Billy Sharp will definitely be in the Sheffield United team to face Leeds United this weekend.
In an unprecedented move, ahead of the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday Blades manager Chris Wilder revealed the news.
“One thing I can say is that Billy will be captaining our team,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star.
“Billy has played for that club, his scoring record is great and we feel he’s fit and refreshed to lead us from the front.”
It is a big game at Elland Road, with United knowing victory will lift them back into the automatic promotion spots at their hosts’ expense.
Yet aside from Sharp, how will they lineup?
Predicted Blades team
Only 17 Championship players have started every single league match this season – Dean Henderson is one of them. In fact so impressive have been the performances of the Manchester United loanee that England boss Gareth Southgate is considering him for a call up.
Perhaps the key thing for United on their current nine-match unbeaten league run is their defence. They have kept seven clean sheets during that time and have only conceded in three league games out of 12 since Boxing Day.
Wilder likes consistency at the back. Which is why the preferred central defensive trio of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell should retain their places.
Ahead of them, George Baldock and Enda Stevens are the standout performers at wing back. It is a similar story in central midfield, with Oliver Norwood and John Fleck forming a fine partnership.
However, it is in attack where Wilder has done most of his rotating. It’s already known Sharp will start, presumably replacing the suspended Gary Madine who was sent off against Brentford midweek.
Scott Hogan partnered Madine that day, but after coming off the bench to score his 12th Championship goal of the season, David McGoldrick should get the nod at Leeds.
Behind them, Mark Duffy and Kieran Dowell seem to be on rotation. This time around it could well be Duffy’s turn.