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Analysing Sheffield United's Premier League run-in

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at the fixtures Sheffield United will have to play if the 2019-20 Premier League season resumes.

Sheffield United will arguably be the side hardest hit should Premier League officials bring an early end to the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Blades were enjoying one of the greatest campaigns in their history before the campaign was brought to a halt last month, finding themselves seventh with 10 games to go.

Incredibly, qualifying for the Champions League is still a realistic possibility for Chris Wilder's men given the two-point margin on Manchester United in fifth.

Reaching the Europa League would be a massive achievement in its own right, meanwhile, but United may not get the chance to achieve their aim.

According to reports this week, UEFA has asked each of its member associates to use its coefficient rankings to determine which sides qualify for a place in Europe next season.

Should that be the case, United would miss out on both a Champions League and European spot - regardless of their position in the Premier League - as they have no previous history in those competitions.

Wilder will hope that play does resume at some point, then, and with that in mind Sports Mole has taken an in-depth look at United's remaining nine fixtures.

Sheffield United's Dean Henderson celebrates after the match on March 7, 2020© Reuters

The order that fixtures will be played is something that will have to be determined at a later date, but the Blades were scheduled to take on Newcastle United in their next match.

Sheffield United have lost their last four games against Newcastle, including a 2-0 reverse when they last met in December.

That could have been a banana skin fixture of sorts for Wilder's charges, then, and they are set to follow that up with a trip to in-form Manchester United, who were unbeaten in 11 matches before the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Man Utd are not the only top-six rivals the Yorkshire outfit still have to face, either, with Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea and Leicester City to come.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder peers at the action on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Six of United's remaining 10 fixtures are away from home, which could actually prove to be a good thing given their record away from Bramall Lane since returning to the top flight.

They have lost just two of their 13 away matches, taking 19 points from the 39 on offer.

The average position of the sides they still have to face away from home is 10-11th, whereas their four home games are against teams averaging a position of 7-8th.

Sheffield United's Billy Sharp celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on March 7, 2020© Reuters

Indeed, the Blades' hopes of qualifying for Europe could well come down to how they get on in crunch fixtures with Tottenham and Wolves at Bramall Lane.

United took 13 points from the corresponding 10 reverse fixtures earlier in the season, which would give them a final tally of 56 points.

Going by the average tally from the last few seasons, that would see them finish in eighth spot, marginally missing out on European football.

Sheffield United's remaining Premier League fixtures

Newcastle United (a)
Manchester United (a)
Tottenham Hotspur (h)
Burnley (a)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)
Aston Villa (a)
Chelsea (h)
Leicester City (a)
Everton (h)
Southampton (a)

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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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