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Huddersfield v Sheffield United preview: Terriers bid to secure safety in Yorkshire tussle

Veteran manager Neil Warnock has taken Huddersfield to the brink of Championship safety and will be hoping to get his team over the line with a game to spare by securing a point or three at home to promoted Sheffield United.

The fourth-bottom Terriers are in a far from comfortable position and know that a loss to the second-placed Blades would put them at risk going into next Monday's clash at home to relegation rivals Reading. 

And they must be hoping for a below-par performance from their opponents, who defeated them 1-0 at Bramall Lane in December. 

United clinched promotion to the Premier League with three games to spare and make the short trip to the John Smith's Stadium in search of a fifth successive league victory.

WhatHuddersfield Town v Sheffield United
WhereJohn Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
When19:45, Thursday 4th May, 2023
How to watchSky Sports Red Button
OddsHuddersfield 11/5, Draw 2/1, Sheffield United 29/20

Stalemate would feel like a win for Huddersfield

Huddersfield have moved to the brink of second-tier survival by playing positively and winning games, (they have taken maximum points in four of their last seven fixtures) but they face a tricky dilemma against Sheffield United because a draw would be sufficient to secure their Championship status. 

The Terriers hold a three-point advantage over third-bottom Reading in the battle to avoid the drop, but a loss to the Blades would leave them within reach of the Royals, who travel to the John Smith' Stadium on the final day of the season. 

There should be no shortage of confidence in the Huddersfield camp. 

They were worthy 2-1 winners at Cardiff on Sunday – dominating the shot count 20 to eight – and haven't tasted defeat on home soil since a 4-0 loss against Coventry in early March. 

Three of their last four home games have finished all-square, and the draw against Sheffield United looks well worth consideration at 2/1

Huddersfield can be backed at 11/5 to register their fifth win in eight games, and they are 29/20 to slide to defeat and leave themselves facing a nerve-shredding end to the season.

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Free-scoring Blades are aiming to finish on a high

While Huddersfield will have to play the game under immense pressure, Sheffield United should have the freedom to express themselves as they target a successful conclusion to what has been a memorable season. 

The Blades went through a wobble from mid-February to mid-March, losing four of six Championship fixtures, and were under pressure from Middlesbrough, who were only four points adrift of them with 10 games left to play. 

They responded magnificently, winning seven of eight Championship fixtures, and were far from disgraced in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Sheffield United's successful promotion quest has been a team effort, although striker Iliman Ndiaye has starred and played a crucial role with 14 goals and nine assists. 

The Senegalese international is one assist away from joining Coventry striker Victor Gyokeres as a member of the double-double goals and assists club this season.

Ndiaye was on target in Sheffield United's 4-1 victory at home to Preston on Saturday and he looks attractively priced at 15/2 to open the scoring against Huddersfield. 

Team-mates Ollie McBurnie and Billy Sharp, who have amassed league tallies of 12 and two, are shorter odds at 6/1 each.

Terriers will look to keep things tight

Huddersfield have been fairly free-scoring in recent weeks, notching 12 goals across their last six games, but their main priority against Sheffield United will be to keep things tight. 

Warnock's side have not kept a clean sheet since a gritty 1-0 success at Millwall in mid-March, but they will be striving for another shutout, priced up at 5/2, to guarantee Championship survival. 

The Terriers have been involved in some high-scoring games in recent times, which is understandable because they have had to adopt an attack-minded attitude. 

However, the context of their 45th match looks very different - and there could be plenty of interest in backing under 2.5 goals at 8/11

A feature of Huddersfield's play under Warnock has been how hard they work off the ball. 

Warnock's direct style of play can mean that his team has to face long spells out of possession and it puts a huge onus on his midfielders to work their socks off and shield the defence. 

Jonathan Hogg and Jack Rudoni have had crucial roles to play and often have to walk a fine line because their robust style of play can attract the attention of referees. 

Rudoni is just ahead of Hogg on the yellow card count (10 to 9), but both are strong candidates to enter the notebook against Sheffield United and are both 5/2 to pick up a booking.

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