Still basking in the glory of an immediate return to the Premier League, Burnley cut the celebrations short to host second-placed Sheffield United in Easter Monday’s top-of-the-table Championship outing. A 2-1 win at Middlesbrough sealed the Clarets’ promotion back to the big time on Friday evening, while the Blades cemented themselves in the runners-up spot with a 1-0 success over Wigan Athletic.
A slight dampener on Burnley’s near-perfect evening at the Riverside, top scorer Nathan Tella appeared to be struggling as he was replaced by Michael Obafemi in the dying moments, but the Southampton loanee was subsequently seen enjoying the celebrations to the maximum.
As a result, Darko Churlinov should be the Clarets’ only absentee as he continues to struggle with a leg problem, and Kompany is unlikely to grant any rest to his regular first-teamers given the magnitude of Monday’s contest, even with a top-two spot already rubber-stamped.
Regarding Sheffield United, Enda Stevens has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring problem and remains out – one of four players dealing with injuries in that area alongside Ben Osborn, Rhys Norrington-Davies and Rhian Brewster.
Jack O’Connell continues to gradually build up his fitness on the training pitches, having been out since September 2020 following a double knee operation, while Ciaran Clark was an unused substitute against Wigan after shaking off a back spasm.
After three successive substitute outings, experienced midfielder Oliver Norwood could now be utilised from the first whistle, especially if Sharp’s 37-year-old legs are in need of a break.
Burnley possible starting lineup:
Muric; Roberts, Beyer, Al-Dakhil, Maatsen; Cullen, Brownhill; Tella, Gudmundsson, Zaroury; Barnes
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Robinson, Egan, Ahmedhodzic; Bogle, Norwood, Berge, Doyle, Baldock; McAtee; Ndiaye
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United
A repeat of the 5-2 humiliation would not go amiss for those in red and white, who may arguably be taking on Burnley at the perfect time as the Lancashire celebrations remain in full swing.
Kompany will not allow a shred of complacency to creep in from his players, though, and we have ultimately had to settle on a low-scoring draw in this headline matchup.