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Match Previews

In Focus: Sheffield United

15 September 2017

It’s been an impressive start to the season for newly-promoted Sheffield United after a six-year exile from the second tier of English football.

They currently sit third in the league standings and will provide a tough test for Daniel Farke’s men at Bramall Lane on Saturday. Here’s our previews on City’s next opponents.

Summer signings
To build a squad able to compete in the Sky Bet Championship, manager Chris Wilder added ten new players to his squad in the summer transfer window.

In goal, 23-year-old Jamal Blackman, who spent last season with Wycombe Wanderers, joined the Blades on a loan deal from Chelsea.

In front of him, United signed experienced centre-back Richard Stearman from Fulham (pictured) as well as giving Ben Heneghan (Motherwell), Enda Stevens (Portsmouth), George Baldock (MK Dons) and Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur) a first dig at the Championship.

There was just the one midfield addition made when John Lundstram who joined from Oxford United but up front, Ched Evans (Chesterfield) and Clayton Donaldson (Birmingham City) have a history of scoring goals at this level and their moves to Bramall Lane will provide Wilder’s squad with added firepower.

Previous meeting
The Blades have spent the past six seasons trying to get out of League One, with three failed play-off attempts and two mid-table finishes ending with a championship-winning campaign last year.

Therefore, you have to go back to 2011 to find when the two clubs last met – a 2-1 victory at Bramall Lane in January.

Canary fans will no doubt have fond memories of that season, which ended in promotion to the Premier League, and the victory over United was part of a spell when City lost just once in 18 matches.

Andrew Crofts (pictured) gave City the lead on the hour mark, capitalising on a mistake by goalkeeper Steve Simonsen, before Evans, who played for City in the 2007-08 season, responded moments later.

However, Crofts added his second with ten minutes to play to push City closer towards promotion.

Form guide
Sheffield United have won their last four games in the league and are currently third in the table.

They began life back in the Championship with a 1-0 victory over Brentford, thanks to Billy Sharp’s first-half strike.

However, back-to-back defeats followed away at Middlesbrough and then Cardiff City before they returned to winning ways in a Yorkshire derby against Barnsley.

A couple of impressive victories against Derby County and then away at recently-relegated Sunderland showed Blades fans that their team was more than capable of competing in the division.

Tuesday’s win at Bolton continued United’s strong run of form and City are faced with a difficult task on Saturday, particularly when you add in the fact their opponents have only lost once at Bramall Lane in 2017.

In the squad
Goalkeepers: Simon Moore, Jamal Blackman, Jake Eastwood
Defenders: George Baldock, Enda Stevens, Jack O’Connell, Chris Basham, Jake Maxwell Wright, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kieron Freeman, Richard Stearman, Ben Heneghan, Daniel Lafferty
Midfielders: John Fleck, John Lundstram, Nathan Thomas, Paul Coutts, Mark Duffy, David Brooks, Samir Carruthers
Forwards: Leon Clarke, Billy Sharp, Clayton Donaldson, James Hanson, Caolan Lavery, Ched Evans

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