Manchester City Vs Sheffield United Premier League Football Match 2023
Man City manager Pep Guardiola has brought up plenty of personal accolades during his time in England, and he could reach another one on Sunday. Should City win at Sheffield United, Guardiola will become the fastest manager in English top-flight history to 200 victories, taking just 269 games. That would beat José Mourinho’s current record by a distance, with the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss taking 326 games to record his 200th Premier League victory. Man City have won their opening two Premier League games this season, against Burnley and Newcastle United, but haven’t won their first three since their first campaign under Guardiola in 2016-17. However, they take on a Sheff Utd side who have lost their opening two games this season. They have only started a season with three league defeats on three previous occasions – 1966-67 (top-flight), 1995-96 (second tier) and 2020-21 (Premier League).
Paul Heckingbottom will have been encouraged by his team’s resilience after going a goal down early on at Nottingham Forest last week, with debutant Gustavo Hamer scoring a beautiful equaliser, only for Chris Wood to break their hearts late on. Should Hamer find the net against City, he will become only the second player to score in his first two Premier League appearances for Sheffield United, after Brian Deane in their first two games in the competition all the way back in August 1992. Phil Foden stepped up in the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne against Newcastle, creating seven chances in open play, the most he has ever managed in 131 career appearances, and the most by a City player in a Premier League game since De Bruyne against Norwich City in July 2020 (also seven).
Foden’s ability to get on the ball and carry it forward was key, with five of his chances created coming after a ball carry, the most by a player in a Premier League game since Nathan Redmond in May 2021 for Southampton against West Ham (seven) and most by a City player in a game since David Silva against West Brom in March 2015 (five).
Still without a single point since their return to the big time, Sheffield United look to pull off a Premier League giant killing when they welcome champions Manchester City to Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The Blades fell to a 2-1 beating at the hands of Nottingham Forest in gameweek two, while Pep Guardiola’s men maintained their perfect start by seeing off Newcastle United 1-0. Tricky Trees hotshot Taiwo Awoniyi got on the end of Serge Aurier’s cross to propel Forest ahead with just three minutes gone, and while Hamer drew the Blades level with a magnificent long-range effort, another Aurier delivery was on the money for Chris Wood to head home the winning goal in the 89th minute. A few more lessons in defending crosses would not go amiss for Paul Heckingbottom’s men, who have shipped all three of their Premier League goals to deliveries into the box so far in the 2023-24 season, finding themselves 16th in the embryonic rankings as a result.
Whether Hamer’s stunning strike against Forest is a sign of things to come for the ex-Coventry City man remains to be seen, but the Blades already appear to be fighting an uphill battle to stay afloat in the top flight after sanctioning the exits of Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge earlier this month. Including friendlies, Sheffield United have now posted five defeats from their last six matches during a miserable summer spell – scoring a mere two goals in the process – leaving the Blades faithful travelling to Bramall Lane on Sunday in faint hope rather than expectation. With the stricken Kevin De Bruyne once again entering the treatment room with a serious hamstring injury, Phil Foden took it upon himself to act as Man City’s creator-in-chief when Newcastle visited the Etihad last Saturday, and the England international’s dazzling display was key to unlocking the staunch Magpies backline.
Perhaps still nursing a European hangover from their successful UEFA Super Cup exploits, Man City required just the one goal to see off Eddie Howe’s men, as Foden picked out Julian Alvarez to launch a peach of a strike into the far corner with just over half an hour played. Also boasting a convincing 3-0 success from their opening-day showdown with Burnley, Man City have already assumed a podium place in the early-season standings, although eight-goal Brighton & Hove Albion are keeping the champions in second for the time being.
Now on the hunt for three successive Premier League clean sheets for the first time since December 2021, Man City have a new weapon in their attacking ranks in the shape of Jeremy Doku, confirming the Belgian’s arrival in a £55.8m deal from Rennes on Thursday to bolster their Riyad Mahrez-less attacking ranks. The 21-year-old could potentially make his Premier League bow against a team whom Man City have beaten in the last five meetings between the two outfits – with five clean sheets in tow – and not since a 2007-08 FA Cup fourth-round tie have Sheffield United beaten the Citizens, when the late Luton Shelton was on target.