Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s FA Cup clash between Sheffield United and Bristol City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The Blades are bottom of the Premier League but results have picked up over the past month, while City remain in Championship promotion contention despite a bad run of form.
Chris Wilder‘s men arguably have the FA Cup to thank for a slight upturn in form, which has seen them win three of their last six league matches – as many as they managed in the previous 27 games.
United beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 in the third round of the FA Cup – their first win of the campaign – and followed that up with a 2-1 home win against Plymouth Argyle last time out in the competition.
That makes it five victories in their last eight in all competitions, although the Yorkshire side did lose 2-1 against Chelsea in a league game full of talking points on Sunday evening.
Wilder’s charges are now 12 points from safety with 15 games of the season to go, but focus in midweek will be on progress in the cup, rather than the Blades’ league position.
That is also the case for Bristol City, who will be glad to put their recent Championship results to one side for the time being.
The Robins lost 2-0 against Servernside rivals Cardiff City at the weekend and have now failed to collect any points from their last three league matches, leaving them 10th in the second tier.
Dean Holden‘s side have enjoyed a positive cup run thus far, though, having seen off Portsmouth and Millwall 2-1 and 3-0 respectively to make it to this stage.
City also have a good record in this fixture, winning their last three away games against Sheffield United, with all of these coming in league competition between 2014 and 2019.
However, United have progressed from all three of their FA Cup ties with Bristol City, with this the first such meeting between the sides since a 2-0 third-round win for the Blades in 1974-75.
Sheffield United FA Cup form: WW
Sheffield United form (all competitions): LWWLWL
Bristol City FA Cup form: WW
Bristol City form (all competitions): LWWLLL
Striker Famara Diedhiou has scored in three of his last four FA Cup appearances for City, netting in both the third and fourth rounds so far this term.
Nakhi Wells has been Diedhiou’s partner of choice in attack and that is expected to be the case here.
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Basham, Egan, Ampadu; Bogle, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Lowe; McGoldrick, Brewster
Bristol City possible starting lineup:
O’Leary; Mariappa, Kalas, Mawson, Moore; Semenyo, Vyner, Bakinson, Palmer; Wells, Diedhiou
We say: Sheffield United 3-1 Bristol City
United are looking to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in successive seasons for the first time since 2004.
The Blades have looked a lot better in recent weeks and will be confident of getting one over on City, who are aiming to reach the last eight for the first time since 1973-74.
Assuming Wilder fields a strong lineup, we are backing the home side to prevail on Wednesday evening against their out-of-form opponents.
Top betting tip
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