Liverpool learn another new opponent for next season with Championship promotion

Two of the three clubs to be promoted to the Premier League for next season are now confirmed, with Wednesday night deciding second place.

Earlier in the week, Burnley‘s 1-0 victory over Blackburn confirmed Vincent Kompany’s side as champions of the second tier.

They had already secured their return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and now do so with a chance of a 101-point haul, currently sitting on 95 with two games to play.

And on Wednesday night, Sheffield United joined Burnley in promotion after two seasons away.

Their 2-0 victory over West Brom pushed the Blades seven points clear of third-placed Luton with a game in hand, meaning they can no longer be caught.

It comes after failure in the playoff semi-finals last season – and means they will play Premier League football for the third time in five campaigns.

Sheffield United had only been part of the Premier League for three of the previous 27 seasons before their return in 2019/20.

They are managed by Paul Heckingbottom, who was in charge on an interim basis for the final games of 2020/21, returning on a permanent basis after Slavisa Jokanovic’s sacking in November 2021.

There are a host of familiar names in his squad, not least two former Liverpool players in Jack Robinson and Rhian Brewster.

Robinson, who is still the Reds’ youngest-ever Premier League debutant, has been a key player in the promotion push, starting each of Sheffield United‘s last 17 Championship games.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 29, 2020: Sheffield United's Rhian Brewster looks dejected at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Sheffield United FC at Turf Moor. Burnley won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brewster, meanwhile, has seen another campaign curtailed by injury, with a serious hamstring blow ending his season in October.

His previous campaign also ended early due to a hamstring issue, with the 23-year-old struggling for form and fitness since his £23.5 million switch from Liverpool in 2020.

Iliman Ndiaye (14) and Oli McBurnie (13) are the Blades’ top scorers this season, while former Liverpool target Sander Berge (six) has contributed regularly from midfield.

Liverpool won all four of their meetings with Sheffield United in their last stint in the top flight, scoring seven goals and conceding only once.

The new campaign will begin on the weekend of August 12/13, with the Reds having faced the winners of the Championship in their opening fixture in each of the past four seasons.