Home News Sheffield United fear “once Liverpool score, that will be it” in top...

Sheffield United fear “once Liverpool score, that will be it” in top vs. bottom battle

3
0

There is little faith from Sheffield United fans that they can get anything at Anfield on Thursday, following a season to forget back in the Premier League.

Liverpool face arguably their most winnable fixture of the title run-in, hosting a Blades side that look consigned to relegation.

Chris Wilder has returned to the club and done his best to keep them in the top flight, but they are bottom of the league and 10 points adrift of safety.

Ahead of the match, we spoke to Hal (@HalTheBlade) from the Sheff Utd Way to discuss two contrasting seasons for both sides, the title race and much more.

 

Since we last spoke in December, have things got better or worse?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz (R) is challenged by Sheffield United's Jayden Bogle during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Much the same. There was a slight upturn in performance when Chris Wilder came in – we played a bit better in some matches but still didn’t pick up points.

Liverpool at Bramall Lane – Wilder’s first match back – and Wolves away spring to mind, but then there was the away form, which has surprised some.

Luton away was a really good day at the office for our boys, not so much the officials with some bizarre VAR decisions, while at Bournemouth, we had a lead which we threw away.

That was also the story in our last home match against Fulham when we drew 3-3 last weekend.

It’s hard to draw any real conclusions since Wilder came in for Paul Heckingbottom – we were bottom then, and we are bottom now.

 

Do you still retain hope that a miracle escape can happen?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 7, 2022: A young Sheffield United supporter with a banner "Up The Blades" during the Football League Championship match between Sheffield United FC and Fulham FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I would have done if we had managed to hold onto leads.

But the way the Premier League have decided to implement this new approach to timekeeping means we are routinely subjected to huge amounts of added time, unless we are losing, of course.

We haven’t the squad depth to compete when games are over 100 minutes and we also see fatigue creeping in as our lads are chasing the ball more often than keeping possession.

This is not ideal from an aesthetic point of view as a supporter, nor is it an effective way of approaching football matches, but needs must and we are playing against the best of the best when it comes to retaining possession.

 

Who have been United’s best and worst players this season?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 31, 2012: Liverpool's Jack Robinson in action against Swansea City during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In recent weeks, and when fit, I’ve been impressed with loan signing Ben Brereton Diaz – he’s looked really lively, busy and composed.

Former Liverpool player Jack Robinson is Mr Reliable and always gives 100%, while James McAtee is a livewire who can conjure something out of nothing.

In the worst category, well, I don’t like to pick out players.

Looking on social media, Vini Souza seems to divide opinion, Auston Trusty started well when he came in, but now looks all at sea, and our new keeper Ivo Grbic has conceded 19 goals in six games!

 

How do you assess Liverpool’s title chances now?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring his side's winning second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Top of the tree but it’s tight. Anything can happen, and from a neutral point of view, it’s refreshing to have a proper title race.

Whichever side eventually ends up in first place come the end of the season really will have deserved it.

It’s been a fun one to watch, although I’m sure pretty nervy for Liverpool supporters!

 

Who would you like to see win the league?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister reacts as he is shown a yellow card during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I genuinely couldn’t care less if I tried, to be honest!

 

As for Thursday, where will the key battles take place?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 6, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai scores the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

United will be chasing. We’ll work hard from the off and try and hit Liverpool on the break, but once Liverpool score, I fear that will be it.

We’ve struggled to create chances and to take them, having only scored 27 all season – the lowest in the league – which is the same amount as Liverpool have conceded.

Any football fan would say this will be a one-sided contest as top plays bottom.

 

Finally, what’s your prediction?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 3-0 Sheffield United.