Manchester United Team News at Sheffield: Cavani, Jones

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Coming off the heels of what many deemed the most boring Manchester derby of all time, United travel to Sheffield on Thursday to begin what will be an extremely crucial stretch. Although both Manchester bosses said they were pleased with the goalless result on the weekend, the approach taken, by both sides, drew a fair amount of criticism.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his side in a decent position in the table, considering 1.) their rough start at home and 2.) they still have a game in hand.

Manchester United at Sheffield United FYIs

Kick: Thurs Dec 17, 8pm GMT Bramall Lane

United Starting XI Prediction: go here

However, they are simply not going anywhere or doing anything this season unless they improve their scoring capability in big games, especially at home. In home games against the big six, they have managed just one goal in total thus far (four games, none wins against Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and City).

The Norwegian says it’s not cause for concern though.

“If you compare our goal tally from last season to now, we are way ahead with the amount of games that we have played and the amount of goals we have scored whether that is home or away it doesn’t really matter,” said Solskjaer.

“I think teams, and bigger teams set the stall out to defend against us and be happy with a draw.

“That is of course a challenge for us but I think we have proven in many games that we do create chances. I think we have scored and created a lot of chances at certain moments and it’s more varied in the way we score.”

Their next opponent is dead last, and looks destined for a return to the Championship, so United better score some goals and win big here. It’s likely that goals will have to come from someone other than summer acquisition Edinson Cavani, who is a doubt due to a knock.

Although his fitness situation is not serious, he will likely not be risked here and saved for the more formidable challenges ahead. Phil Jones remain out injured until after Boxing Day, and these are the only two fitness issues OGS has to contend with.

phil-jones

United 3, Sheffield 0

This was the scoreline of the last meeting, and with Blades looking lifeless right now, expect another blowout here.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of  “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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