It’s back to Championship action for Sheffield United today as they take on an in-form Stoke City side at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.
Slavisa Jokanovic has once again got some big selection calls to make when it comes to his first XI. George Baldock is expected to miss the game through injury, while Sander Berge is still out in the midfield area.
Up top, Jokanovic must decide on who to go with out of a plethora of fit strikers vying for minutes. With that, we’ve looked at how Sheffield United could line up against Stoke today.
Robin Olsen should be ok to start after being away with Sweden. There has been no mention of any risk due to covid or quarantine, so the big stopper should continue in goal.
John Egan is coming back in off the back of two clean-sheets with Ireland. He will start, alongside Ben Davies in a back four. Likewise, Enda Stevens should also start at left-back after being involved with Ireland.
At right-back, Jokanovic must decide on whether to go with the reliable Chris Basham, or Jayden Bogle. Jokanovic has spoken previously about being upset at leaving Bogle out. So the former Derby man might get his chance.
Conor Hourihane played for Ireland as they beat Qatar, while John Fleck should be well-rested after missing out for Scotland.
The big decision really comes in the form of the player alongside Fleck. Oli Norwood has started most of the games this season. However, Hourihane’s set-pieces or even Adlene Guedioura and his battling qualities could be vital against this Stoke side.
Jokanovic, then, faces a potentially match-winning call in this area.
This is the area where Jokanovic has the most options. It’s assumed that Billy Sharp will start again thanks to his fine form this season. Likewise, Morgan Gibbs-White will get the nod down the right.
However, the other two positions are up for more debate. Iliman Ndiaye has done well but faded at times and looks short of match-fitness in terms of a full 90 minutes. David McGoldrick is back, and he could well take the youngster’s place.
On the left, Ben Osborn has done well. But Lys Mousset is also back and has had two weeks full training. His fitness has always been called into question, but Jokanovic could opt for the Frenchman for that bit of extra pace at the top of the pitch.
Oli McBurnie has done well in flashes and is pushing Billy Sharp. However, the skipper is likely to get the nod once again.