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Brighton & Hove Albion-Sheffield United Preview

Graham Potter has warned his Brighton and Hove Albion players that they will have to dig deep to overcome already-relegated Sheffield United in Saturday's Premier League clash.

United's fate was confirmed with a 1-0 loss to Wolves last weekend, the Blades suffering relegation with six games remaining - a joint-record in the competition's history.

Albion could yet join the Yorkshire side in dropping down to the Championship, though they now have a seven-point margin on the bottom three with a game in hand.

While United may have little left to play for on the face of it, Potter insists the home players will be fighting for their lives when Brighton visit Bramall Lane.

"We'd like to get the job done as quickly as possible, but nothing is that straightforward," he said. "We certainly don't disrespect anybody by saying 'this is going to be an easy game, let's focus on this one'. It's going to be a tough game for us. They haven't got that pressure or worry in terms of staying in the league. They're still fighting, they're still running, they're still acting in a way that is a Premier League team.

"I am sure they will want to finish off as well as they can. All the players are playing for their futures, the coaching staff are doing the same."

United's 26 defeats this term is the joint-most they have suffered in a single league campaign, while their 12 home losses is the outright most they have ever had in a season.

Paul Heckingbottom, who has overseen the last four of those losses since replacing Chris Wilder, agrees with Potter that his players still have plenty on the line over the coming weeks.

"Relegation is confirmed now, but it's got to be about what is next for us," he said. "People can stop talking about it now. But I don't like the phrase 'you've got nothing to lose' - it can be construed as nothing to play for, which I don't accept. You're always getting judged and we keep stressing that."

KEY PLAYERS

Sheffield United - Rhian Brewster

One of those who still has an awful lot to prove is young striker Brewster, who has yet to find the net for United since joining from Liverpool in a big-money deal last year.

With Billy Sharp and Oli McBurnie out for the campaign, the 21-year-old will have a run of games to break his scoring duck and possibly set up a more fruitful 2021-22 campaign.

Brighton and Hove Albion - Danny Welbeck

Potter's side have gone back-to-back games without finding the net and will be looking to put that right against a team with a league-low two clean sheets this term.

Welbeck, who went close to scoring a winner against Chelsea with a shot against the post, has two goals in his last four games and will be aiming to add to that here.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- United have lost just one of their last 11 league games against Brighton (W6 D4), with the Blades scoring at least once in every game in this run.

- Brighton have not won an away league game against United since January 2005, though this will be just their third visit to Bramall Lane since then.

- The visitors have won just four of their 24 Premier League games against sides in the relegation zone (17 per cent) - the lowest win rate of any club in the competition.

- As well as being the lowest scoring side in the Premier League this season (17), United have failed to score in the most different games (18) and kept the fewest clean sheets (two) in the competition this term.

- United have lost all 11 of their Premier League games played on Saturdays this season - only Sunderland have had a longer losing streak on a specific weekday in the competition's history, losing 16 Saturday games in a row between January 2003-September 2005.