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FA Cup | Fourth Round
Jan 27, 2024 at 3pm UK
Bramall Lane

Sheff Utd
2 - 5

Hamer (44'), Osula (45+8')
Norwood (10'), Hamer (45+7')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Buonanotte (14'), Pedro (29' pen., 52' pen., 67'), Welbeck (90+7')
Webster (55')

Preview: Sheffield United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sheffield United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's FA Cup clash between Sheffield United and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two Premier League teams yet to suffer defeat in 2024 will put their unbeaten records on the line at Bramall Lane on Saturday, as Sheffield United and Brighton & Hove Albion face off in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Blades marched to a 4-0 rout of Gillingham in their opening match of this year's competition, while the Seagulls also notched a quartet of goals in the third round, overcoming Stoke City 4-2 away from home.

Match preview

An FA Cup sojourn to League Two playoff hopefuls Gillingham offered Sheffield United a prime opportunity to stroll to their most emphatic win of the season, and Chris Wilder's men did not rest on their laurels on January 6, putting four past their fourth-tier counterparts without reply.

Will Osula's first-half brace preceded a second-half double from James McAtee in the most straightforward of successes for Sheffield United, who will have recent history on their side on Saturday, as they have progressed from each of their last four fourth-round ties in the FA Cup.

Semi-finalists last season and quarter-finalists in 2019-20 and 2020-21, the Blades have reason to believe that another deep cup run is on the cards despite their Premier League predicament, although they avoided defeat in the top flight for just the sixth time this season during the recent visit of West Ham United.

During a heated encounter in which both sides saw one of their own banished from the field of play, an Oli McBurnie spot kick with 103 minutes on the board salvaged a point for Sheffield United in a 2-2 thriller, although the basement-dwelling Blades still have a seven-point disadvantage to 17th-placed Everton.

Furthermore, Wilder's team are yet to string together a three-game unbeaten run across all competitions in the 2023-24 season, and the last time they played out a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane - sharing the spoils with Everton on September 2 - Newcastle United subjected them to an eight-goal embarrassment in their following home match.

A repeat of that chastening afternoon is surely off the cards if Brighton's recent offensive displays in the Premier League are anything to go by, though, as Roberto De Zerbi's team drew a blank for the second time in three matches when welcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Amex Stadium on Monday.

By holding out for a 0-0 draw on the South Coast, Wolves snapped Brighton's exceptional 22-game scoring streak on home soil - a sequence stretching back to last February's 1-0 Premier League loss to Fulham - but the Seagulls did not leave their best shooting boots behind for their FA Cup trip to Stoke.

Indeed, defensive duo Pervis Estupinan and Lewis Dunk both made the net bulge in between a Jan Paul van Hecke's own goal and Lewis Baker's penalty, and a late Joao Pedro brace extinguished the Potters' hopes of a place in the fourth round, where they have now appeared in each of the last four campaigns.

Brighton can empathise with Sheffield United when it comes to semi-final defeats - the Seagulls' journey ended at the hands of Manchester United in last year's final four - but they have only been defeated in one of their last five fourth-round showdowns and have a five-game unbeaten run to extend at Bramall Lane.

However, not since the 2004-05 Championship campaign have Brighton bested Sheffield United, whose 1-1 draw at the Amex in November stretched their unbeaten streak against the Seagulls to seven matches, during which time the South Coast upstarts have failed to keep a single clean sheet.

Sheffield United FA Cup form:

Sheffield United form (all competitions):

Brighton & Hove Albion FA Cup form:

Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):

Team News

Just 13 minutes after being introduced off the bench against West Ham, Sheffield United striker Rhian Brewster was sent off for a horrific tackle on Emerson Palmieri, meaning that the ex-Liverpool starlet begins a three-game suspension this weekend.

Long-term ankle victim Chris Basham is unavailable for the foreseeable future as well, but Africa Cup of Nations duo Yasser Larouci and Anis Ben Slimane will be returning imminently, as both Algeria and Tunisia finished bottom of their respective groups.

Saturday's game will likely come too soon for both men, though - Max Lowe (unspecified) is in the same boat - but Tom Davies is training again following October's thigh operation and might be given the green light for a substitute cameo.

The Blades have also added goalkeeper Ivo Grbic to their ranks from Atletico Madrid, but Wes Foderingham should remain in possession of the number one jersey for the time being.

Meanwhile, Brighton's well-occupied treatment room still holds Solly March (knee), Joel Veltman (knee), Julio Enciso (knee), Kaoru Mitoma (ankle), Ansu Fati (thigh) and Simon Adingra (thigh), while Igor also missed the draw with Wolves owing to a calf problem but is in contention here.

Neither Danny Welbeck nor Facundo Buonanotte cut the attacking mustard against Wolves, so recalls for Evan Ferguson and Adam Lallana ought to materialise, but De Zerbi has conceded that Tariq Lamptey is not yet ready to make the starting lineup.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Bogle, Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Norrington-Davies; McAtee, Brooks, Souza, Hamer, Brereton Diaz; McBurnie

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Hinshelwood, Dunk, Van Hecke, Estupinan; Gilmour, Gross, Lallana; Buonanotte, Ferguson, Pedro

We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Having finally been thwarted at the Amex once again, a Brighton side bereft of attacking options are at risk of further offensive disappointment against one of their bogey teams, who displayed tremendous grit to take a point off of West Ham.

Both teams could certainly do without a fourth-round replay, but we are finding it impossible to pick a winner at Bramall Lane, where a low-scoring stalemate could be on the menu thanks to Sheffield United's knockout nous.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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