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Is it worth looking at Sheffield United players for the start of FPL 2023-24?

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To decide whether it is the right call to be looking at Sheffield United players for your FPL team the first move is to see what their opening Premier League fixtures are looking like. If any players are to be selected from the newly promoted side, they would be ‘budget’ options, but every FPL team needs cheap and reliable picks to make up a strong selection.

Sheffield United’s first five 2023-24 Premier League fixtures are:
·      Crystal Palace (Home)
·      Nottingham Forest (Away)
·      Manchester City (Home)
·      Everton (Home)
·      Tottenham Hotspur (Away)

The Blades start the season with an opening weekend visit from Crystal Palace. This could be a strong chance for Sheffield United to start the season positively. Despite a resurgence from Palace at the back end of last season under 75 year-old Roy Hodgson, they are still yet to name their manager for the new season. As it will be the first Premier League fixture at Bramhall Lane for over two years, there will be a party atmosphere that should drive the players forward.

United then travel to Forest for their second match which looks like an evenly balanced contest. Steve Cooper’s Forest were heavily reliant on their home record last season and will want to keep the City Ground a hard place for teams to play at next season. Only five teams were able to pick up three points when playing Forest away in the 2022-23 campaign, with not even the likes of Manchester City or Liverpool able to pick up victories in Nottingham.

A truly difficult test arrives in the middle of the first five fixtures for the men from Sheffield as they have a home game against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Having not beaten the ‘Sky Blues’ in the last five games in all competitions since 2019, it is unlikely anything will be gained for Paul Heckingbottom’s team against the Champions… but you never know.

FA Cup winners City were able to easily breeze past Sheffield United on their way to the trophy at the semi-final stage at Wembley in April. Even though playing City will be a huge struggle, that will be the case for every team, so it could be better to keep any players who face the treble winners out of your FPL team for that specific game week, within reason. Pep and his City players are only human after all.

A winnable home fixture is next on the list for Heckingbottom’s men, with the challenge of Sean Dyche’s Everton. One of the reasons the Toffees were battling down at the bottom again last season was their weak away record. Only two away wins the entire season led to Everton having to scrape safety to on the last day of the 2022-23 campaign. This game will be seen by Sheffield United as a chance to get three points on the board and to even add some healthy goals scored on top.

A trip to Spurs awaits as the final meeting of the Blades’ opening five. As well as a change of manager for the London side, there is still huge speculation over the future of Harry Kane, who may finally opt to leave North London in search of trophies. Recent Spurs managers Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte all had more of a defensive mindset than the traditional philosophy of the club demands. The arrival of Ange Postecoglou and the signing of James Maddison indicates a shift to a more attacking style. Despite this fixture looking tough on paper for the newly promoted side there could be a chance of an upset, as Spurs look for a new direction under Postecoglou.

Based on the first five games for Sheffield United in their return to the top flight, in FPL terms, they are fixtures where Blades players could gain good points, with the caveat of switching players out for the Manchester City match.

With two favourable home contests against Crystal Palace and Everton along with the visit to Nottingham Forest, for cheaper FPL options some Sheffield United players should be considered.
When looking at which Sheffield United players to bring in for your FPL team, a defensive choice could be the Bosnian centre-back Anel Ahmedhodzic. Despite only playing in 34 of the possible 46 games in the EFL Championship last season, the 23-year-old was able to bag six goals, three of which were headers.

As a versatile attacker, meanwhile, Iliman  Ndiaye will either be labelled as a midfield or attacking option in FPL. But if the price is right, he will be considered by canny FPL players. Last season saw the Senegalese international score 14 goals and bag 11 assists in the league.

Someone who will be an attacker in FPL for 2023-24 is Scotsman Oliver McBurnie. After a successful 2022-23 campaign that saw 13 goals scored, the former Swansea target man could be a dark horse for this season’s FPL.

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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