Sheffield United vs Birmingham City Preview 07/08/2021
Sheffield United will be playing hosts to Birmingham City this Saturday as the two conclude Saturday’s opening day fixtures in the Championship with the Blades looking for their first win back in the second tier.
The Yorkshire side are coming off the back of a shocking season in the Premier League, in what will go down as their poorest ever in the top flight and one of the worst in the history of the first division.
21/22 Ready. 👊
Go behind the scenes at United’s media day, available now on YouTube & SUTV. 👇
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) August 4, 2021
Chris Wilder guided Sheffield United to the Premier League from League One within four seasons, but this will be the club’s first campaign without him as the manager since 2016.
Wilder departed by mutual consent after their torrid 2020/21 campaign, not long after they finished ninth and just five points off a top six spot in their first Premier League campaign in 13 years back in 2019/20.
Now, with Slaviša Jokanović the head coach of the Blades, they are favoured by many to go right back up and potentially win the Championship. Back in 2018/19, Jokanović won the Championship play-offs with Fulham, but was soon sacked by the club after a shocking start to the new Premier League season.
Sheffield United have, however, managed to keep hold of much of the team that promoted them into the top flight and which helped keep them up there for two seasons. The likes of John Egan, Billy Sharp, Sander Berge, Oli McBurnie and John Fleck are still in the side, whilst Rhian Brewster can perhaps finally start to find his feet in the professional ranks.
Brewster failed to make a Premier League appearance for Liverpool before his move to Yorkshire, and with the Blades, the England U17 World Cup winner made 27 Premier League appearances and never even came close to scoring.
Back in the Championship, however, Brewster has scored 10 goals in 20 outings for Swansea during a loan spell.
As for Birmingham, this will be another year in the Championship during an era where it’s been absolute turmoil for them in the second tier. In fact, the Blues have finished no higher than 18th for the past four seasons and they haven’t made it inside the top 10 for a decade now.
Odin Bailey had a solid season on loan at Forest Green last season where he netted four goals from midfield and he is expected to play a lot for Birmingham this season. Lee Bowyer has also brought in Tahith Chong from Manchester United and Juan Castillo from Chelsea.
The two loanees are both Dutch and have experience in top divisions around Europe such as the Bundesliga and the Eredivisie and the two are expected to have a say in this season’s standings. Here, however, the Blades should get off to a flyer.
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