Match Preview: Swindon Town vs Sheffield United

Form Guide… 

7th placed Swindon have won two, drawn two and defeated twice in our previous six matches in League One. At the County Ground, Town drew the last game 1-1 with Scunthorpe United, and are without a victory in five matches in all competitions.

Danny Wilson’s Sheffield United climbed up to 2nd after beating Portsmouth 1-0 just over a week ago. The Blades are unbeaten in their last 15 matches with a record of five wins and one draw in their previous six League One matches. Away from Bramall Lane, United have won their past four matches and undefeated all season. Head-to-Head…

In all League, FA Cup and Football League competitions, Town have faced Sheffield United on 27 occasions, winning 9, drawing 7 and defeated 11 times; scoring 38 and conceding 42.

At the County Ground, Swindon have 7 wins, 5 draws and 2 defeats, scoring 24 and conceding 16.

The previous 3 meetings at the County Ground have ended in score draws.

The last meeting was a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane in the final match of the 1999/00 season, which was Colin Todd’s first match in charge of Swindon. The game ended in a 2-2 draw with Giuliano Grazioli scoring a double for Town.

The Stats…

Defence Attack
  STFC (Hosts) r Shef (Away) r   STFC (Hosts) r  Shef   (Away) r
Shots Against Per Game 6.3 1 7.4 2 Shots For Per Game 8.6 21 7.7 21
% Shots Against on Target 34.1% 3 42.3% 3 % Shots For on Target 48.3% 14 57.4% 3
% Save Rate 66.7% 19 81.8% 5 % Strike Rate 18.3% 2 14.8% 9
Corners Against Per Game 4.7 10 3.9 1 Corners Won Per Game 5.7 13 4.7 11
Possession Conceded 52.1% 21 46.9% 5 Possession Won 47.9% 21 53.1% 5
R = rank: The ranking shown for each measure indicates the efficiency of the sides against the rest of the division as either hosts or the away side | 1 equals the best and 24 is the worst |

Wes Foderingham’s poor save rate percentage and giving away too much possession at the County Ground remains Town’s weakness. However, despite the amount of possession won by our opponent’s our defence really does restrict the amount of chances they’ve available, so credit to McCormack & co.

Sheffield United are superb in defence according to our rankings, justifying their record as undefeated on the road with the joint fewest goals conceded.

Swindon’s clinical strike rate of 18.3% – ranked 2nd of hosts in League One – gets us out of jail, as it did against Coventry and Villa. If Town were able to get in the box more often and then, importantly, get a shot at goal, then we’d be a real force to be reckoned with at the County Ground – like last season.

The Blades are heavily reliant on their defence, with their strikeforce getting only 8 goals scored away in League One this season, they average 1.14 goals per game – reflected in their average ranking.

SCORED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
STFC (as hosts) 1  3 2 0 0 2 3 0
Shef (away) 0  2 1 0 2 0 3 0

Town’s two late goals against Coventry and versus Villa in the League Cup indicate that Paolo’s pre-season regime may be coming to fruition. Any suggestions as to why we’ve been slow out of the blocks after the half time oranges?

CONCEDED 1-15 16-30 31-45 45+ 46-60 61-75 76-90 90+
STFC (as hosts) 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 0
Shef (away) 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0

Sheffield United have yet to concede in League One during the first half on their travels.

My prediction… 

Both sides are strongest in their defence and this has a draw written all over it, however Town have performed well against ‘big’ opposition and I’d certainly classify the Blades in that bracket. This will be a close game, so a nervy 1-0 victory to Swindon.

Come on You Reds!

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