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The Blades appear to be sharp again and go into Friday’s Steel City derby full of confidence and looking to do the double over their Sheffield neighbours for the first time since the 2005/2006 season.
Star youngster David Brooks is still suffering and will need a few practice games to get back to match fitness, while top scorer Leon Clarke is expected to start this one along with other big hitters John Lundstram, John Fleck and Richard Stearman.
Chris Wilder is of course very likely to go in with his favoured 3-5-2 formation featuring the following personnel:
Moore appears to have nailed down this place ahead of Jamal Blackman and so is very unlikely to be usurped for such a big game.
If United can indeed turn up with their regular, solid, trusted back three for this, including Basham, then they are already a fair chunk of the way through to victory.
Brings the experience to this backline and can marshal his defenders to a convincing mini victory over Wednesday’s attackers. Rhodes v Stearman could be a key battle.
Going along nicely and won’t want to pull out of position too often, though if Wednesday do go with a 4-2-3-1 that may help.
Assuming that Wednesday’s attackers don’t get on top of the United back three too much, then Baldock and Stevens are crucial, as their three central colleagues will win the midfield battle, eventually handing the wide men the responsibility of providing quality balls to the front two.
A good final ball is essential for a player who has a big role to play on the night.
This midfield three can stay quite narrow which is not a bad thing at all in the context of this game. Lundstram is improving all the time and is a key member of the squad.
Has plenty of help in winning the midfield battle and will be bang up for this one.
Provides some quality in the middle and, like Lundstram, will stay close to Duffy and help in dominating the midfield.
Wednesday’s flat back four will be a dream for this front two who could bully them all night. Donaldson can still finish too, so watch out for any opportunities which come his way.
Donaldson’s physical approach in occupying the United centre-backs means they cannot concentrate on Clarke the way they would want to and he could be the difference in this one.