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Liverpool-Sheffield United Preview

Whilst Liverpool look like the team that was again expected to contend for the Premier League title, Sheffield United have not played like newcomers to the top-flight on the early portion of the fixture list.

Nonetheless, Sheffield will have their hands full when the league-leading Reds eye a 16th straight top-flight victory Saturday, when they visit Bramall Lane.

It's essentially been business as usual for Liverpool (6-0-0), who have outscored their opponents 17-5 while remaining the league's only unbeaten side, and posting a five-point lead over defending champions Manchester City. The Reds are 19-4-0 since losing their most recent Premier League match at City on Jan. 3, and have won 15 straight within the top-flight since playing rival Everton to a scoreless draw at Goodison Park on March 3.

"Obviously, 15 wins in a row is something to be proud of, but we know we need to keep going and keep pushing ourselves even further," defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, who scored the opening goal in last weekend's 2-1 victory at Chelsea, told Liverpool's official website.

The Reds have never won their first seven games in the Premier League Era, and would seem to be in good position to finally achieve that feat. But, as always, manager Jurgen Klopp doesn't not want to think it's going to be easy, no matter how high the expectations or how bright reality looks at the moment.

"We expect it from ourselves that we fight for everything," Klopp said. "We have a big job to do in a difficult league. Everybody thinks we should be first or second - but we have to play the football for it. We don't think about these things, we just play to try win."

That continues Saturday against a promoted Sheffield side that enters the matchday an impressive 10th in the Premier League table. The Blades (2-2-2) played Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge last month and are coming off a 2-0 victory at Everton. They're looking forward to the challenge that awaits and the atmosphere with the reigning Champions League title-holders in town.

"It's brilliant for the football club. Brilliant for the supporters," manager Chris Wilder told SheffieldUnited.TV. "We'll need the supporters more than ever. (Bramall) has got to be a difficult place for the opposition to come and be settled."

Though Wilder wants Bramall to be a fortress of Premier League success for the Blades, they must play better there after losing the last two at home to Leicester City and Southampton.

Sheffield's five goals have come via five different players, and they've benefited from two own goals. Meanwhile, Sadio Mane, who is dealing with a knock, and Mo Salah share the Liverpool lead with four league goals apiece. Roberto Firmino has three. Injured teammates Alisson (calf) and Divock Origi (ankle) both appear near a return to the pitch, but that does not expect to be this weekend.

These sides last met in February 2007, with Liverpool winning the Premier League match 4-0 at home.

Updated September 26, 2019

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