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At the beginning of the season, any Sheffield United fan would have jumped at the opportunity to be only 2 points off the playoffs with 9 games to go in the Championship season. But with the way that they were playing earlier in the season, this must be disappointing for the fans of the Yorkshire club.
Manager Chris Wilder has done an excellent job to get a club on a shoestring budget competing with the likes of Middlesborough, Derby, and Fulham for a spot in the playoffs. This weekend, they face Nottingham Forest at home, who have stabilised under Aitor Karanka and will be hoping to give the Blades a bloody nose despite not having much to play for.
Sheffield United are still without Kieron Freeman and Paul Cotts while Leon Clarke continues to be a doubt after missing the last few games with a foot injury. David Brooks will be pushing for a start after scoring against Burton on Tuesday.
Blackman has kept two clean sheets in a row and will hope to extend that record against a Forest side who didn’t manage to score in their previous game.
The 23-year-old has started every game for Sheffield United this season and has been a rock for his team. He will have a hard task locking down this creative Forest attack.
The former Wolves defender is a calming presence in central defence for Sheffield United and his positional sense is second to none.
Chris Basham has also been an ever-present in the Blades defence and is a solid performer. He is great in the tackle and is a threat from set-pieces.
The 27-year-old Irishman is a key part of the Sheffield United defensive unit but he will have to get forward to test the Forest fullbacks.
With 5 assists, Fleck is a part of the creative centre of Sheffield United. He will create the build-up with short passing and the occasional shot from distance.
The 23-year-old signing from Wigan has begun to grow into the team in the last few games. He is excellent in the air and loves to put in a tackle.
The 32-year-old set-piece specialist is very experienced at this level and puts in solid performances every week. Won’t get the plaudits but will help United get the win.
An assist against Burton will give George Baldock a lot of confidence. Although he is good defensively, he would love to contribute offensively this weekend.
Brooks changed the game for United when he came off the bench this week and he deserves a place in the starting 11 against Nottingham Forest.
Sharp may miss his teammate Leon Clarke knocking the ball down for him but he is still a threat and has 12 goals this season.