Sat 23 Sept 2023, 12:46 · NUFCFEED

Sheffield United vs. Newcastle United: 2023/24 Premier League gameweek 6 match preview

Sheffield United vs. Newcastle United: 2023/24 Premier League gameweek 6 match preview
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Eddie Howe takes his Newcastle United side to Bramall Lane on Sunday afternoon, for the Magpies' sixth game of the 2023/24 Premier League season.

Following the emotionally draining 0-0 draw with AC Milan in the San Siro on Tuesday evening, multiple changes are expected from the head coach.

Despite struggling for form since the opening day, if the Magpies are able to secure a second successive victory here, they'll be two points better off than at the same stage of last season.

We've got all you need to know prior to kick-off, with team news, predicted XIs, television and radio information, a head-to-head record, and more.

What's the latest team news?

George Wood/Getty Images

Howe remains without Joelinton (knee) and Joe Willock (achilles), while Emil Krafth (knee) is not yet ready to return to action despite being back in first-team training with the rest of the squad.

Joelinton is currently expected to return before mid-October, but Willock is set to be absent until later that month at the earliest. Martin Dúbravka also missed the Milan game due to illness and remains a doubt here.

Newcastle United Squad

Goalkeepers: Nick Pope, Martin Dúbravka*, Loris Karius, Mark Gillespie

Defenders: Kieran Trippier, Tino Livramento, Javier Manquillo, Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles, Sven Botman, Paul Dummett, Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Lewis Hall

Midfielders: Sandro Tonali, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimarães, Lewis Miley, Elliot Anderson, Matt Ritchie

Forwards: Miguel Almirón, Jacob Murphy, Alexander Isak, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Harvey Barnes

* = very doubtful


Heckingbottom has many more absentees to contend with, with Oliver McBurnie's suspension following his red card against Spurs being the biggest headache for the home manager. The forward has been the Blades' main attacking threat so far this season.

George Baldock (calf), Rhian Brewster (thigh), John Fleck (calf), Daniel Jebbison (illness), Max Lowe (ankle), Rhys Norrington-Davies (thigh), Ben Osborn (groin), and William Osula (hamstring) all remain absent.

Club captain John Egan (knee) is fit to play, though, having missed the defeat in North London.

Sheffield United Squad

Goalkeepers: Wes Foderingham, Adam Davies, Jordan Amissah

Defenders: Chris Basham, Anel Ahmedhodžić, John Egan, Jack Robinson, Auston Trusty, Jayden Bogle, Femi Seriki, Yasser Larouci, Luke Thomas, Jili Buyabu

Midfielders: Gustavo Hamer, James McAtee, Vinicius Souza, Tom Davies, Oliver Norwood, Ismaila Coulibaly, Anis Slimane, Andre Brooks

Forwards: Cameron Archer, Bénie Traoré, Louie Marsh, Antwoine Hackford

How will the teams line up?


Newcastle changes are expected following a gruelling 90 minutes in the San Siro on Tuesday evening, with that game being played in sweltering conditions.

Howe did say he was mindful of making "too many" adjustments in his pre-match press conference, though. This could point to the back five remaining intact, with Longstaff and Guimarães again starting ahead of them in midfield.

Anderson and Tonali are going head-to-head for the slot on the left of the central trio, with the youngster slightly more likely to start following a decent performance against Brentford and fewer minutes in Milan.

It would be no surprise at all to see a complete change in the front three despite Gordon's recent good form, with another huge game coming against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

It'll be either Almirón or Murphy on the right with Wilson down the middle and Barnes on the left, with the Paraguayan probably getting the nod having struggled for starts in the last few weeks.

Newcastle United (4-3-3)

Starting XI: Pope; Trippier (c), Schär, Botman, Burn; Longstaff, Guimarães, Anderson; Almirón, Wilson, Barnes

Substitutes: Karius; Livramento, Lascelles, Hall, Targett; Tonali; Murphy, Isak, Gordon


Heckinbottom is running out of options up front, which means Traoré should come in for McBurnie alongside Archer.

The manager could elect to move to a 3-5-1-1 with the introduction of another midfielder, too, but the Blades have looked decent in their last two games and a change of shape would be a risk.

Egan should come straight back in for Basham in the heart of the central defensive trio, though it would be a surprise to see any further alterations following the narrow defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week.

Sheffield United (3-5-2)

Starting XI: Foderingham; Ahmedhodžić, Egan (c), Robinson; Bogle, Souza, McAtee, Hamer, Thomas; Traoré, Archer

Substitutes: A. Davies; Basham, Trusty, Larouci; T. Davies, Norwood, Seriki, Slimane; Marsh

Who will referee the game and who is the VAR?

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Stuart Atwell (Warwickshire) is back in charge here, having officiated the 3-1 defeat at Brighton a few weeks ago.

Constantine Hatzidakis and James Mainwaring will be running the lines, with Anthony Taylor on fourth official duty.

Darren England is the VAR and will be assisted in the booth by Neil Davies.

What kits will the teams be wearing?

Ian Walton/Reuters

It'll be a return to the green away kit here, as Sheffield United typically line up in red and white striped shirts, black shorts, and black socks. Newcastle will likely wear green shirts, white shorts, and white socks.

What have the managers said about the game?

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Howe held his usual Friday morning press conference at around 9 a.m. BST with his most notable quotes being:

"We’re trying to be smart with our time in between games. We have to be clever, especially when the demand on the players is so big mentally and physically. We’ve got to get that balance right for them.

(We’re expecting) a difficult game. I think Bramall Lane is a very tough place to go at any time of the year. They’re a good team, a direct team who will ask us questions physically. They’ve got good athleticism in their team, (they're) counter-attacking, and they’re very strong from set plays.

They’ve got lots of areas to their team that can hurt us if we’re not right so I think the big challenge for us is to mentally approach the game as we did the Brentford match. We were spot on in our mindset and (respected) the importance of the game, responding really well with maybe not a magnificent display but doing enough to get the job done.

We’re going to have to get all the basics right if we’re going to compete in this game.

We are going to have to rotate the squad. We’re not going to be able to play the same eleven players every week. We don’t want to make, if we can help it, wholesale changes to the team in any one game. I don’t think that is going to do our rhythm any good and help us. Tweaks, as we’re going along, hopefully then the team will become unaffected and we manage to keep everyone in the team fresh."

Heckinbottom also spoke to the media on Friday, with his most relevant comments being:

"They're different to Spurs and different to (Manchester) City in how they (Newcastle) set up. There's a good physicality about them and an energy. That's probably the standout quality I see in them, and certainly in how they'll look to start the game against us.

They'll try and impose their physicality and energy onto us, which is slightly different, but that's not to say they're not very good with the ball. It's a different challenge for us, but one that we're looking forward to.

We are looking forward to it because it’s a home game, in front of the cameras. We’ve had another week's training, which is good for us and we have been preparing for Newcastle with how they attack and how they defend. We need to be ready."

Are tickets still available?


The short answer is "no", as with most away games. The longer answer is that this one sold out at 25+ points before a small number of tickets went to the season ticket holder ballot. Some have popped up on Facebook groups and X accounts since then, but not many.

ID checks will again be enforced here, as they were at Manchester City and Brighton, with a small number of tickets set to fail at the turnstile. Supporters will then be asked to visit Bramall Lane's ticket office to show their identification and be issued with a replacement ticket.

Where can the game be watched or listened to?

Sky Sports are broadcasting this one in the UK and Ireland, while it's available almost everywhere else in the world as well.

Radio-wise, the game is on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport again nationally and BBC Radio Newcastle locally, as tends to be the way.

What's our head-to-head record with Sheffield United?

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It's been very even over the years. 38% of competitive meetings between the two sides have ended in Newcastle wins, 23% in draws, and 39% in defeats:








We last played at Bramall Lane in the 2020/21 season, losing 1-0 to a Billy Sharp penalty under Steve Bruce in January 2021.

We did beat the Blades 1-0 at St. James' in the return fixture in May, though, thanks to a goal from Joe Willock.

What's the official score prediction?

This is another incredibly difficult call, with the game being sandwiched between a draining trip to Italy and a massive home cup tie against the treble winners.

We'll go for a narrow 2-1 win to Newcastle, with Wilson scoring yet again.