Tonight it’s Sheffield United v Sunderland in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup and manager Chris Wilder has suggested there will be “a lot of changes.”
It will come as not great surprise as in the last round Wilder brought in 10 new players from his previous starting XI. The tactic worked, as the Blades beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1.
“I take responsibility for picking the team. I have to make some decisions that benefit us, not only on Wednesday night, but medium and longer term as well,” Wilder told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“When you do make those amount of changes you do wonder how they go and sometimes it clicks and goes really well.
“There’s times when we’ve made a lot of changes and it’s been great and times when we’ve made a lot of changes and it’s been not so. So fingers crossed.
“We’ve got some talented boys playing tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing them go well.”
Sheffield United v Sunderland – why the changes?
Wilder stresses that he wants to win this tie and that full respect will be given to their League One opponents. Yet the Premier League remains the club’s priority and they have a huge game in that competition coming up.
On Saturday lunchtime United host European champions Liverpool at Bramall Lane. Wilder will want his very best players fully fit and available for that potentially tricky encounter.
It also gives the 51-year-old a chance to utilise his squad. Wilder likes consistency and seven players have started all six of the Blades’ league games so far this season.
There are several summer signings who have been limited to bit-part roles so far. Most notably Phil Jagielka, Muhamed Besic, Ravel Morrison and Ben Osborn.
As the 2019/20 campaign progresses Wilder is likely to have to call on many of them. So this is the ideal time to get them match sharp.