Battle for survival
Sheffield United welcome Southampton to Bramall Lane on Saturday during the Prem's gameweek 27. Both teams have endured torrid runs of form as of late and given Sheffields current relegation position as well as Southamptons proximity to the relegation zone, i suspect both teams will view this clash as extra important in their bids for survival.
Chris Wilder's men showed incredible grit when they managed to beat Aston Villa with 1-0 despite playing with 10 men for the better part of 30 minutes. The victory was their first in 5 games and came after 4 straight defeats meaning that the Blades still find themselves rockbottom in the table with 12 points up to safety.
Not much has gone right for Sheffield this year, which can be further seen in their goal difference of -27, by and far the second worst in the league and is indicative of having both a dysfunctional attack and defence.
Sheffield's trademark attribute last season was their defensive prowess, an attribute that seems to more or less have evaporated over the summer. However, their recent victory against Aston Villa proves that they are still, at times, capable. The victory will also have instilled some hope of pulling off a great escape.
The Saints have been going through an absolutely miserable time for the better part of 3 months after registering 1(!) win, 1 draw, and 8(!) defeats since the beginning of January. This downturn in form has not only left them out of European contention but is putting them dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Southampton's goal difference of 6-25 really hammers home how bad they have actually been during this period as well. The fact that talisman Danny Ings is far from his optimal form is also a huge factor as to why Southampton are struggling at the moment.
Furthmore, Southamptons difficulties against the lower half of the table teams is very indicative of how bad they actually are at the moment, a factor i do not believe will have improved before Saturday's game.
Judging Southampton's bad form as well as Sheffield United's defensive tendencies i will be backing Sheffield United to win or draw and under 2.5 goals at 2.60 with Betway.