Sheffield United host Norwich this weekend and Simon Mail thinks the Blades can continue their surprise challenge for European football...
"Sheffield United have made a habit of winning tight matches and their last four league victories have all been by a one-goal margin."
Sheffield United v Norwich
Brilliant Blades showing no signs of slipping up
Sheffield United have been a revelation this season following promotion and Chris Wilder's side have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Europa League. The Blades have been the surprise package, sitting in eighth position in the Premier League and only five points off fourth-placed Chelsea. With just seven defeats in 27 matches, Sheffield United have held their own against the best teams in the country.
The team's defensive record is the second best in the division, with just 25 goals conceded. This has been their main strength and Sheffield United have proved extremely hard to defeat. The Blades are unbeaten since losing to Manchester City at the end of January. Sheffield United drew 1-1 at home to Brighton last weekend and advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 2-1 extra time win at Reading on Tuesday.
Norwich still holding hope of great escape
Norwich opted against gambling heavily following promotion to the Premier League and it looks highly likely this will result in an immediate return to the Championship. Daniel Farke did superbly to guide his young team into the Premier League but the side find themselves six points from safety with only ten matches remaining.
The Canaries have been competitive throughout most of their games and claimed an impressive 1-0 home win last week against third-placed Leicester City. Their lack of goals, with just 25 in 28 games, looks likely to prove costly though with only Newcastle scoring fewer this season. Norwich defeated Tottenham on penalties, after a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after two saves in the shootout from Tim Krul.
Hosts fairly priced to pick up points
Sheffield United are [1.71] for victory and this looks a fair price considering their form this season. Wilder's side have won six home games this season and face a Norwich team with only one victory away in the league. The hosts look by far the most likely winners and overcome the Canaries at Carrow Road back in December.
Norwich are [6.0] to pull off a much-needed win in their fight to avoid the drop. Farke's side are certainly showing plenty of fight but it still looks a long shot for them to remain in the top flight. Their total of five wins this season is the worst in the division and with only one on the road it is difficult to fancy the outsiders, especially after playing more than 120 minutes a day later than their opponents competed.
The draw is available at [3.85] and it is worth noting Sheffield United have been held ten times already this season. The stalemate is a realistic option but draws are not really good enough for Norwich and ultimately Sheffield United are fancied to claim the win. It looks worth switching to an alternative market to inflate the odds on a home victory.
Sheffield United have made a habit of winning tight matches and their last four league victories have all been by a one-goal margin. The Blades have only scored 29 goals so it is no surprise so many of their wins have been low-scoring affairs. Wilder's side defeated Norwich 2-1 earlier on in the campaign and the Blades are generously priced to claim an eighth league victory by one goal this weekend.
Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson has kept nine clean sheets in his 26 Premier League games this season. The hosts are to keep another clean sheet against Norwich.
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