The blip or the bad-run comes under some pressure tomorrow evening as Sheffield United come to visit. Whilst away days have become a trial for the Reds of late, we remain on a decent run of home form – indeed, should we triumph against the Blades it would give us eight straight league wins at the City Ground. No mean feat, and one you’d probably have to go quite far back in the record books to find an equal to for us.
Our visitors seem to be a real Jekyll and Hyde this season – in their last six games they’ve lost three, drawn one and won two. Their wins coming against Reading at and Bristol City at Brammal Lane at either end of that six game run – in between an inauspicious 3-0 beating at the hands of Watford, and only a draw with Derby at home. So certainly we should be hoping that ‘rubbish Sheffield United’ turn up tomorrow. They’ve only managed back to back league wins once before this season.
After a disappointing trip to Doncaster the Reds will hopefully look to boost their attacking threat by the inclusion of leading scorers Dexter Blackstock and Robert Earnshaw. Paul Anderson too will hopefully give us some much needed attacking bite in midfield. McCleary of course now starts a ban for his red card, and apparently Joel Lynch is injured again, which perhaps explains why he’s been completely overlooked for the glaringly vacant left-back spot.
The Blades have had a woeful season for injuries, which perhaps explains their stop-start form over the course of the season. Tomorrow they will be without Chris Morgan (so Earnie needn’t fret about his looks being ruined by a flailing elbow!), Mark Bunn, James Harper and Gary Naysmith. They will have Darius Henderson up front though who’s been on decent form – and sitting pretty on twelve goals for the season so far.
If we look back to our last encounter at their place we very much depended on the heroics of Lee Camp to deny Ward, Quinn, Camara and Kilgallon with a string of excellent saves – whilst at the other end the Reds struggled to fashion chances. So perhaps the Blades might be mindful of that and look to make amends at the City Ground. Hopefully not!
Lately Forest have struggled to deal with direct teams – and certainly typically that’s the kind of football we can expect from Sheffield United, so the Reds will have to work at it if they want to get the ball down and play – and, indeed, they’ll have to improve their passing too.. and well, you know the rest! I’m hoping the supporters get behind the team and we can see a cease of this unwarranted negativity from the stands.
As for selections – as mentioned above, I would be surprised if Dex and Earnie didn’t feature. The McGugan experiment didn’t work on Saturday, and McKenna looks tired. I would be tempted to put Cohen in the centre with Majewski and field both Tyson and Anderson on the wings. Perch remains our only realistic option at right-back. The fear is that leaves our midfield a bit light if that’s where ‘the battle’ is.
I reckon I’ll leave this management malarky to Billy Davies – and I think some of the ill-opinionated buffoons in the stands should do the same.
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