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The Starting XI Which Could Face Gillingham

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Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder could ring in the changes ahead of the Blades FA Cup Third Round tie at Gillingham, which kicks off at 3:00 PM this Saturday.

Last season the Blades reached the semi-final, losing 3-0 to Manchester City, but with the Premier League taking precedence, a run in the prestigious FA Cup would be great for the football club but, perhaps, less attractive for the supporters.

Wilder is likely to ‘tinker’ with his starting line-up and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the line-up is alien from which we are familiar. The United chief will be boosted by the return of a trio; Anel Ahmedhodzic, and Gustavo Hamer. The pair missed the 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on 30th December, serving a one-match suspension after collecting five cautions. Meanwhile, James McAtee, on a season-long loan from City, was unable to face his parent club.

However, United will be without defenders John Egan (ankle), formerly with Gillingham, and Chris Basham (ankle), as well as forward Daniel Jebbison (illness), and midfielder Tom Davies (thigh) – all are absent through injury.

Additionally, Sheffield United may be without defender Yasser Larouci and midfielder Anis Ben Slimane. The pair have been selected for international duties with Algeria and Tunisia respectively, ahead of their African Cup of Nations tournament due to take place soon. It is unclear as to when the pair will leave S2 – they may have an opportunity to play at the Priestfield Stadium before leaving for the Ivory Coast.

One unavailable player is youngster Oliver Arblaster. He recently returned from a loan spell with League One outfit Port Vale, however, the midfielder is cup-tied having played in Round One against Burton Albion and Round Two against Stevenage.

Wilder is likely to hand backup stopper Adam Davies a runout in goal, though, should Wes Foderingham play, he will make his 100th Blades appearance in all competitions. Ahmedhodzic is likely to return to the squad following his suspension and could line up alongside Jack Robinson and Auston Trusty in defence.

Rhys Norrington-Davies has returned to action after around twelve months sidelined through injury – making his return at the Etihad Stadium last weekend. He could be given a starting place at Gillingham at left wing-back, with Jayden Bogle playing on the right.

Ollie Norwood is likely to continue in defensive midfield, whilst Ben Osborn (or John Fleck), and Andre Brooks could make up central midfield. That leaves the front two with either Cameron Archer, Oli McBurnie or Will Osula likely to hold the frontline.

However, Wilder has been known to blood the youngsters in these ‘low key’ fixtures. We wouldn’t be surprised if Jordan Amissah, Sai Sachev, Antwoine Hackford, or Ryan Oné, who signed from Hamilton in September, doesn’t feature somewhere in the matchday squad.

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