It’s one of the biggest games of the season for Sheffield United this week as they welcome back former manager Chris Wilder to Bramall Lane.
Wilder’s Middlesbrough are right in the playoff mix with the Blades as we near the March international break. A legend of The Lane, Wilder is set for a good reception from the United fans, before it will be strictly down to business for all involved with the club.
On the field, though, is where Wilder and current United boss, Paul Heckingbottom, will be thinking about. And for Wilder, he is set to be without one of his key players. Speaking to the Northern Echo, Wilder has confirmed that impressive midfielder, Riley McGree, is struggling.
“Riley missed out again today which we’re disappointed with. We are assessing that because it’s not a straightforward one. We’re disappointed he can’t be involved because I think we all saw from his early performances that he’s a valuable member,” Wilder commented.
McGree has featured regularly this season for Boro, making 16 appearances. Along with fellow midfielder Jonny Howson, he is seen as a key member of the squad under Wilder.
Our View: Wilder Can’t Complain, United Are Decimated
To be fair to the former Blades boss, he does go on to say in the article that he has been fortunate with injuries since his arrival on Teesside. The same can’t be said for Heckingbottom and United, mind.
The Blades will be without long-termers in O’Connell, Brewster, McGoldrick, and Bogle. Chris Basham is also out, as is Enda Stevens. George Baldock is also struggling, but could be ok to play on Tuesday. So while Riley McGree is a loss for Middlesbrough, it’s nothing compared to Sheffield United and our struggles.
All in all, though, it’s set up to be a cracker at The Lane. United fans will be more than up for it and of course, a win would be a massive for the playoff push.