While the Blades sit just two points adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United, Villa only remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
After the 2-0 defeat at home to Newcastle United extended Sheffield United's winless streak to four matches, Chris Wilder would have feared that his side had lost their way after reaching fifth position in the table.
However, their comeback victory over Norwich City last weekend would have reassured the Blades boss that the club can remain a constant fixture in the top half of the standings.
While neither man got on the scoresheet, the recalls handed to Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick provided the Yorkshire outfit with a greater threat in attack, something which was required after drawing a blank against the Magpies.
With games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford to follow, Wilder will feel that United now have an opportunity to cement their place in the upper echelons of the table on a long-term basis.
That said, trips to Manchester City and Liverpool come at the turn of the year, meaning that there is a certain level of pressure on Wilder and his players ahead of the next phase of the campaign.
Meanwhile, Villa manager Dean Smith must find a way to lift his team after their below-par performance against Leicester City last weekend, with the West Midlands outfit fortunate to only concede four times versus the Foxes.
Despite a threat being offered in the final third, largely through Jack Grealish, Villa looked short of confidence in defensive areas, which will concern Smith ahead of the visit to Bramall Lane.
Villa have a favourable schedule over the Christmas period as Southampton and Norwich make the trip to their home ground before they face bottom-placed Watford at Vicarage Road.
Nevertheless, after a period of just four points from seven matches, the stakes involved in those matches will become considerably higher should Villa succumb to a sixth defeat in eight at the weekend.
Sheffield United Premier League form: WDDDLW
Aston Villa Premier League form: LLWDLL
With Mousset having suffered a muscle injury at Carrow Road last weekend, Wilder may decide against taking any risks with the Frenchman.
That could result in Oliver McBurnie being handed a recall to what should otherwise stay as an unchanged starting lineup.
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Basham, Egan, O'Connell; Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McBurnie, McGoldrick
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Guilbert, Konsa, Engels; Taylor; Luiz, Nakamba, McGinn; Trezeguet, Wesley, Grealish
We say: Sheffield United 2-1 Aston Villa
With Villa requiring a response to their capitulation against Leicester, this game could prove to be closer than many are predicting. However, we feel that the home side will show the greater desire to get three points on the board ahead of the upcoming Christmas period.
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