Bramall Lane
Thursday 4th December ‘19
7.30pm. Live on Amazon.

Following the derring do of Saturday’s 2-2 thriller at home to the Champions, we’re swiftly back on the road again this week. It’s a visit to the Steel City where we’ll be locking horns with a buoyant Sheffield United.

Before a ball was kicked in August, many had the Blades as favourites for an instant schlep back to the Championship. However thus far, they’ve stuck two fingers up to the soothsayers by making a decent fist of their return to top flight football.

They’re a team of no real ‘stars’, managed by a local lad. It is clear though, that together they are greater than the sum of their parts. Manager, Chris Wilder has done an absolutely superb job in both getting them up and now, punching above their weight in the Premiership.

They’re particularly committed, hard to play against and have bloodied a few auspicious noses along the way. They’ve turned over Everton and Arsenal, and can also boast creditable points earned away at Chelsea, Spurs and Wolves. Their last home outing saw them draw 3-3 with Man United, in a game they dominated for long periods. They’re clearly going to be a handful.

They tend to play with three across the back and have conceded only thirteen so far. John’s Fleck & Lundstram in the midfield are “rising in prominence, with recent goals and assists – and up top they have French U21 striker, Lys Mousset. This kid looks a real potential talent. They got him from Bournemouth in the summer for £10M, after he’d shown little there in three years. That’s rapidly changed, with five in eleven so far. I watched their game against the Mancs on SKY and he looked superb. Fast and skilful, he also scored a superb goal, curling the ball beyond De Gea, from distance. Let’s hope our back line are in Man City mode and not the shambles we witnessed at Villa.

This leads us nicely on to us….

Following that tame surrender in the West Midlands, we upped our game considerably on Saturday versus Man City. When I saw the team sheet, I was like ‘what is he thinking?!?’ Shelvey, surely not? He’s got Longa back. I’m a well known defender of defender Paulo Dummetti, but again after a stinker last

Monday and clear talent waiting in the wings, I was perplexed at his inclusion. To be honest, you could’ve made a similar argument about quite a few of the others getting given the ‘Spanish Archer*’ too.

Basically, we are now the ‘Unpredictables’, and I’ve got the job of trying to tell you what’s gonna happen. It’s a tough gig, brothers and sisters and no mistake.

So what’s going to happen on Thursday? Jesus, I don’t know! Which NUFC turn up? Again…….. couldn’t tell you!

With a gun held to my head, I’d have to go with a narrow home win. The Blades, like Villa are half decent and will be up for it. We, of course still have the same issues up top, and until that changes, it’s always going to be a struggle.

Howay lads, prove me wrong. It’s another 6 pointer, and victory would actually see us level with our hosts. Will the real Newcastle please stand up……?

Nick Clark

@Clark5Nick

*For younger readers, it’s El Bow, as in elbow. You know, being given the push. It was funny in the 70’s, anyway.