AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

STAR PREVIEW: Liverpool v Sheffield United

2019 was a brilliant year for Liverpool, and 2020 has the promise of perhaps even more to come, but it could start the hard way with Sheffield United likely to present a tough challenge to the runaway league leaders. Liverpool are actually one game away from a calendar year of invincibility – January 3 2019 was the date of Liverpool’s last Premier League defeat, and that came by millimetres against Manchester City.

Liverpool v Sheffield United
Premier League
20:00 BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultimate HD

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches, Since 2010)
SEP 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Sheffield United 0-1 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men, who lead Leicester by ten points with two games in hand – and have an even bigger lead on Manchester City with the same two game advantage – haven’t stopped flying since their 1-1 draw against Manchester United, winning 10 Premier League games in a row with their latest success a hard fought victory over Wolves.

The front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have been just as efficient as ever whilst flying full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have reached new heights, but perhaps even more importantly Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have kept four straight clean sheets in the league, bringing Liverpool some of the defensive solidity they had last season.

That’s a daunting task on paper for any side, but Sheffield United haven’t been daunted by a single game this season. Chris Wilder’s taken the league by storm with his 3-5-2 formation getting the best out of overlapping full-backs George Baldock and Chris Basham, whilst also packing the midfield too, where Oliver Norwood has impressed hugely along with Enda Stevens and John Fleck.

It’s proven to be extremely adaptable and effective all season, as many sides have found out to their cost, and United have lost just one away game all season. That did come against Manchester City on Sunday, but they were punching pound for pound with City before Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero pounced on referee Chris Kavanagh accidentally running into midfielder John Fleck, and they gave City a much firmer test than most ideas have without the good fortune we’ve sometimes seen Pep Guardiola’s opponents benefit from.

Had Lys Mousset’s goal not been ruled out the game would have been a very different one and it’s worth remembering that Sheffield United gave Liverpool one of the most severe tests of their season back in September.

Had Dean Henderson not made an uncharacteristic error then the hosts would have taken a deserved point and Liverpool have had some close scrapes too; Think about their hard fought wins at Southampton, Chelsea, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace, along tight home successes against Brighton and Watford.

Sheffield United’s away record is excellent – they’ve taken points from Chelsea, Spurs and Wolves this season – and they can make this competitive.

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