The injuries are stacking up yet again at Sheffield United and the Blades could be without three more key players for Saturday’s trip to Stoke.
United endured a frustrating night at the hands of QPR last night, who became the first side to win at Bramall Lane this season thanks to Chris Willock’s goal. The Rangers midfielder managed to squeeze his shot under Wes Foderingham, who will have been disappointed to see it nestle into the goal.
Paul Heckingbottom, then, will be keen to focus on Stoke away on Saturday now. However, the Blades boss could be without three key first-teamers for the trip, with injuries and suspensions kicking in.
Heckingbottom is already aware that Oli McBurnie will be unavailable for the game. The striker was booked after the game and that means it’s five for the season, a decision the United boss lamented as ‘stupid’.
“I think it is [a ban]. That’s frustrating. That’s stupid. His last booking was for jumping in the crowd, and now this one. That’s not good enough,” Heckingbottom told The Star.
Even more frustrating for the Blades boss, though, will be two more injuries. Sander Berge is set for a scan on his knee after going down late on in the area. The Blades boss will be hoping it’s nothing serious, given the Norwegian’s importance to the team.
Further, George Baldock was also withdrawn minutes after half-time with what looked like a knock to the hip area suffered in the opening 45. Should Baldock be missing for Stoke, it means yet another defensive player on the side-lines for United.
Ciaran Clark, Enda Stevens, Ben Osborn, Jack Robinson, Anel Ahmedhodzic, and Max Lowe are all currently injured as well.
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With the in-form McBurnie definitely missing, it’s a chance for one of Billy Sharp or Rhian Brewster to really stake a claim in attack. Both are having to make do with bit part roles this season and the trip to Stoke will open doors.
In terms of Berge and Baldock, it’s simply another opportunity for someone else. Hopefully Jayden Bogle can feature on the right over Baldock, with Ahmedhodzic potentially coming back and allowing Norrington-Davies to slot in at left wing-back.
Berge’s replacement will be harder but given he gets license to roam forward, both Reda Khadra and James McAtee will fancy their chances of minutes. Khadra has featured at wing-back recently, while McAtee is only getting small minutes. Both loanees, then, will be hoping to start on Saturday amid a glut of injuries at Sheffield United.