After Chris Wilder guided the club to two promotions in three years, Sheffield United enjoyed a stellar first campaign back in the Premier League in the 2019-20 season, eventually finishing in ninth spot.
However, the second season would not go to plan, with the Blades not picking up their first league win until January, occupying the foot of the table for the majority of the campaign as a result.
Wilder would go on to depart the club in March, and their fate was sealed not long after, despite interim manager Paul Heckingbottom guiding the South Yorkshire outfit to several commendable victories towards the back end of the campaign, with the Blades still finishing in 20th place, 16 points adrift of safety.
With the slate wiped clean, they head into this season at the beginning of a new era under the management of Slavisa Jokanovic, who has earned promotion out of the Championship on two separate occasions before, guiding both Watford and Fulham to the top flight.
He will hope to repeat that feat this season with a heavily-fancied Blades side, and they will take confidence from a recent 4-0 thrashing of Doncaster Rovers in pre-season, as Lys Mousset hit a brace alongside goals from Oliver Burke and Luke Freeman.
They will now welcome a full crowd to Bramall Lane for the first time since March 2020 with big expectations on their shoulders, as Jokanovic’s men look to kickstart their season in a positive manner in their bid to make an instant return to the Premier League.
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Birmingham City will make the trip north with the aim of stopping the Blades, as they look to pick up a victory of their own to start the season.
Throughout the majority of last season, the Blues’ place in the Championship looked in doubt, as they found themselves in a heated battle to avoid the drop due to a poor run under Aitor Karanka.
However, their fortunes were quickly changed when Lee Bowyer was appointed as the new manager in March, with the club sat in the bottom three