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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sheffield United v Burnley

Build-up as renewal of Roses battle brings out best of British

1 November 2019

The Roses battle between Burnley and Sheffield United makes a welcome return to the fixture list as the two prepare to meet for the first time in eight seasons.

The Blades’ promotion back to the Premier League for the first time since a one-season stay in 2006-07 renews a rivalry that arguably peaked in the 2009 Championship Play-Off final at Wembley.

Sean Dyche celebrated seven years in charge of the Clarets earlier this week, but this will be his first tilt at a United side managed since May, 2016 by Yorkshireman Chris Wilder, who was born on the outskirts of the steel city and played over 100 games for the team he supported and now manages.

Both have worked wonders with their respective clubs, winning two promotions each in displaying more than just a healthy dose of northern grit.

Not surprisingly then, there is a mutual appreciation of each other’s achievements as they prepare to lock horns at Bramall Lane.

“I think Chris has done a brilliant job, not just there but I think in his whole career when you look down it and see what he has achieved at all the different places he’s been to,” said Dyche, who was often invited into the manager’s office at Northampton Town when Wilder was in charge – and winning the League Two title – of Dyche’s local club.

Chris Wilder Sheffield United.jpg

“I’ve a lot of time for him and his staff and his players who are doing a great job and continue to do so.

“We certainly don’t think it’s anything other than another very tough game.

“I think they’ve adapted well to the reality of the Premier League. I just hope they don’t do it well on Saturday, of course.”

United currently lead the 13th-placed Clarets by a point after making an impressive start to life back among the elite.

But with Burnley now in their fourth successive season of Premier League football – it’s a blueprint overseen by Dyche that Wilder, four years Dyche’s senior at the age of 52, would like to follow.

The Blades’ boss – who also enjoyed success in charge of Alfreton Town, Halifax Town and Oxford United – said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for Sean. I’ve known him a while. He’s played in these parts so I came across him as a player and obviously followed his managerial career from Watford into Burnley.

“What he’s done has been exceptional, getting into the Europa League. They’re a benchmark for clubs like ourselves who want to stay in the Premier League.

“I like his team and the way they work together. They’ve got good individuals, they’ve got a plan, they play in a way that’s effective.

“Sean doesn’t get caught up in the hype that surrounds the Premier League and there is a lot. I admire the way he does that.”

Team news

The Clarets will give fitness checks to Chris Wood (hamstring) and Phil Bardsley (back).

Longer-term absentees Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Danny Drinkwater remain unavailable.

Wood 1st cele (3).jpg

Sheffield United are nursing a few knocks, with ex-Preston forward Callum Robinson among those being assessed.

Top scorer Lys Mousset could get just a second Premier League start after scoring in his last two games.

Form guide

The Clarets have lost their last two games following a four-match unbeaten run ahead of the last international break.

Defeat at Leicester a fortnight ago – when a controversial VAR decision chalked off a late equaliser – ended a three-game unbeaten run away from home.

However, Sean Dyche’s men are still looking for a first away win of the campaign.

Eighth-placed Sheffield United are unbeaten in three games with two draws wrapped around a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Bramall Lane.

Before that the Blades had been beaten three times at home in the Premier League – as well as going out of the Carabao Cup on home soil, like Burnley, to Sunderland.

Opposition camp

Burnley-born Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Norwood – a former season-ticket holder at Turf Moor: “It's where I'm from, I'm proud of where I'm from.

“I always want Burnley to do well, I always look out for their results, but obviously that all changes when I'm on the opposite side and I want my team to win.

Oliver Norwood.jpg

“All my friends are coming on Saturday. I’ve had to fork out for a box for them all. It will be interesting to see if they get kicked out!

“I’ve played against them a few times before, obviously not in the Premier League, but it’s just one of those games.

“To me it’s just a job at the end of the day. I’m going to work on Saturday. I’m not there to make friends and please people, I’m there to do a job for Sheffield United and I want my team to win.”

Match stats

Captain Ben Mee will play his 300th game for the Clarets.

Defensive partner James Tarkowksi is in line to make his 100th league appearance for the club and winger Robbie Brady will make his 50th Premier League appearance for the Clarets if he figures.

The Clarets are unbeaten in their last five games against the Blades but the sides haven’t played each other since New Year’s Day, 2011.

This will be the first top-flight meeting since February, 1976.

Referee

Simon Hooper

VAR

Graham Scott

Kick-off

Saturday 3pm


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