A trip to Sheffield, a bogey team and a new player

One win in the last five Premier League matches and we now find ourselves out of the top four on goal difference. I think it's fair to say we're in a bit of a slump at the moment. 

And after the Newcastle match earlier this week, I think it's okay to write that this manager has found his bogey team.

All that said, we're still in the FA Cup and we still have an opportunity in Europe. And standing back looking at everything that has happened the past few seasons, even with my claret and blue tinted glasses on, it's not been this good in a long time.

So I'm going in to the match in Sheffield today with optimism. Not just for the match, but for the Club and where we are and where we are heading. Today is just part of the journey, but I hope it's a good day.

And before I leave you for breakfast, Morgan Rogers signed on deadline day. It appears the Club were very keen to get this deal done, but I have to tell you that I know little about the player other than he was at Manchester City, spent a few months at Boro and is now with us.

This is just me trying to play things down. I hope he's as good as many think, I just don't know. I think we might even see something of him today, you never know. And on that, I think I might be smelling bacon in my very near future. Back in a few hours.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Both of Sheffield United's Premier League victories in 11 attempts against Aston Villa came under Chris Wilder in the two most recent meetings at Bramall Lane: 2-0 in December 2019 and 1-0 in March 2021.
  • Villa's last top-flight away victory in this fixture came in April 1994.

Sheffield United

  • Sheffield United have 10 points - no team with fewer than 13 after 22 Premier League matches of a season has gone on to avoid relegation.
  • The Blades have lost 30 of their 39 most recent Premier League fixtures under Chris Wilder (W5, D4).
  • They have kept just one top-flight clean sheet this season and conceded 54 goals, the second highest tally ever at this stage of a Premier League season. Barnsley had let in 57 goals after 22 games in 1997-98.
  • Oli McBurnie has scored in each of his last four home league outings, though the Blades haven't won any of them.
  • Ben Brereton can emulate Brian Deane by scoring in each of his first three Premier League appearances for Sheffield United. The first league goal of Brereton's career was a 93rd-minute winner in Nottingham Forest's 2-1 home victory against Aston Villa in the Championship on 4 February 2017.

Aston Villa

  • Villa are in danger of losing consecutive Premier League matches for the first time this season. They won their next top-flight fixture after each of their previous four defeats in 2023-24.
  • Their only league victory in the past five attempts came against Burnley on 30 December courtesy of an 89th-minute penalty scored by Douglas Luiz.
  • Aston Villa can keep four successive away clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since September to November 2020 under Dean Smith.
  • Ollie Watkins has now scored at least 10 goals in each of his first four seasons in the top flight. The last English players to achieve that feat were Robbie Fowler (1993-94 to 1996-97) and Alan Shearer (first five from 1992-93 to 1996-97).