Villa are in the hunt for a European place, level with Spurs in eighth, but with a g ame in hand over Jose Mourinho’s side and all the teams above them, including two on Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham, who currently occupy the highly-coveted fourth spot.
Meanwhile Chris Wilder has cast doubt over his future at the club, but insists he does want to stay: “I don’t know. We always plan short, medium and long term, but that plan is determined by other people than me. I’ve not had those conversations. I think they should be happening, but they’re not happening.
“Yes, definitely,” Wilder added when pushed over whether he wants to be in charge next season. “If we stick to the plan. The plan, as always, was to leave a legacy, change things off the pitch, which need changing, and stick with the players we’ve invested in and add a couple and try to bounce back – simple as that.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the game at Bramall Lane:
When is it?
The fixture will kick-off at 6pm GMT at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.
How can I watch it?
The match is live on BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Ultimate with coverage starting from 17:30 GMT.
What is the team news?
Wilder‘s squad remains down to the bare bones for the visit of Villa, with none of the injured players set to return.
Jayden Bogle (shin), Chris Basham (hamstring), Jack Robinson (foot), Jack Rodwell, John Egan (toe), Jack O’Connell (knee) and Sander Berge (hamstring) are still out.
Aston Villa will again be without skipper Jack Grealish. He could train later in the week, Smith said, with Emiliano Martinez “fine” after a tight groin.
Matty Cash (hamstring) and Kortney Hause (foot) have been doing some running as their recoveries continue, and Wesley, out since January 2020 due to a knee injury, has been in full contact training.
Sheffield United predicted XI: Ramsdale; Ampadu, Jagielka, Bryan; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Mousset, Sharp
Aston Villa predicted XI: Martinez; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Barkley, El Ghazi; Watkins
Villa showed mental strength to come away with the three points against Leeds without Grealish and that should carry over here, with Smith building something special at Villa Park. Despite Grealish out again, we’ll lean towards an away win here, with Blades starting to lose hope they can pull off the great escape with games running out and Wilder not showing promising signs about his future, which could impact the team on the pitch.