How will Sheffield United lineup when they host Barnet in the third round of the FA Cup?
The Blades have come through a busy festive schedule in good form. They have won their last three matches, scoring three times in each and only conceding once in total.
Yet Championship football will be put to one side this weekend as the National League side visit Bramall Lane looking to cause an upset.
It’s likely to be an opportunity for manager Chris Wilder to rest some of his hardest worked players. And also get the chance to see some lesser seen faces in action.
United predicted lineup
Just as he did in the Carabao Cup back in August, Simon Moore is expected to replace Dean Henderson as goalkeeper. Henderson has played every league match and can enjoy a well earned break.
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While Wilder isn’t expected to change his 3-4-1-2 system too drastically, personnel will be. That is why there could well be a debut for Kean Bryan in central defence. Bryan is highly rated but is yet to take to the pitch for the Blades since signing from Manchester City over the summer due to fitness issues.
Alongside him Richard Stearman is likely to be recalled, allowing John Egan and Jack O’Connell a rest period. The final centre-back slot could well be retained by Martin Cranie, although Chris Basham is available once again after suspension.
Wing-back is one of the most physically demanding positions. With George Baldock having played on the right side over Christmas it would be no surprise if Kieron Freeman was recalled. On the opposite flank, Danny Lafferty has joined Peterborough United on loan so Enda Stevens could well retain his place.
Oliver Norwood and John Fleck have formed a fine central midfield partnership this season but both should be rested against Barnet. This will give a rare opportunity for both Paul Coutts and John Lundstram to impress.
Ahead of them could well see another debutant in Kieran Dowell. Dowell is yet to feature since joining on loan from Everton and could replace Mark Duffy in attacking midfield.
Finally upfront Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick have been excellent in recent weeks. Over the last three games they have four and three goals apiece.
Both therefore deserve a break and that could see Conor Washington and Leon Clarke given the nod.