Following last Saturday’s defeat at Bristol City and a no-show at home to Birmingham City in midweek, we believe that Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder must make two vital changes ahead of today’s Championship fixture with Preston North End.
The Blades were narrowly defeated 1-0 at Bristol City last weekend but the drab 0-0 draw with Birmingham City on Wednesday night, which saw the Blades put out the worst performance thus far this season.
United were diabolical in midfield and with Conor Washington and Leon Clarke leading the front line, lacked quality and leadership. The defence was quite solid and Dean Henderson in goal was on top form to prevent a defeat at the death. Although City will consider themselves quite unfortunate not to return to the Midlands with all three points after hitting the post twice.
Chris Wilder, on his 101st league match as Blades boss must make changes if United are to overcome a Preston side which are languishing in the bottom three.
Wilder would be wise to retain Henderson and the three centres-halves of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell, who couldn’t be criticised for the effort they put in. At right wing-back George Baldock wasn’t at his best and many supporters believe that Kieron Freeman is much better. We understand he failed a late fitness test, but if fit should start ahead of the former MK Dons defender.
Down the left Marvin Johnson was less than marvellous but it was his home debut and he did a lot of running and would therefore give him the benefit of the doubt.
The trio in the middle of the park should also remain the same from which drew with Birmingham. Although both John Fleck and Oliver Norwood failed to spark any life into the attackers. Fleck had just returned from injury and therefore may have been suffering and not 100% match fit.
Billy Sharp needs to be included in the starting XI against Preston North End today. I found Washington and Clarke too much like-for-like players and didn’t work well together. They were too static and need a player like Sharp to create movement up top and create more chances.
Vital Starting XI
BASHAM EGAN O’CONNELL
DUFFY FLECK NORWOOD
CLARKE SHARP (C)
We have given you our view on how the Blades should line up today. But what do you think. Should Sharp start in the XI?