Sheffield United-Brighton & Hove Albion Preview
Things continue to go well for Sheffield United as they and the rest of the Premier League head into the busy festive period.
The Blades look to continue their strong return to the Premier League and remain unbeaten on the road with a third straight victory overall from Saturday's visit to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Seventh in the table, Sheffield (6-7-4) have been one of the biggest surprise stories to the first half of the Premier League season. The Blades, who find themselves amid an impressive 4-5-1 stretch since the beginning of October, are not playing like a newcomer, and also not settling to be content with their early success.
"They know more than anyone that they've got to keep performing, payers have to keep improving," manager Chris Wilder told Sheffield United's official website. "We're happy more than anyone with the group, but we're always looking to improve."
Their last two matches have gone by way of victory, 2-1 at Norwich City and last weekend's 2-0 win over Aston Villa. John Fleck scored twice for United versus Villa to move up to second on the team with four league goals.
"They are deserving of their place in the table at the moment," Brighton manager Graham Potter told his club's official website of this weekend's opponent. "It's going to be a tough contest."
That's also because the Blades are 2-6-0 on the road within the top-flight. A truly remarkable accomplishment for a team that is back in the Premier League for the first time since 2006-07.
"It's going to be a tough contest, and we've got to turn the Amex into a fortress," Potter continued. "We have to use everything in our advantage there to go and get a result."
Potter's Seagulls, though, aren't too shabby themselves. Sitting 13th in the table, Brighton (5-5-7) are 1-2-0 following a three-game losing streak. For the second consecutive match, Brighton drew with an opponent, this time 1-1 at Crystal Palace on Monday.
Neal Maupay scored his team-leading seventh goal in the 54th minute, but the hosts equalised through Wilfried Zaha later in the half. Though the Seagulls did not get the full three points, earning another decent finish keeps the confidence relatively high for the time being.
"We'll take a lot of confidence from this game with Crystal Palace, and hopefully we can put (out) a performance that can get us a win on Saturday," Potter added.
Maupay has a goal in three straight Premier League matches after going four in a row without one.
Updated December 19, 2019