With the season due to restart in seven days, excitement is building around the red and white half of Sheffield as the Blades look to get their European push back on the go.
Chris Wilder’s men will open the restart with a tricky looking fixture away at Aston Villa. However, such is United’s record against Villa in recent times, confidence is high among the squad and fans.
A win for the Blades will see them leapfrog Manchester United into fifth, meaning they’ll sit just two points behind the ‘normal’ Champions League places. Of course, that could change depending on Manchester City’s court hearing.
However, aside from the excitement, there comes the business of Wilder having to select his XI. We all know Wilder has selected more or less the same team all season. The back six picks itself, while Oli Norwood and John Fleck are certain to start. Up top, Oli McBurnie and Billy Sharp will more than likely get the nod again.
The one position up for grabs is a continuation of pre-lockdown. Sander Berge, or John Lundstram. Both players can make a case for being picked, so just who will Wilder go with?
Berge and Lundstram bring different qualities
Although Berge was given the nod in three out of the last four games before the break, Lundstram was thrust into the XI in the Blades’ last fixture, putting in a fine display as United saw off Norwich.
Prior to that, Lundstram also came off the bench to net the winner against Bournemouth. His celebration that day said it all, almost as if he was trying to prove a point to Wilder and Knill.
Berge, on the other hand, has steadily gone about his business without being spectacular. In a weird way, the break could have been a blessing for Berge, giving him the chance to get some crucial fitness work under his belt.
It could be, then, that we see a different Sander Berge to what we have seen so far.
Sheff Utd News View – Lundstram to get the nod, keep Grealish quiet
As much as Berge brings a more defensive element to the midfield, we’d go with Lundstram for the return to football.
Lundstram doesn’t need any getting up to speed, he knows the system perfectly, and, crucially, he has the proven engine to keep Jack Grealish quiet. The Villa man, clearly, is the big threat for Dean Smith’s men.
While Berge could do a job on Grealish, Lundstram has the energy to get forward too and exploit Grealish’s defensive lapses.
United’s record against Villa under Wilder is excellent. Getting forward quickly on the counter seems to work well against them for the Blades. Ultimately, Lundstram compliments that way of playing slightly better than Berge at the moment.