Arsenal – Sheffield United: Mikel Arteta’s Gunners will be hoping for an emphatic bounce-back from their first defeat of the 2020-21 Premier League season when they host the winless and points-less Blades at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 9 am ET, online via Peacock Premium).
Sheffield United hugely outperformed expectations for a newly promoted side in 2019-20 as they finished ninth in the PL and looked set to establish themselves as a long-term fixture in the top division. Now, just three games into season no. 2, Chris Wilder’s men are reeling after three straight losses to begin the campaign, including back-to-back defeats to Aston Villa, who only avoided relegation on the last day of last season, and newly promoted Leeds United.
As for Arsenal, Arteta’s first full season in charge is off to a strong enough start that Gunners fans will be eyeing a return to the top-four rather than simply hoping to finish above north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur this season. Despite falling to Liverpool last weekend, Arsenal have two wins from their first three games and appear more settled than most other sides following an abbreviated offseason and preseason.
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Here is everything you need to know ahead of Arsenal – Sheffield United this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.
Team news: Arsenal – Sheffield United (INJURY REPORT)
Arsenal keeps Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe as options off the bench as Eddie Nketiah starts with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian atop the Gunners’ XI. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (calf), Gabriel Martinelli (knee), Shkodran Mustafi (thigh), Pablo Mari (ankle), and Calum Chambers (knee) all miss out.
There will be no Rhian Brewster for the Blades, who re-insert John Egan in the lineup.
🔢 Here's how we line up today!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 4, 2020
One change for United. 🔁
Ethan Ampadu is replaced by John Egan who is handed the captain's armband.
Rhian Brewster's deal could not be completed in time to be registered for today’s game, with Oli Burke and David McGoldrick continuing in attack. pic.twitter.com/OxZCgTSWLr
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) October 4, 2020
What they’re saying: Arsenal – Sheffield United
Mikel Arteta, on home-field advantage: “I think we can create a fortress for us at the Emirates. I think it’s going to be crucial for the future at the end of the season. “Not just the results but as well the performance, where we can inspire and transmit that form and play with that confidence at home. But I think the game on Sunday is a really difficult one. They have merited much more from their games. The way they played is tricky so I’m expecting a very difficult game.”
Chris Wilder, on the slow start: “It is a huge challenge for us, doesn’t get any easier, but we are up for the fight. The team is in a good place from a mentality point of view, no one feeling sorry for themselves. Had a couple of calls from people in the game saying the same thing, we are not a million miles away. We have to believe we can get something from the game and kick-start our season.”
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
The oddsmakers are absolutely buying into Arsenal (-185) and have installed them as overwhelming favorites to beat Sheffield United (+525). The juice from the draw (+300) doesn’t seem to be worth the squeeze in this one.
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Prediction: Arsenal – Sheffield United
At some point — probably sooner rather than later — things will turn around for Sheffield United and they will string together a half-dozen positive results, if not wins, but it won’t start against Arsenal. Arteta has the Gunners playing hard and tough, defending from front to back and and conceding not a single battle anywhere on the field. When they’re humming along like that, with the talent they have, they’re easily one of the best in the PL. Arsenal 3-1 Sheffield United.
How to watch Arsenal – Sheffield United stream and start time
Kickoff: 9 am ET Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Arsenal – Sheffield United: How to watch, start time, team news, odds originally appeared on NBCSports.com