Blackburn Rovers will prove to be a be test for Sheffield United when they travel to Ewood Park tonight in SkyBet Championship.
The Lancashire side are unbeaten in 26 home league games, which includes the five played thus far this season. You have to go back over twelve months since they last tasted a defeat at home. On 26th September 2017 AFC Wimbledon was victorious by a single goal. There last outing saw them draw 2-2 with Nottingham Forest last weekend.
There away form has played a telling difference and before last night’s fulfilment of fixtures lay 13th in the Championship table. Tony Mowbray will be without defender Ryan Nyambe through injury, after the 20-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in the draw with Forest.
They could see the return of Charlie Mulgrew (illness) who has missed their last four outings, and Derrick Williams is available for selection again after serving a one-match ban.
United’s last three opponents have all started the day in the bottom three with the Blades picking up 7 points from 9 available. Only a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City was the most disappointing but late winners against Preston and Millwall (both 3-2) coming from David McGoldrick.
This fine run has kept United fourth in the table and before last night’s results were just one point behind the league leaders. Blades boss Chris Wilder has hinted on BBC Radio Sheffield that he may make changes to his side ahead of tonight’s game, and with the forthcoming home encounter with Hull City in the Yorkshire Derby next Saturday (3pm).
With no fresh injury concerns and the return of Kean Bryan, who has yet to make his first team debut since signing on a free transfer from Manchester City in the summer, could be selected. With United unbeaten in three games Wilder should be encouraged to retain the starting XI which won in the capital last weekend.
The two clubs haven’t met since The Blades were last in the Premier League. On 9th September 2006 they drew 0-0 at Bramall Lane. Although the Blades were guilty of wasting golden opportunities after both David Unsworth and Rob Hulse from the penalty spot, with Brad Friedel saving both. In an emphatic game referee Mike Dean had earlier awarded Rovers with a spot kick of their own. Paddy Kenny proved to be just as good as his opposite number as he too kept out Lucas Neill’s effort from 12 yards.
A set-piece would prove to be the telling difference in the return fixture at Ewood Park on 3rd February 2007. Morten Gamst Pederson had headed the hosts in front on 22 minutes but three minutes later United were level via Jon Stead. With two minutes remaining Rovers were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Stephen Warnock and in stoppage time Pederson curled home a free-kick to win the match 2-1.
Would you change the starting 11 for tonight’s game or make wholesale changes?