On Wednesday, Sheffield United welcome West Bromwich Albion to Bramall Lane for a highly anticipated clash. With the two clubs only sitting three points apart and likely in contention for the play offs at the end of the season, the respective sets of players will be well aware of how crucial a game this is.
The two teams come into this clash with contrasting fortunes in recent weeks. The Blades are undefeated in their last four league games, winning three of them. The most recent of these occurred on Friday as they came from behind to triumph over struggling Birmingham City 2-1 courtesy goals from Billy Sharp and Jaden Bogle.
The latter in particularly has really impressed since coming into the side, stepping up in the absence of star man Morgan Gibbs-White.
Speaking about Bogle in his pre match press conference, manager Paul Heckingbottom said “He’s doing really well. Really impressed with him of late. He provides something in the final third. he’s displaying the characteristics that we want from our players”. This bodes especially well for Sheffield United especially considering the uncertainty surrounding George Baldock’s future.
The recent run has left them sitting on 42 points from 27 games. After a substandard start to the season, they are now only three points off the Baggies who occupy fifth spot with two games in hand over them.
West Brom on the other hand have had a torrid time recently. Whilst they were part of the top two for the majority of their season, their form has taken a significant downturn recently and a run of three losses in four has seen Valerien Ismael given the sack with the club sat precariously in the play off positions.
The incoming manager, Steve Bruce, is a man who has a bit of a history in Sheffield. Though his stay at Sheffield Wednesday was short lived, there will nevertheless be some added narrative to the fixture on Wednesday.
On the injury front Heckingbottom’s men, Gibbs-White has been missing since the 19th of December as he went off with a knee injury at halftime in their 1-0 victory over Fulham. Heckingbottom confirmed last week that he was back in training. He didn’t make the squad on Friday but he should be available for tomorrow’s match.
Elsewhere, the news surrounding Rhian Brewster was less promising.
Heckingbottom added: “He’s having an operation tomorrow, which will probably rule him out for the season. If he’s back before, then its a bonus but we’re not counting on it.”
This will come as a blow with Billy Sharp, the only striker currently displaying any form, at the latter stages of his career. That being said, the Blades will fancy themselves on Wednesday given the respective form of the two teams.