nPower League 1
Saturday 17th November
Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4SU
Kick Off: 3pm
Weather Forecast: Rain, 10°c
Referee: M Jones (Cheshire)
Last time we met:
A late header from Chris Porter sent Sheffield United into the League 1 playoff final at Boro’s expense back in May. Porter nearly opened the scoring in the first half but was denied by Chris Day’s save. Boro burst into action in the second half with Scott Laird and Luke Freeman testing Steve Simonsen. But with time running out Porter won it with a far post header from a Matt Lowton cross, cueing scenes of jubilation amongst the home fans. That jubilation ultimately ended in disappointment after the Blades lost the playoff final to Huddersfield.
Boro: Day, Lascelles, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Wilson, Bostwick, Byrom (Reid), Freeman, Shroot (Mousinho), Agyemang (Beardsley)
Subs not used: Julian, Charles
Sheffield United could be without Tony McMahon and Matt Hill for this game, as both are struggling with hamstring injuries. David McAllister and Darryl Westlake could come in with Dave Kitson (hamstring) also a doubt.
Stevenage could recall Robin Shroot, Patrick Agyemang and Luke Freeman after all came on as sub in last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Preston. Oliver Risser, Lee Hills and Andy Iron will also be hoping to make appearances whilst strikers Dani Lopez and Michael Thalassitis are both out on loan.
The Sheffield United Scout Report
Sheffield United currently sit second in League 1 with 32 points from their 17 games so far.
The Blades have been in steady form throughout the season to date, remaining unbeaten in all competitions until a narrow 1-0 defeat at MK Dons last weekend. Prior to this they had drawn 0-0 at Swindon and picked up three consecutive 1-0 wins against Preston, Walsall and Portsmouth.
They currently have the fourth best home record in the league having won four and drawn four of their eight games at Bramall Lane. Victories have come against Shrewsbury (1-0), Bournemouth (5-3), Walsall (1-0) and Pompey (1-0) with stalemates against Bury (1-1), Doncaster (0-0), Notts County (1-1) and Oldham (1-1).
Possible Sheffield United line-up for Saturday (4-4-2 formation)
George Long; Darryl Westlake, Harry Maguire, Neil Collins, Marcus Williams; David McAllister, Michael Doyle, Kevin McDonald, Ryan Flynn; Nick Blackman, Chris Porter
Subs from: Shaun Miller, Richard Cresswell, Joe Ironside, Terry Kennedy, George Willis, John Cofie,
Nick Blackman has taken to League 1 like a duck to water having found the back of the net 9 times already since his summer arrival from Blackburn. During his time at Ewood Park he enjoyed several loan spells, including time at both Motherwell and Aberdeen in the SPL, but with the young striker deemed surplus to requirements after Blackburn’s relegation to the Championship, he opted to sign a two-year deal at Bramall Lane.
• Jon Ashton’s next start will be his 160th for Stevenage FC. Of the current squad only Chris Day (222) and Mark Roberts (209) have started more games.
• The next yellow card for either Anthony Grant or Filipe Morais will trigger an automatic one-match suspension. Both have currently received four cautions this season.
• Should they play against Sheffield United then both Greg Tansey and James Dunne will be making their 20th appearances for the club respectively. Miguel Comminges could also make his 5th appearance in a Boro shirt.
Match Preview by Dave Toyn