Sheffield United and Birmingham will clash on Saturday, August 7, in their opening match of the 2021/22 Championship season. Sheffield United will play host to the Blues for today’s bout at Bramall Lane, where they hold a 1-2-2 record against the fellow South Yorkshire club.
Sheffield Utd vs Birmingham
When: Saturday, August 7 – 20:00 GMT
Where: Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England
Weather: Showers, 17°C
Referee: Tim Robinson (ENG)
The 2021-22 season of the Championship has kicked off this weekend, and one of the most exciting matchups of the first round is the clash between Sheffield Utd and Birmingham.
The Blades played in the Premier League last season and would like to get back there ASAP. The Blues have the same wish – they want to get back to the top English tier after more than ten years.
Unfortunately for Birmingham, their chances don’t look very good. Sheffield Utd, on the other hand, are among the top favourites for direct promotion.
Sheffield Utd Want to Get Back to the Premier League
The Blades did really well two seasons ago in the Premier League, when they finished ninth, just five points off the closest Europa League spot. A year later, it was a whole different story. Sheffield Utd were terrible and couldn’t emulate their success, finishing at the very bottom of the table, with only 23 points in 38 games.
As a result, they had to pack their things and move to the second tier of the English football league system. The big question is can they make a prompt return to the Premier League?
They surely have the player quality to dominate the Championship this season. Most of the players who played for the Blades over the past two seasons are still in the squad.
Furthermore, they now have a new manager, a guy who led Fulham to promotion a few seasons ago. The man in question is Slavisa Jokanovic, who became Sheffield Utd’s first overseas manager in the history of the club.
The Blades are expected to do well in the Championship from the very start. They welcome Birmingham at Bramall Lane, bearing the role of favourites. No surprise there – not only do they have better, more experienced players than Birmingham, but most of their key men are fit and ready to go.
Enda Stevens is the only confirmed Sheffield Utd absentee, while Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie are back in the squad after long-term injuries. The two probably won’t start the game, but they could feature in the second half.
Ambitious Birmingham Need to Improve In All Areas
Last season, the Blues finished just four spots above the relegation zone, with 52 points in 46 games. They scored only 37 goals that season, which was one of the worst records in the league. In fact, only one team (Derby) scored fewer goals in the 2020-21 Championship.
Birmingham were also pretty poor at the back, conceding 61 goals – just three of the 24 teams playing in the league had a worse record than them.
However, this season, they wish to do much better. They’ve brought in several decent players, predominantly on loan deals. Some of those include Man United’s forward Tahith Chong, Chelsea defender Juan Familia-Castillo, and two players contracted to Wolves – defender Dion Sanderson and goalie Matija Sarkic.
Speaking of Sarkic, he will probably be between the posts in tonight’s game, the reason being that Birmingham’s first-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is out, recovering from COVID-19.
Sheffield Utd vs Birmingham Betting Picks
The Blades are a much better team than Birmingham, and it’s a fact! Actually, they seem stronger than almost all the other teams playing in the Championship this season.
We expect the hosts to start their campaign in top gear and collect all three points tonight.
Pick: Sheffield Utd to win– 1.81 at Sportmarket
We have started the EFL Championship 2021/22 season strong and hit our prediction for a match between Bournemouth and West Brom; today, we return with another free football betting preview. For more betting previews and predictions, join our premium membership, where we cover esports, horse racing, tennis, football, and more.