What a difference 12 months makes for Sheffield United.
After 26 games last season, The Blades were sitting in 6th place in the Premier League on 39 points with a very realistic chance of European football ahead of them.
Compare that to this season when after the same number of games, Sheffield United are bottom of the table with 11 points and certainly facing relegation.
It’s no wonder manager Chris Wilder instructed his players not to look at the table this season.
But where has it all gone wrong for Sheffield United and what can Aston Villa expect ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane?
LET’S LOOK AT THE STATS
Let’s begin with the very basics of football.
To win games, you need to score goals.
The Blades have scored a measly 15 goals this season, averaging at 0.57 goals per game, which is the lowest in the league.
When looking into chances created, it is clear to see why Sheffield United have scored as little goals as they have.
The table below compares shot creating actions and goal creating actions per game.
As you can see, Sheffield United are way below average in terms of shot creating actions and goal creating actions with 13.72 and 0.73 respectively.
With Aston Villa up at the other end of the table, the data suggests one-way traffic on Wednesday evening.
When observing the other end of the pitch, it’s clear that Sheffield United are also unable to prevent the opposition from making the chances that they fail to create themselves.
The graph below shows the shot creating actions and the goal creating actions the opposition create against each team.
Sheffield United are still at the wrong end of the graph.
This time, they are above average for both opposition shot creating actions p90 and opposition goal creating actions p90 with 22.23 and 2.65 respectively.
What these figures tell us is The Blades will, on average, create 0.73 goal scoring opportunities per match while they will concede 2.65 goals scoring opportunities per match; a worryingly large deficit for Sheffield United fans.
Where Sheffield United are able to effect a game is with their intense amount of pressure.
The Blades have applied pressure to the opposition 3927 times this season; only Leeds United have applied more.
POSSIBLE LINE UPS
Chris Wilder will be without his entire first choice back-three with John Egan, Jack O’Connell, and Chris Basham all out of the fixture through injury.
To add to this, The Blades are also without Jack Robinson and Jayden Bogle.
As for the Villans, Jack Grealish misses out on Wednesday in addition to Matty Cash, Wesley, and Kourtney Hause.
The big question for the Villa line-up comes in the midfield.
With Marvelous Nakamba and Jacob Ramsey stepping up to the task against Leeds, Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley may be less confident of a guaranteed start.
Who do you think should start for Aston Villa? Fill in the form below and we will release a ‘Fans XI’ before the game!