Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
In her first game back in the championship after ending at the foot of the Premier League last season, Sheffield United will be welcome Birmingham city to a full Bramall Lane on Saturday night.
Now under the direction of Slavisa Jokanovic, The Blades will go into the campaign as one of the favorites for promotion to the top division, while their visitors will also confidently go down into the season Lee Bowyer after bringing her to safety last year.
Prediction for this match
To Chris Wilder led the club to two promotions in three years, Sheffield United enjoyed a stellar first season in the Premier League in the 2019-20 season, eventually finishing ninth.
The second season did not go according to plan, however, as the Blades could not bring in their first league win until January and thus occupy the majority of the season in the table footer.
Wilder would leave the club in March, and her fate was sealed not long after, despite being an interim manager Paul Heckingbottom led the South Yorkshire team to several laudable wins towards the end of the campaign, with the Blades still finishing 20th, 16 points behind safety.
With the clean table, they start this season at the beginning of a new era under the leadership of Slavisa Jokanovic, who previously rose from the championship twice and led both Watford and Fulham to the top division.
He will hope to repeat that feat this season with a highly valued team from the Blades, and they will gain the confidence from a recent 4-0 win over Doncaster Rovers last season when Lys Mousset hit a double next to goals from Oliver Burke and Luke Freeman.
They will now greet a full crowd on Bramall Lane for the first time since March 2020, with great expectations on their shoulders as Jokanovic’s men look to get their season off to a positive start with an immediate return to the Premier League.
Birmingham City will make the journey north to stop the Blades as they try to claim their own win to start the season.
For most of last season, the Blues’ place in the championship looked dubious as they found themselves in a heated battle to avoid the drop due to a bad run Aitor Karanka.
Their fortunes quickly changed, however, when Lee Bowyer was named as the new manager in March, with the club sitting in the bottom three.
He would start off with a formidable 2-1 win over promotion hunters Reading, and a 17-point record from his first eight games would see them move away from Rotherham United, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday confirming their safety.
The Midlands team would still comfortably finish 18th to escape looming relegation despite their last two games which ended in heavy losses to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City.
Now entering his first full season as Blues boss, the former Birmingham midfielder is hoping to take his side to a much higher end, with an opening win over one of the promotion favorites that may create an impressive platform.
If they want to start with a win, Birmingham will have to put their pre-season in the past as they lost 3-2 to fourth division Northampton Town and a 4. going into the season -0 spanking against West Bromwich Albion.
See all team news
Sheffield United remain without a center-back Jack O’Connellwho continues to struggle with a long-term injury that left him mostly out last season.
Jokanovic also confirmed that left-back Enda Stevens still has to train with the team in the pre-season phase, and attacking pair Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie are both doubtful after sustaining injuries late last season.
While they don’t need to add any additions just yet, the fact is that the blades managed to keep goalkeepers in place Aaron Ramsdale and midfielder Sander mountains The start of the new season is already positive for the South Yorkshire club.
Jokanovic tampered with various systems in the pre-season and it remains to be seen whether he will start the season with four center-backs or continue with the established form of blades of three center-backs.
Birmingham were far more active than their opponents in the transfer window and brought in midfielders Ryan Woods and further Chuks Aneke on free transfers.
Bowyer has also made good use of the credit market to add the goalkeeper to his squad Matija Sarki and defense attorney Dion Sanderson Arrival of Wolverhampton Wanderers and wingers Tahith Chong sign a one-year loan deal with Manchester United.
Sarkic should be called upon to start between the sticks as an established stopper Neil Etheridge continues to recover from the coronavirus.
Bowyer also confirmed that the key midfielder Ivan Sunjic won’t be ready for Saturday’s duel after missing a large part of the pre-season due to injury.
Central defender Harlee Dean and further Lucas Jutkiewicz Both were instrumental to the Blues after Bowyer’s appointment as they avoided failure and the manager should certainly continue to deploy two of his most trusted players on opposite ends of the pitch.
Sheffield United possible starting line-up:
Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Baldock, Norwood, Berge, Osborn; Mousset, McGoldrick, Burke
Birmingham City possible starting line-up:
Sarkish; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Pedersen; Bela, Woods, Gardner, Chong; Leko, Jutkiewicz
Probability: Sheffield United 1-0 Birmingham City
Birmingham looked rejuvenated under Bowyer at the end of last season, thriving with a solid line of defense and they will certainly be a tough test for the relegated team.
On this occasion, however, we see the high quality Blades roster just cross the line in an uphill battle against a blues squad that will come to Bramall Lane to frustrate them.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com predict a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Home / Away: dates