Manchester City will be looking to make it nine points from nine at the start of the season when they face Sheffield United on Sunday.
Here are the latest match odds for Sheffield United vs Manchester City. All odds are provided by our best-reviewed football betting sites.
It is a case of so far, so good for Manchester City.
The Premier League champions have a 100 per cent record after two rounds of fixtures. On the opening night they beat Burnley 3-0, before defeating Newcastle United by a goal to nil last time out.
City have already shown different sides to their game. They were unforgivingly ruthless against Burnley, who played some neat football at times but were still comfortably bested.
Control was the order of the day against Newcastle. The Magpies were on a high after their 5-1 thumping of Aston Villa in gameweek one, but they were not able to create any chances of note at the Etihad Stadium.
That sums up the defensive strength of a City side that has long been known instead for its attacking quality.
Pep Guardiola’s team are adept at keeping the ball out of their net in two different ways. First, they invariably dominate possession and starve opponents of the ball.
Second, this current iteration is physically strong and difficult to outmuscle. Guardiola has created a team that can win in multiple ways.
There were two key question marks surrounding City going into the 2023/24 campaign. The first relates to motivation: after winning three titles on the bounce and doing the treble last term, would City struggle to get up for it this year?
The second question concerns squad depth, which has been reduced following the exits of Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and Aymeric Laporte.
We will have to wait and see whether that will be a factor. For now, though, City are ticking along just fine.
Manchester City are unlikely to experience too many difficulties when they lock horns with Sheffield United this weekend.
Guardiola will be absent from the touchline on Sunday as he recovers from a back operation. That is clearly not ideal, but it should not be too much of a problem.
City are a well-oiled machine and Juanma Lillo is a capable deputy. The biggest worry is whether the nurses will be able to keep Guardiola calm while he watches the game on TV.
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Catalan opted to go under the knife and miss his team’s matches against Sheffield United and Fulham.
Those are two of the kinder fixtures City will fulfil this season, and while there is little chance of complacency creeping in given Guardiola’s intensity, the champions have little to fear here.
It is rare that City slip up in this type of match. Last season they only dropped points away to a bottom-half side only once.
The last time they lost at the stadium of a side that finished 11th or below was in May 2021, when Brighton & Hove Albion ran out 3-2 winners at the Amex Stadium after City had already wrapped up the title.
The time before that was in July 2020, when Southampton registered a 1-0 victory on the south coast.
City do not often slip up in away games they are expected to win, and this should be another comfortable afternoon for them.
⚽ Go for Manchester City to win both halves at 5/4 with bet365 ⚽
Sheffield United have had a tough start to the season.
They might have only lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in gameweek one, but the Blades were outplayed at Bramall Lane.
They then went down 2-1 to Nottingham Forest, leaving them as one of only three teams to be pointless after two matches.
It has been a difficult summer for United, who have lost some key players in the transfer market. They have brought in Cameron Archer and Tom Davies in recent days, but it will take a while for those players to be integrated.
The Blades are the second-favourites for relegation and this is not the type of game they need as they bid to build some confidence.
City only beat Newcastle 1-0 last weekend, but it felt like they had more gears to go to if they needed it.
The Magpies are much more defensively solid than Sheffield United, who may struggle to keep the score down.
⚽ Tip Man City to win with a -2 handicap at 7/5 with bet365 ⚽
Kevin De Bruyne is out until December in a major blow for Manchester City.
However, the Belgian’s absence gives Phil Foden the chance to step up – and he grabbed that opportunity with both hands against Newcastle.
Foden was superb last time out and Guardiola and Lillo will be looking for more of the same in this one.
The England international started on the right against Eddie Howe’s charges but he was given licence to drift infield into dangerous areas.
He provided the assist for Julian Alvarez’s goal and will now be looking to get off the mark himself.
Foden scored 11 league goals last term – more than anyone but Erling Haaland – so he definitely knows where the goal is.
With the Norwegian likely to be a major distraction for Sheffield United, Foden is attractively priced to find the net.
⚽ Back Phil Foden to score any time at 11/5 with bet365 ⚽
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
Follow Greg on Twitter @GregLeaFootball
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