Newcastle came out in their 4-2-3-1 with Joelinton leading the line. Miguel Almiron was back as the number 10 with Allan Saint-Maximin and Matt Ritchie on the wings.
It was Sheffield who looked the sharpest for the first ten minutes until Newcastle fashioned a couple of decent runs. However, other than a long-range blast from Ritchie, which was parried by Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson, the Blades were not threatened.
Newcastle’s first glorious opportunity came when Saint-Maximin won the ball deep and found a breaking Almiron. The Paraguayan sent Joelinton into the box, but he scuffed his shot, which Henderson gathered.
The first cooling break came at the 22nd-minute mark. But the Magpies grew into the game very well after taking about ten minutes to find their feet.
In the 34th minute, it was another promising opportunity wasted. Saint-Maximin gathered the ball and skipped by a Blade down the right. However, his pass to a breaking Shelvey was poorly struck and intercepted.
In what was a pretty tame first half, Newcastle looked the better side. It was the same old story with the final ball lacking after crafting some promising chances.
Newcastle saw more of the ball and outshot the Blades 4 to 3. However, the lads must do better in the final third if they are going to get the crucial three points this afternoon.