• Monday, December 04, 2023
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Struggling Sheffield face tough Arsenal test


Arsenal will be eyeing a comfortable afternoon as they host struggling Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday in a Premier League fixture.

Gunners are third on the Premier League table with 21 points from nine matches, two points behind table toppers Tottenham Hotspur and are favourites to win following their unbeaten run since the start of the 2023/24 season.

The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw by Chelsea last weekend after two second-half goals from Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard to seal the vital away draw.

Mikel Arteta’s side will enter this match off the back of a win, though, having beaten Sevilla 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Gunners head into this game as the overwhelming favourite to secure three Sheffield United are still searching for their first Premier League win of the season after losing eight of their opening nine matches

The Gunners have made an unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign and have produced performances seen for much of last season.

Arteta will hope those battling qualities are not required this weekend, against a Sheffield United side who sit bottom of the table with just one point from their opening nine League matches.

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Sheffield United have had a bad return to the top flight of English football failing to win in their last five Premier League matches and have conceded at least two goals in every game.

Arsenal did the double over Sheffield United by an aggregate scoreline of 5-1 in the 2020/21 season, and it has been 53 years since the Blades last defeated the Gunners in the English capital, claiming a shock 1-0 Highbury win over Bertie Mee’s double winners in 1971.

Arsenal face an anxious wait over the fitness of Gabriel Jesus after he was forced off with a hamstring issue late in the win over Sevilla. The Brazilian has played down the severity of that, but it remains to be seen whether he gets the all-clear.

Thomas Partey is a doubt after picking up a muscle injury in the build-up to that match, while Takehiro Tomiyasu will hope to keep his place at left-back over Oleksandr Zinchenko after once again impressing.

Sheffield United continue to contend with a number of injury issues, with both Chris Basham and John Egan long-term absentees.

The woes at the back have continued as Anel Ahmedhodzic is now out with a hamstring injury, while striker Ollie McBurnie was forced off against Man United with a groin problem.

Sheffield United are reportedly prepared to sack manager Paul Heckingbottom should the Blades lose to Arsenal.

The Blades have endured a difficult start to the term under the stewardship of the 46-year-old, collecting just a single point from their opening nine matches.

Heckingbottom’s side sit bottom of the Premier League standings, four points behind fellow newly-promoted side Luton Town who currently occupy 17th position.

Sheffield United are ready to make some significant changes at the club should their poor run of form continue for much longer.