It’s a huge day at Bramall Lane today as Sheffield United welcome Watford to S2, looking to get back on track after two successive defeats.
Losses against Middlesbrough and then Millwall have seen United slip to just four points in front of second placed Boro right now. The Blades do have a game in hand, but a win over Watford is seen as imperative.
Paul Heckingbottom knows he must get his starting XI bang on. He has a number of players back pushing for starts and could have some big decisions to make.
The Blades boss admitted in his presser that he’ll make changes in the coming games. But against Watford, he simply must get things bang on from minute one.
Billy Sharp was back involved in full training and he’ll be pushing to get some minutes. Likewise, George Baldock is also back training and could be included on the bench.
Ciaran Clark and John Fleck are both pushing to start after appearing for the under-21s and returning from injury.
Up top, Iliman Ndiaye is 100% fit after a knock and is expected to start.
United remain without Enda Stevens, Will Osula, and Jack O’Connell, while Rhian Brewster and Rhys Norrington-Davies are also no closer to returning just yet.
Predicted Sheffield United XI v Watford
With Fleck back in the mix, he might be hoping to get the nod in midfield but we think Heckingbottom could revert to the more solid midfield two of Doyle and Norwood. This will allow Sander Berge to push forward and be more effective.
Berge and Ndiaye should support Oli McBurnie as a three pronged attack. On the left, Max Lowe has been poor lately but will keep his place ahead of Ben Osborn.
It’s in defence where the changes will come. Ciaran Clark should start ahead of Jack Robinson, while Anel Ahmedhodzic has to come back in for Chris Basham if he’s 100%.
Here, then, is our predicted Sheffield United for the crucial clash with Slaven Bilic’s Hornets.