Prediction & odds for the game: Sheffield United (9/4) v Wolves (11/8)
When: Monday, 14th September @ 6pm K.O
Where: Bramall Lane
Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers will open their Premier League season when they meet on Monday Night Football.
The dreaded second season syndrome is something that many teams throughout the history of the Premier League have had to deal with, and Sheffield United will be no different. They exceeded expectations during their return to the top flight and they came incredibly close to surprising everyone by qualifying for Europe. Still, Chris Wilder is a realistic man, and he’ll know that ensuring his club remain at this level – and do so comfortably – needs to be the number one aim.
United’s 1-0 win over Wolves, 1-1 draw against Burnley and 3-0 demolition of Chelsea were all seen as brilliant results, but their European aspirations only went downhill from there. They lost back-to-back games at the hands of Leicester and Everton before another surprising defeat on the final day against Southampton.
Wolverhampton Wanderers went far beyond the expectations of many last season by finishing in seventh place for a second consecutive year, and also by reaching the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. Sure, there have been a few question marks surrounding their transfer strategy this summer, but the recent influx of new signings seems to have steadied the ship in that department. They’re an incredibly exciting team to watch, and neutrals shouldn’t be sleeping on them this time around.
They may have beaten Everton and beaten Crystal Palace, but a 1-1 draw against Burnley and a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea ruined Wolves’ chances of finishing in the top six. They did go on to knock Olympiacos out of the Europa League in the Round of 16, but their journey came to an end as they were beaten by eventual champions Sevilla in the quarter-finals.
Fans out there who are hoping for an absolute classic should probably think again because we’re expecting the same sort of gritty affair that these two clubs gave us towards the end of last season. The Blades are capable of beating anyone at home but Wolves have this never say die attitude that makes them incredibly hard to play against, and we are expecting them to cancel each other out. When you consider what both teams are aiming to accomplish this season, we’d argue a draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either here.
A stalemate means a stalemate, which is why our 0-0 prediction will ensure the under 2.5 goals market is met. From a tactical standpoint there will be a lot to talk about after the game, but that won’t mean much to those who want to see a goalfest.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 21/10 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/9 (All odds are taken from bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]