Sheffield United look to build on an impressive first season back in the Premier League when they host Wolves. Joe Townsend looks at the betting.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Sheffield United v Wolves
- Monday 6pm BST kick-off on Sky Sports
- Match Odds: Home 9/4 | Draw 2/1 | Away 11/8
Sheffield United have gone to great lengths in an effort to avoid the dreaded 'second season syndrome' that has afflicted so many teams that prospered in their first campaign after promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.
Almost £20m was spent to bring goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale back from Bournemouth, filling a glaring hole left by Dean Henderson's return to Manchester United after a two-year loan, Derby were paid a combined £15m for full-backs Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe, and Chelsea midfielder Ethan Ampadu has arrived on loan.
Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster could yet join on a temporary or permanent deal - like I said, the Blades have gone to great lengths to back up their surprise ninth place.
Wolves may have lost influential right-back Matt Doherty to Tottenham, but they have strengthened too as they chase a third successive seventh-placed finish, or better.
Most notably, a club record £35m was splashed out on Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva but the canny addition of experienced left-back Marcal from Lyon could prove just as vital. Midfielder Vitinha, who has joined on loan from Porto, is more of an unknown quantity on these shores.
Neither of these sides finished last season particularly well, and will hope a new season, and fresh start can provide them with the opportunity to leave that poor form behind.
They met during Project Restart, in atrocious conditions at Bramall Lane. John Egan's injury-time header gave Chris Wilde's men a 1-0 win that was probably deserved on balance, but it was a poor game where defences won the day.
There was a huge element of cancelling each other out, which can often happen when two sides playing 3-5-2/3-4-3 meet, and I expect that to be the case again on Monday evening.
When the teams faced one another earlier in the campaign, it was more entertaining as the Blades went ahead fairly early and Wolves were forced to chase the game, but it still only ended 1-1.
It's no surprise to see under 2.5 goals at 1/2 but under 1.5 goals at 6/4 presents good value, especially when you consider that six of Wolves' past 13 matches have ended 1-0; Sheff United have seen under 1.5 goals in seven of their past 20 games.
Put them together and the likelihood of a game involving no more than one goal of course goes up.
Where Nuno's team have been very reliable in recent months is when it comes to goalless opening halves. In six of their last seven matches away from Molineux, it has been 0-0 at half-time.
The one exception was their final-day trip to Chelsea, where Mason Mount thundered in a dubios free-kick in first-half stoppage time, before Olivier Giroud scored straight from kick-off.
No team in the Premier League's top 12 scored fewer than Sheffield United's 38 goals last term, and only Burnley and Everton were between the Blades and Wolves in the goals for table.
I really like the price of 13/10 for 0-0 at half-time at Bramall Lane, as two sides who struggle to find the net will go with similar set-ups and more than likely size each other up like the early stages of a boxing match, except it'll carry on for most of the contest.
Or at least we hope so.
Score prediction: Sheffield United 0-0 Wolves (Sky Bet odds: 11/2)
Follow Sporting Life on social - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC
Related football content
- Transfer Market: Latest updates
- Transfer Window: Done deals
- Latest football previews and tips
- Sporting Life App: Android & iOS
We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.
If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.