Despite succumbing to another 0-0 defeat to the hands of their bitter rivals on Monday night, Sheffield United remain in the hunt for automatic promotion. Tonight’s Championship teaser between Norwich City and Swansea City may see the Canaries extend their lead at the top of the table, with both the Blades and Leeds given the opportunity to bridge any gap in their fixtures tomorrow.
Leeds travel to Bristol City, who they themselves are looking to hold a play-off spot and no doubt be no mugs at home. The Blades face a stern test against Rotherham United in the second successive Yorkshire Derby, before making it a treble at Elland Road in a week’s time, and is only sandwiched with home outing with Brentford next Tuesday.
Tomorrow’s opponents Rotherham have to-date proven the critics wrong. Most, including myself, had the Millers as firm candidates for the ‘wooden spoon’ award and would be cannoned fodder to any opposition. But their form at the New York Stadium has set them well, and whilst they currently occupy the last relegation spot, remain unbeaten in their last six matches, but only recorded one win against Blackburn last weekend. They last tasted defeat on 26 January at home to Leeds.
Along with Premiership Fulham, Paul Warne’s Millers remain the only clubs in Britain’s top four tiers to yet record a victory away from home. The Priestfield Stadium, on 17 April 2018, was the last venue that they recorded a victory away from home soil.
With a shrewd defence, the Millers head to Bramall Lane without Sean Raggett (ankle), and Kyle Vassell (groin) through injury, and will give late tests to Jon Taylor and Michael Ihiekwe who both have knocks.
Sheffield United have record just one Yorkshire Derby victory thus far this season, and hope to add a further three by the time the referee blows full-time for the final time this season. United’s only victory came at home to Hull, but despite their set-backs against the ‘local’ opposition, have racked up an unbeaten run of 7 matches – 5 of which resulted in a victory, and 4 clean sheets in their last 4 matches which helped in choosing Wilder as ‘Manager of the Month,’ as reported by VitalBlades.
A victory tomorrow would see the Blades temporarily jump into second ahead of Leeds’ fixture at Ashton Gate.
Chris Wilder should have a fully fit side to choose from, and having drawn at Hillsborough last, we would hope that changes be made.
Last Time We Met…
Blades versus Millers doesn’t quite shout out to the purists as an entertaining battle of football. But whilst lowly Rotherham United might be battling for survival and have yet to record a victory away from home, they have proven to be no pushovers – particularly in our last meeting!
Defensively they will try and keep it tight and unsettle United by keeping them out of the final third, and try and counter-attack. It may or may not work out but a point is just as good as a win when you’re battling against the drop.
United need to make changes, with David McGoldrick replacing Gary Madine. I find that the former Ipswich forward offers more than the target-man and suits the Blades style of play better. I’d like to think that I can only see a home win here but the Championship can throw up some rather unusual results.
The Blades are in a better league position, but between them, they have racked up an amazing 13 league games unbeaten in a row now. For United’s sake I hope we don’t see the Millers first away win, otherwise we might see any automatic hopes fade away.