Tough trip to Sheffield United, but we can be optimistic for the rest of December

It's been a tough few weeks and we find ourselves in a not nice spot. But today we're playing a side that were promoted with us last season and it's fair to say that these are the matches where we could be getting something. I nearly wrote should, but maybe I'm maturing.

But actually, we've also got to remember where we are and when. This is our first season back in the Premier League and it's not going to be easy. And yes, we could get three points against any side.

And the recent run hasn't been great. I think it's four points in November and December so far, but we have played the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. And Leicester were the best side we've played all season.

This month, in the League we have Sheffield United today, Southampton, Norwich and Watford coming up. We have to be looking at a minimum of six points from these matches and I don't think that is too harsh a request.

And it would be made easier if we won today and winning today could also give us the confidence to go and take more than six points from a possible twelve. And why not all twelve?

Okay, I'm starting to get carried away. The thing I want for Christmas is Wes to start scoring. I think all he needs is for us to get the ball to him more quickly and that will create the chances. To do that, we've got to get the ball to our wingers and that ball has to be crossed in. Going through the middle and we're only using him as a middle man and I'm not convinced that is his best position.

So not going to get carried away, just going to look forward. Quickly.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Sheffield United's only victory in the past 11 league meetings was by 4-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.
  • Aston Villa have won five of their six Premier League games against Sheffield United, drawing the other. They haven't met in the top flight since the 2006-07 season.

Sheffield United

  • The Blades are vying to earn consecutive Premier League wins for the first time in 13 years.
  • Sheffield United's only defeat in nine Premier League matches came in their most recent home fixture, against Newcastle (W3, D5).
  • They have lost four home league games this season, as many as in the entirety of 2018-19.
  • If Sheffield United win or draw this fixture, they will be the first promoted team to lose fewer than five of their opening 17 matches of a Premier League campaign since Hull City 11 years ago.
  • Chris Wilder's side have conceded eight goals in five games but still boast the division's third best defensive record overall, behind Leicester City and league leaders Liverpool.
  • Wilder played in the Sheffield United team that won 2-1 at home to Villa in the top flight in March 1991.
  • Lys Mousset has scored with all five of his shots on target in the Premier League this season. Fellow forward David McGoldrick, who has failed to score with any of his 28 attempts, should have four goals based on the expected goals metric which measures the quality of chances.

Aston Villa

  • It's one win in seven league games for Villa, who have played every current top-six side during that period (D1, L5).
  • Their only Premier League away victory in the past 26 attempts came against fellow newly-promoted side Norwich in October (D4, L21).
  • Aston Villa have earned a solitary point from their nine matches this season against sides currently in the top half of the table. Sheffield United are in eighth place.
  • The eight headed goals they have conceded this season are more than any other side in the division. Villa are yet to score from a header.
  • Dean Smith's side have dropped an unrivalled 13 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.
  • The 20 goals they have conceded in the second half is also the most by any side in the division so far.
  • Jack Grealish has scored six goals in all competitions in 2019-20, equalling last season's career-best tally.