Sheffield United are back in the Premier League.
The club’s fixtures for this season were announced on Thursday, and now it all seems real for the Blades. Just three seasons ago the plucky Yorkshire club were playing in League One, but two promotions in 2017 and 2019 have seen the Blades find themselves back in the top-flight of English football.
Newly-promoted sides can go one of two ways upon their ascension to the Premier League – they can either carry their momentum through and start well, or let the occasion get to them and flop immediately.
You can’t win the Premier League in the opening few weeks, but you certainly can lose it. Fast starts have been vital for any unfancied team if they want to beat the drop in their first season after promotion.
Huddersfield Town epitomise this more than any other club. The Terriers lost just one of their opening six matches in 2017/18, and they ended up staying up by four points.
The momentum they gathered in the Championship, coupled with the euphoria of actually being in the Premier League, allowed David Wagner’s side to play without fear in the opening few weeks where every player was giving 100 per cent to the cause.
Luckily for United, they seem to be ready to start well in the top-flight.
Chris Wilder’s tactics may surprise teams in the opening few weeks as his style of play has rarely been seen before in this division. The 51-year-old has built his squad around team spirit and togetherness, so there will be no question as to whether or not his players will give everything in these opening few weeks.
Their fixture list gives them a great chance for a good start as well. Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton in their opening five games represent three great chances to get wins, and while Leicester is a tricky fixture, a game away at Chelsea may be a chance to cause an upset as the club have just lost Eden Hazard and are serving a transfer ban as things stand.
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The Blades took the Championship by storm when they were promoted from League One, and there is no reason why they can’t do the same thing in the Premier League.