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How do Sheffield United compare to the worst sides in Premier League history?


Sheffield United’s return to the Premier League in 2023/24 has not been a happy one.

After earning promotion from the EFL Championship a year ago by finishing second in the table behind Burnley, the Blades sold Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge, two of their standout players, leading some fans to fear what was to come before the season had even started. They were right to do so.

Defeat to Newcastle United on April 27 confirmed Sheffield United’s relegation back to the second tier with three games of the season still to play. They have won only three Premier League matches all season and have set a new record for goals against, which could get a lot worse over the final matchdays.

The table’s bottom club have just 16 points to their name after 35 games, which is one of the worst totals the modern English top flight has ever seen. But where does that tally rank among the lowest in history?

MORE: Who will join Sheffield United in relegation to the EFL Championship?

The record for the lowest points total in a single Premier League season belongs to Derby County. The Rams were relegated at the end of the 2007/08 season with a measly 11 points from 38 matches. Their 1-0 win at home to Newcastle United on September 17, 2007 was the only league game they won all season.

Sheffield United took 16 points from their first 34 games in 2023/24, so Derby’s record is safe for now. However, the Blades are still on course for one of the poorest seasons in the Premier League era (so, since 1992/93).

One note on the below table: Portsmouth finished the 2009/10 season on 19 points, but that was partly due to a nine-point deduction issued after the cash-strapped club went into administration, so we’ve omitted them from the list.

*Season ongoing

Although they cannot break the record for the worst points total, Sheffield United have already set a new benchmark for the most goals conceded in a single Premier League season in the 38-game era. After 35 games, they have let in 97 goals, and that tally could, of course, get worse over their final matches of 2023/24.

The unwanted outright record for most goals ever conceded in one Premier League season belongs to Swindon Town, but their 100 goals against in 1993/94 were spread over 42 matches, not 38. If Sheffield United were to beat this tally in 2023/24, it would be truly some achievement.

The Blades’ tally of 34 goals scored is the best among the other five teams with the lowest points totals in the Premier League era and means their goal difference stands at -63. The record for the worst goal difference in a single season belongs to Derby, who ended 2007/08 on -69.

However, Chris Wilder’s team have set a new record this season for goals conceded at home: 51, as of April 27.

MORE: Who will win the Premier League Golden Boot in 2023/24?

Sheffield United can finish 2023/24 with a maximum of 28 defeats, which means they cannot set a new record for the most losses in a single Premier League season. Unfortunately for them, that’s a record they already share.

The Blades lost 29 games in 2020/21 to tie Derby County in 2007/08 and Sunderland in 2005/06 for the most defeats in one season. Ipswich Town also lost 29 games in 1994/95, but as that was still in the era of 42 matches per season, it’s not quite as bad.

Sheffield United won four of their first 35 games in 2023/24, so they are safe from breaking the record for the fewest wins in a single campaign. That belongs to Derby, who won only one match in that ill-fated 2007/08 season.

Sheffield United have actually been pretty good in front of goal (at least when compared with relegated teams of the past), so they are comfortably safe from posting the lowest goals-scored tally in the Premier League era. Derby scored just 20 times in 2007/08 to set that particular benchmark.

UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and TNT Sports’ streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime. TNT Sports can be streamed via Discovery Plus.

USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on Fubo. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.

Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streamed exclusively via Fubo in Canada.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport.

India: Star Sports network has the rights to show Premier League matches in India. As well as an English broadcast on Star Sports Select, select matches will be available via regional feeds on Star Sports 3 (in Bengali, English, Kannada, Malayalam), Star Sports 1 (Bangla) and Star Sports 1 (Tamil). Streaming is available on JioTV and Hotstar.

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