Burnley v Sheffield Utd
The Blades will be keen to put their 2-0 defeat hosting Wolves behind them, while Chris Wilder will hope to see more concentration defensively as they were unusually suspect in that regard. Burnley are yet to play this term, but Sean Dyche’s team won’t be offering up any major surprises in their approach and we wouldn’t expect any sort of goal glut here. The Clarets lack the same cutting thrust of Wolves and will find it harder to penetrate their visitors’ backline, while 16 of Sheffield Utd’s 21 away matches since the start of last season have seen fewer than three goals over 90 minutes.
The Clarets were demolished 5-0 away at Man City upon project restart, but seven of their eight subsequent matches featured fewer than three goals, including three 1-1 draws and a further three 1-0 victories. Burnley are often involved in tight encounters and excluding the top-four finishers and the relegated trio, each of their last 13 matches versus Premier League opposition have been settled one way or the other by just the single strike or none at all.
Chris Wilder will be a little concerned at how his team have performed in recent months and they’re now just W3-D2-L7 since the return to action in June, as those victories came over top sides Spurs, Wolves and Chelsea at Bramall Lane. However, they lost four of six winless road trips over this period, which included stalemates with Aston Villa and Burnley themselves, as well as defeats by a minimum two-goal margin against each of Newcastle, Man Utd, Leicester and Southampton.
That encourages us to get behind the hosts, though for better value we’d couple that with the clean sheet. Indeed, 12 of Sheffield Utd’s 15 defeats last term saw them fail to register on the board, including five of six on their travels as each loss on the road has come this side of Christmas. Meanwhile, when facing Premier League opposition, 13 of Burnley’s 15 victories at any venue last term saw them keep clean sheets, as eight of their last 10 home wins since March 2019 have also been to nil.
A note of caution must be sounded with captain Ben Mee one of three players sidelined for Burnley, along with Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes. However, they look set to rebuff an approach from West Ham for his centre-back partner James Tarkowski, and likely replacement Kevin Long has experience of playing alongside Tarkowski and in the tactical template provided by Sean Dyche.
Under 2.5 Goals @ 3/4
Burnley Win To Nil @ 15/4
0.5pts: Burnley 1-0 @ 15/2