The Europa League qualification race is going right to the wire, and Sheffield United must bounce back from their midweek defeat to Leicester City and take all three points on Monday night if they are to be in contention on the final day of the season.
They face an Everton side who have nothing to play for, so it is definitely Sheffield’s to lose.
The Blades currently sit in 8th place on 54 points with two games to go – two points behind Wolves and four points behind Tottenham. If either Man United or Chelsea win the FA Cup then 7th place would also qualify for Europa League, however, Chris Wilder would prefer to guarantee it by taking 6th place.
Everton sit in a comfortable 12th place, perhaps a disappointing season for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, however on their day they have the players to cause big upsets, haven beat Wolves, Chelsea and Leicester City this season. Two points from their previous four matches will not fill them with much confidence though, so Sheffield may have the upper hand on recent results, despite a 2-0 loss to Leicester City.
The Blades were victorious in the first encounter this season between these two sides, with a Yerry Mina own goal and a Lys Mousset strike late on securing the three points. A repeat of that result is essential for Chris Wilder, which would set up a dramatic final game against Southampton on Sunday.
The Blades have no new injury news for their final home game of the season, however, Wilder may be making changes after their poor display against 4th-place Leicester. He was openly critical of their display, stating that he could have made ten changes at half time, as the keeper, Dean Henderson, was the only player who impressed him.
For the Toffees, injuries to Yerry Mina (thigh), Mason Holgate (shin) and Fabian Delph (muscle) will rule them out for their final two games – against Sheffield and Crystal Palace. The gap at the back will leave an opportunity for 18-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite to potentially make his full senior debut.
With Holgate and Mina out and poor performing attackers, I do not think Everton will offer much. Additionally, this is a must-win game for the Blades, so I believe they will win to a clean sheet.
Match Preview written by Seb Rowland