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Everton vs Sheffield United: 16/05/2021 – match preview and predicted starting XIs

Everton vs Sheffield United

Date: 16/05/2021

K/O: 19:00

Venue: Goodison Park

Referee: Jonathan Moss

TV: BT Sport

Europe-chasing Everton welcome relegated Sheffield United to Goodison Park on Sunday evening, aiming to claw back ground in the race for a spot in the Europa League or Europa Conference League next season.

Carlo Ancelotti saw his side’s slim Champions League aspirations all but evaporate with a draw at Aston Villa on Thursday and could welcome back James Rodriguez as the Toffees seek goals against a Blades defence lacking confidence.

Sheffield United’s miserable campaign looks set to end on a further low note with the news that Ethan Ampadu, Oliver Burke and Sander Berge will all miss the rest of the campaign.

A win for Everton could take them up to as high as sixth depending on other results, with many of their rivals playing earlier in the weekend. Anything other than a win for Sheffield United will confirm their final league position at the foot of the table.

Everton

Yerry Mina will again miss out in defence, with midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin the only senior absentee in attack or midfield.

Jordan Pickford is expected to continue in goal despite ongoing competition from Robin Olsen. Ancelotti is able to call on the defensive unit that has kept four clean sheets in the last six games, with Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey likely to be joined by Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman on the flanks.

Sheffield United’s poor record in front of goal may tempt Ancelotti into sacrificing one of his defenders in favour of an extra attacker or midfielder, though a back three may still be the most appropriate lineup to take on the Blades similar signature formation.

Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan anchored the midfield together against Villa and could continue, though the likes of Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph could deputise if one of them is afforded a rest. James Rodriguez is expected to start, either on the right-wing or in the number 10 role, with Gylfi Sigurdsson looking likely to make way if the Colombian is selected centrally.

Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin should resume their partnership up top, with Josh King, Alex Iwobi and Bernard waiting for a chance in the fringes of the squad.

Sheffield United

With Ampadu, Burke and Berge joining Jack O’Connell, Billy Sharp and Ollie McBurnie on the sidelines, Paul Heckingbottom has an even smaller pool of senior players to select from.

Aaron Ramsdale will continue in goal, while four of the back five – George Baldock, Chris Basham, John Egan and Enda Stevens – are virtually assured of a starting place. Kean Bryan has started on the left of the central three in recent weeks, but faces competition from Jack Robinson and Max Lowe. Jayden Bogle and Phil Jagielka remain available elsewhere across the back line.

Sander Berge’s latest setback has opened the door for either Ben Osborn or John Lundstram to deputise in the centre of midfield, in front of established anchors John Fleck and Oliver Norwood.

Heckingbottom praised the performance of 17-year-old Daniel Jebbison in the defeat to Crystal Palace, who came on as a substitute ahead of Rhian Brewster. Both youngsters are in contention to start on Sunday, with David McGoldrick looking nailed on and Lys Mousset appearing firmly out of favour.

Head to Head Record and Stats

  • All-time H2H record (all competitions): Everton 55-48 Sheffield United (31 draws)
  • Last 10 H2H record (all competitions): Everton 5-3 Sheffield United (2 draws)
  • Everton have won only one home Premier League game since Christmas (1-0 vs Southampton – March 1st)
  • Sheffield United will be guaranteed to equal Derby 2007/08’s record of losses in a 38-game Premier League season if they do not avoid defeat against Everton.

Predicted Starting XIs

Everton (3-4-1-2): Pickford; Holgate, Godfrey, Keane; Iwobi, Davies, Allan, Digne; Rodriguez; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

Sheffield United (3-5-2): Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Bryan; Baldock, Norwood, Osborn, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, Jebbison

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Sheffield United

Despite Everton’s dismal home record, they will surely have enough to get the three points on Sunday with the extra incentive of Europe as well as the returning James Rodriguez.

Sam Hanys

A miserable Ipswich Town fan.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Manchester City 23 18 3 2 57
2 Liverpool 21 13 6 2 45
3 Chelsea 23 12 8 3 44
4 Manchester United 22 11 5 6 38
5 West Ham United 23 11 4 8 37
6 Tottenham Hotspur 19 11 3 5 36
7 Arsenal 20 11 2 7 35
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21 10 4 7 34
9 Brighton & Hov… 21 6 11 4 29
10 Aston Villa 21 8 2 11 26
11 Leicester City 19 7 4 8 25
12 Southampton 22 5 10 7 25
13 Crystal Palace 21 5 9 7 24
14 Brentford 23 6 5 12 23
15 Leeds United 21 5 7 9 22
16 Everton 20 5 4 11 19
17 Norwich City 22 4 4 14 16
18 Newcastle United 21 2 9 10 15
19 Watford 20 4 2 14 14
20 Burnley 17 1 8 8 11

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