It’s official. Sheffield United and Norwich City will be making their way back to the Premier League for the 2019-2020 season. The Canaries beat Blackburn 2-1 at Carrow Road on the 27thof April to confirm a top two place in the Championship. They went on to prove their worth after beating Aston Villa by the same scoreline the following weekend. Just one day after the Canaries victory over Blackburn, Sheffield United also secured a place in the top flight after a 1-1 draw between Aston Villa and third-placed Leeds in a combative meeting between two teams vying to make the playoffs.
With just one game left on their schedule, Norwich sat in first place in the Championship with 91 points (Sheffield were in second place on 89 points). With that win over Villa, Norwich cemented their place in the Premiership by winning the Championship title. If you think they’ll be able to compete in the Championship, there’ll be no shortage of sports betting opportunities for you to put your money where your mouth is. Of course, it’s not all about Norwich. Sheffield and Norwich will both be in the Premiership next season. Here’s what we can expect from both of them.
Daniel Farke’s side finished in the middle of the table last season, with very little hope of making a push for the playoffs. Bear in mind that they’ve been in and out of the Premier League in recent years, playing five of the past 15 seasons in the top flight. Farke employed a 4-2-3-1 formation in his first full season at Norwich. There’s some experience in the side but Farke has balanced that with some youthful energy and exuberance to make their way past even the toughest defences in the Championship. There seems to be a player effective at every position, with a strength in the centre of the pitch, pace out wide, and a forward who can not only score but also hold the ball up and get his teammates involved.
With Sheffield United, Chris Wilder has had time to stamp his own style on a team he feels can succeed at the highest level. His 3-4-1-2 formation depends on three quality centre backs, along with a midfield that can stretch the opposition. More importantly, however, the system is effective in limiting goals against, as United have conceded only 41 goals, which, tied with Middlesborough, is the lowest tally in the league. When the Blades have needed to score, the formation has adapted by overloading the centre of the field and pushing men forward, often converting to either a 5-4-1 or a 5-3-2, depending on the need.
For the majority of teams who get promoted to the Premier League, the goal is to simply survive. Sometimes, however, a club will try to aim higher, such as Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are capable of finishing higher than 17th in the table. Norwich has recent experience in the Premier League and will hope to use their experience to help them through next season. With Farke’s recent signings, they could even be looking to finish in the middle of the table if they can make a good start to the season and score goals.
Sheffield United, on the other hand, may be coming in with more realistic expectations, arguably needing more players coming in before the start of the season. If Wilder was offered 17th place in the table right now, he would likely take it in a heartbeat. The Blades won’t have an easy time of things and most bookmakers will rank them among the favourites to end up in the bottom three. Blades fans will obviously be hoping for a different outcome.