deep, or keep his place just to the right.
Crucially, this also allows United to play two up top. And with six or seven strikers to choose from, that could be something Jokanovic is open to.
This formation was successful for Jokanovic at Fulham. Of course, he had more natural wide players in that side, such as Ryan Sessegnon. But like we’ve mentioned, the signing of Gibbs-White opens up this option.
He has played wide for Wolves at times, while a returning Lys Mousset might also do well in wide areas. As things stand, this one is probably the least likely set up for United. But, it’s one to consider, especially if other shapes are falling flat during the game itself.