Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2006/2007. The club was one of the founder members of the Premier League (1992/93) and also scored the first-ever Premier League goal when Brian Deane got the opener in a 2-1 win against Manchester United. Bramall Lane, Sheffield United's stadium, is the oldest major stadium in the world where professional football is still played and 2019/20 will see its fourth season of Premier League football.
- Stadium: Bramall Lane
- Stadium Capacity: 32,609
- Location: Sheffield
- Founded: 1889
- Nickname: The Blades
- Manager: Chris Wilder
- Kit: Red and white striped shirts with black shorts and red socks
Sheffield United was formed in 1889 and was one of the founder members of the second division of English football when that division was formed in 1892. The club's glory years were in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century when the club won their only Football League Championship (1897/98) and the FA Cup four times (1899, 1902, 1915 & 1925). Sheffield United have played, for most of their history, in the top two divisions of English football but, at times, have also been down to the lower divisions and are one of only five teams to have won all four divisional titles in English football (the other four teams are Burnley, Portsmouth, Wolves and Preston).
Sheffield is in the north of England, in Yorkshire, and traditionally, is one of the biggest football cities in the UK, although perhaps not one of the most successful. The Sheffield Derby or Steel City Derby, against the 'other' team in Sheffield, is one of the most passionate in the country. As the name of the derby match suggests, Sheffield is famous for its production and development of steel goods such as cutlery (knives and forks). As Sheffield United is based in the heart of the city (Sheffield Wednesday is based in Hillsborough - a suburb of Sheffield) the club probably has more of an affinity with the city's heritage. The club's nickname is the Blades after all!
Sheffield is also home to the world's oldest football club but it is neither United or Wednesday. Sheffield FC was formed in 1857 and play at the eighth level of English football and are officially recognised as the oldest existing football club in the world by FIFA. The club originally played according to Sheffield Rules. Some of the rules and innovations of football that were introduced by Sheffield Rules include:
- free kicks
- corner kicks
- only goalkeepers being allowed to handle the ball
- heading the ball
Chris Wilder took control at Sheffield United in May 2016. The Blades had just finished eleventh in their sixth consecutive season in League One (the third level of English football) and were going through one of the worst spells of their entire history. Wilder who is from Sheffield and is a Sheffield United fan, ex-Sheffield United ball boy and ex-Sheffield United player, got the team promoted in his first season at the helm. After one season of consolidation, Wilder got Sheffield United promoted again in 2018/19, but this time it was to the Premier League. Under Wilder, United have played an attacking style of football which includes central defenders playing as wingers at times. This unique style has suited the team and also won Wilder the League Managers Association (LMA) Coach of the Year Award 2019 beating Manchester City's Pep Guardiola into second place.
Three to Watch
Chris Wilder's promotion squad contained only players from the UK and Ireland but Wilder has since added Lys Mousset, a French forward who has been bought from Bournemouth for a club-record transfer fee. That club record has, in fact, been broken three times since the club got promoted as they have also brought in key players from the Championship (second level of English football). Here are three players to watch out for in the Premier League this season:
Sharp is in his third spell with the Blades and it's this third spell at the club that has been most successful. The boyhood Sheffield United fan and captain has scored at a rate of one goal every two matches over the last four seasons and has over 100 goals for the club. Sharp and United fans will be hoping his second chance at Premier League football will be more successful than his first. He played only twice for Southampton and failed to score a goal.
No player in all four divisions of English football has scored more goals than Billy Sharp this century!
Henderson will be playing Premier League football for the first time after keeping more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper in the Championship last season. The Manchester United goalkeeper has returned to Sheffield United for a second season-long loan. In his first season at Bramall Lane, the 23-year-old became a fan favourite. Last season he won Sheffield United's Young Player of the Year Award and the Championship's Golden Glove Award. He is currently the England Under-21's first-choice goalkeeper.
Sheffield United are the oldest professional team called 'United'. Sheffield 'United' cricket club was formed in 1854 and Sheffield 'United' football club created in 1889.
Morrison has arrived at Bramall Lane on a free transfer and is one of the few players in the squad with Premier League experience. Morrison was a youth player at Manchester United and was in the same team as Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard when they won the FA Youth Cup in 2011. Since that high point, Morrison who was described by Alex Ferguson as the most naturally talented youngster he had ever signed has played for eight different clubs and despite glimpses of his talent has not yet performed to the level people expected eight years ago. Sheffield United will hope that now is the time for Morrison to show what Alex Ferguson saw in him.
The beaten finalists in that Youth Cup win for Morrison, Pogba and Lingard were Sheffield United (6-3 on aggregate).
Sheffield United finished second in the Championship last season (2018/19), which secured automatic promotion to the Premier League after a successful battle against Yorkshire rivals, Leeds United. The Blades had the best defensive record in the division and their top scorer was Billy Sharp with 23 league goals.
Sheffield United are many people's tips for last place and an immediate return to the Championship. However, we believe in the underdog and think their never-say-die spirit and unique style of football will surprise a few of the more established Premier League teams next season which will be enough to see the Blades stay up quite comfortably.
Talk about Sheffield United
What do you know about the Blades? Are you a Sheffield United fan?
Do you know any of their players? Have you seen any Sheffield United matches?
Where do you think Sheffield United will finish in the Premier League this season? Do you agree with our prediction?