Spotlight on... Sheffield United
Fri 08 November 2019, 20:54|Tottenham Hotspur
We take on Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon in N17 (3pm kick-off).
This will be the first time we have faced the Blades since progressing past them in the League Cup semi-finals back in 2015.
Just 11 games into their first season back in England’s top flight since 2007 and Sheffield United are looking quite at home in their new environment. Currently sixth in the table, just one point off the top five and eight points clear of the drop zone, it has been an impressive start to the campaign for the Blades. One defeat in six league games, just eight goals conceded – the joint-best defence in the division – and on the back of last Saturday’s 3-0 triumph over Burnley at Bramall Lane, Chris Wilder’s side come into this encounter in great form. Not to mention that since December, 2018, they have lost just one game on the road – that being a 1-0 defeat to Swansea City in the Championship with their new number nine Oli McBurnie getting the winner for the Swans that day.
One to watch
Joint-top scorer for the Yorkshire club this season, John Lundstram is the heartbeat of Chris Wilder’s side. Ever-present so far this campaign in the centre of midfield for the Blades, the tenacious competitor is not known for his goalscoring prowess but his three strikes so far mean he has doubled his tally for the club since joining them from Oxford United in 2017. Known for his ability to turn over play, the midfielder is always quick to sniff out opportunities to steal the ball back before seeking out ways to get his team moving in the final third with his fine eye for a pass.
Leader of the opposition
Having started his playing career for his boyhood club, Sheffield United, Chris Wilder’s working life came full circle in 2016 as he returned to Bramall Lane to become Blades boss. A right-back in his days on the pitch for clubs such as Charlton Athletic, Bradford City and Brighton & Hove Albion, Wilder kick-started his managerial career with non-league Alfreton Town in 2001 before moving on to spells at Halifax Town, Oxford United and Northampton Town. His success in leading the Cobblers back to League One in 2015 saw a move back home to the Steel City materialise the following spring. Since returning to South Yorkshire, he has gone from strength to strength, taking his club back to the top flight in just three seasons at the helm.
Last five meetings
28 January, 2015 – Sheffield United 2-2 Spurs – League Cup semi-final second leg
21 January, 2015 – Spurs 1-0 Sheffield United – League Cup semi-final first leg
10 February, 2007 – Sheffield United 2-1 Spurs – Premier League
22 August, 2006 – Spurs 2-0 Sheffield United – Premier League
5 March, 1994 – Spurs 2-2 Sheffield United – Premier League
The numbers game
4 – We are unbeaten in four home games against Sheffield United in all competitions (W3 D1).
2 - The home side has always scored at least twice and has never lost in the six previous Premier League meetings between us and Sheffield United (W4 D2).
17 - Sheffield United are winless in their last 17 Premier League games in London (D6 L11) since beating Chelsea 2-1 in October, 1992.
10 - Yorkshire sides have lost 10 of their last 12 visits to N17 in the Premier League (W1 D1), with Hull City the last from the county to beat us on our home turf, back in October, 2008.
1 - Sheffield United have lost just one away league game in 2019 (W6 D9 L1) – no team in the top four tiers of English football have lost fewer (also Liverpool on one).
Played for both
Having come through the Sheffield United youth system, Kyle Naughton went on to make 75 appearances for us in six years in N17.
Born and raised in the Steel City, full-back Kyle graduated from the Blades' academy in 2008 and had a storming first full season as a professional as he helped United to the Championship play-off final and was awarded the Young Player of the Year award by their supporters.
That summer, along with fellow defender Kyle Walker, he moved south to join us. He spent his first three seasons with us out on loan at Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Norwich City respectively before making his breakthrough into our side in 2012, quickly becoming a regular fixture on the pitch, especially in our European campaigns. He departed north London for Swansea City in January, 2015, where the former England Under-21 international is now into his sixth season as a Swan.
Quick quiz on the Blades
- Who scored on his home debut for us against Sheffield United in August, 2006, as we defeated the South Yorkshire side 2-0 at White Hart Lane?
- Dimitar Berbatov
- Jermaine Jenas
- Jermain Defoe
- We secured our first ever Premier League victory against Sheffield United back in September, 1992, with a 2-0 win, who scored the first goal for us that day?
- David Howells
- Teddy Sheringham
- Which of the following midfielders joined us from Sheffield United in January, 2004?
- Michael Brown
- Sean Davis
- Andy Reid
- Which of the following players has scored the most goals against Sheffield United in their career so far?
- Christian Eriksen
- Dele Alli
- Ryan Sessegnon
- Which of the following defenders spent time on loan at Sheffield United during the 2017/18 season?
- Steven Caulker
- Cameron Carter-Vickers
- Kevin Wimmer
Pictures from the past
Venue – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Opposition colours – Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, red socks.
Referee – Graham Scott.
Weather – Rain, seven degrees.
Quiz answers: 1 – Dimitar Berbatov; 2 – Teddy Sheringham; 3 – Michael Brown; 4 - Ryan Sessegnon; 5 – Cameron Carter-Vickers.