Stat Pack: Everything you need to know about Sheffield United ahead of Liverpool clash

Liverpool kick off a double gameweek with a trip to Bramall Lane on Wednesday evening.

After the thrills and spills of the Reds' 4-3 win over Fulham on Sunday, many will be hoping for a rather more sedate and comfortable affair against the Premier league's bottom club.

On paper, this should be a mismatch, with Liverpool flying high just two points off league leaders Arsenal, while Sheffield United are rooted to 20th spot – despite Everton's points deduction.

However, there are reasons to be wary.

READ MORE: Sheffield United vs Liverpool – Match Preview

Jurgen Klopp's injury list is mounting, with Joel Matip joining Alisson, Diogo Jota, Andy Robertson, Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago in the treatment room. The Reds have also struggled away from home against the 'weaker' sides in recent months – most recently being held to a 1-1 draw at Luton.

The Blades' decision to sack Paul Heckingbottom and bring back Chris Wilder makes the hosts something of an unknown quantity and the they will be hoping for the fabled 'new manager bounce' in front of the Amazon cameras on Wednesday night.

While Klopp may have admitted that United's change at the top caused him to throw out his pre-game analysis, we have not done the same.

Here are the statistics behind Sheffield United's Premier League season so far.


HEADLINE FIGURES

Many worried the Blades would struggle this season after winning promotion from the Championship – fears that were added to by the exits of star players Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge.

After 14 games so far in 2023/24, the predictions have looked spot on.

Sheffield United sit rock bottom of the Premier League table on just five points – two behind Burnley (who beat them 5-0 last weekend) and Everton (who have, of course, suffered a points deduction).

Prior to sacking Heckingbottom, the Yorkshire side had won just once this season (2-1 against Wolves), drawn twice and lost 11.

They've suffered some big defeats as well, most notably the 8-0 reverse away to Newcastle.

Unsurprisingly then, Wilder is inheriting a team with the worst goal difference in the league (-28), the most goals conceded (39) and a grand total of zero clean sheets.

Four of United's five points have come at Bramall Lane this season, where they have also scored seven of their 11 goals, showing they have at least been marginally better in front of their own fans.

Despite grabbing unwanted headlines for some of their heavier defeats, they did run Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United relatively close, only losing 2-1 on each occasion.

In fact, 2-1 has been their most frequent scoreline, while the have lost five games by just one goal.

They have, however, only scored more than once in a game twice this season.

EXPECTED GOALS

If table position was based on expected goals, Sheffield United would still find themselves firmly at the bottom.

The Blades are actually slightly outperforming their xG tally of 10.66, while Burnley are the next lowest in the league with 15.28. Liverpool, meanwhile, are behind only Manchester City with an xG of 31.83.

Wilder's side have scored in nine games this season and drawn blanks in five.

In terms of their attacking threats, Cameron Archer and Oli McBurnie are the Blades' top scorers on two goals each in 2023/24 – though the latter is suspended for the visit of Liverpool.

Archer is actually outperforming his xG so far, which stands at 0.63.

Cameron Archer, ProShots

When it comes to xGC (expected goals conceded), Sheffield United are second bottom (ahead of Luton) on 35.44, compared to their real-world tally of 39 – suggesting they have been letting in some sloppy goals.

Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham has, however, made a league-high of 67 saves so far this season.

POSSESSION

The picture doesn't get any prettier for Sheffield United when it comes to possession stats, with the Blades ranking 20th on an average of just 38.3%. Compare that to Liverpool's average of 57.4%.

Wilder's new side are 19th when it comes to completed passes (above Luton again) with 72.7% rate.

Perhaps surprisingly, Liverpool only ranks seventh overall for pass completion with 85.8%.

In what was to be Heckingbottom's last game in charge, United managed just 36.4% of the ball in their 5-0 defeat to Burnley. However, they did play almost half the game with ten men after McBurnie saw red.

Even with the manager change and 11 men on the pitch, expect Liverpool to enjoy the majority of the ball at Bramall Lane, with Wilder likely to set up his side to try and stifle the Reds and look for opportunities on the break, or from set pieces.

FUN FACT

Jurgen Klopp has a 100% record against Sheffield United. Though the matches are always much closer than you'd think. The Reds have won by a single goal on two occasions and have never scored more than twice.

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