HomeFootball NewsThe Blades are back in the Premier League and are ready for...

The Blades are back in the Premier League and are ready for battle

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Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United finished second in the Championship last season with 91 points and ended 10 points behind champions Burnley. The Blades won 28 out of their 46 league games and reached Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals, where they were beaten by Manchester City 3-0, thanks to a magical Riyad Mahrez performance with the winger scoring a hat-trick.

United were last in the Premier League during the 2020/21 season, when they finished rock-bottom and only picked up 23 points and seven wins during the league campaign. Heckingbottom took over the team during the season they were relegated from the Premier League and has finished fifth and second in the Championship with Sheffield United whilst he has been in charge.

Sheffield United have won the first division title once in their history, in the 1897/98 season. In the 2019/2020 season, the season before they were relegated from the Premier League, they finished a highly respectable ninth and managed to pick up 54 points out of 34 games.

United’s pre-season this summer will see them face non-league Chesterfield, League One side Derby County and Championship Rotherham United. The Blades will travel to Europe before they start their pre-season matches, as they will complete warm-weather training before returning to England to face two EFL clubs and a non-league side in preparation for the upcoming season. With other Premier League sides facing six to seven opponents in pre-season, Sheffield United could have more fixtures to be confirmed.

Whilst no transfers have been confirmed for the recently promoted side, former defender Kyle Walker has been rumoured with a shock return to his boyhood club. Walker who was part of Manchester City’s treble winning side has also been linked with a move to German giants and reigning champions Bayern Munich.

United could also look to either bring Tommy Doyle back to the club on loan from Manchester City or sign a new midfielder ahead of the 2023/24 season. Sheffield United currently have only five midfielders contracted to the club next season, which could be an indication to the area that they will look at strengthening over the coming months.

Heckingbottom will have a point to prove in the Premier League, as he became the Blades’ manager during their difficult 2020-21 season. When he took over United managed to pick up wins and he injected confidence back into the club, which was sorely missing earlier in the season before his arrival.

In their opening five matches of the upcoming season, the new Premier League side will face Crystal Palace at Bramall Lane on the opening weekend, then they’ll travel to Nottingham Forest who survived relegation last season. Then the Blades have back-to-back home games against Manchester City and Everton. Facing tough opposition such as City so early in the season can be a critical indicator to show where the club are and how capable they are at competing against one of the best teams in the world. After facing City and Everton, United then travel to Tottenham, with new Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou at the helm in North London.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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