Sheffield United will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Millwall when they face Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane, on Friday lunchtime, kick-off 12.30pm.
The Blades, who have drawn the last two games, currently sit in third of the Sky Bet Championship following back to back 1-1 draws with Birmingham City and Millwall respectively, putting a dent in their hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Following the draw with Millwall, Blades boss Chris Wilder will be without three of his key players for the clash with Martin O’Neill’s Forest, defenders Chris Basham and John Egan are ruled out through injury and suspension respectively whilst club captain Billy Sharp has also been ruled out after he limped off during the draw with the Lions due to a hamstring injury.
Wilder confirmed the news of both Basham and Sharp would miss the game, at his press conference on Wednesday morning, saying: “Billy is out for the weekend and so is Bash, so that’s disappointing for myself and the football club.
“I’ve been consistent with my approach throughout the season, people have injuries and suspensions and we have to get over it, we’ve got good enough to come in and replace them.
“We will continue to monitor and assess, short-term they are out, but we will see how they go from Monday onwards, with a view to Ipswich.” he added.
Wilder continued:“The players were as disappointed as any supporter last Saturday, they care as much as anyone, including me.
“There is a lot of the line for them, individually and collectively, those boys care and they want to win.
“We’ve not been given anything, we’ve had to earn everything to get to this position and everything we’ve achieved has been earnt by having a go and coming roaring back to disappointments.”
The Blades will be hoping to get back to winning ways to try and help their quest of promotion as they battle with Leeds United for the second automatic promotion spot alongside Norwich City.
Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways after three straight defeats when they face Sheffield United on Friday afternoon.
Forest boss Martin O’Neill will be looking for his side to respond to their three straight defeats against Chris Wilder’s highflying Sheffield United.
Since their last win against Swansea City on 30th March the Reds have lost three straight games against Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers scoring two goals and conceding seven goals.
The Reds, who have an outside chance of the play-offs this season, currently sit in 11th in the table following one win in five games and will be hoping to claim a second win over the Blades this season following a 1-0 win at the City Ground in November 2018 thanks to Lewis Grabban’s 69th minute winner.
Martin O’Neill will know his side will have to be at their upmost best to beat Chris Wilder’s side at Bramall Lane if they are to have a chance of the play-offs this season, however, if he loses this game then the owners could end up running out of paticence with the former Reds midfielder as defeat at Bramall Lane will be four defeats in their last five games.
The fixture will be a tough test for both sides, however, Sheffield United may just have enough to beat MON’s Reds at Bramall Lane.
Prediction: Sheffield United 2-0 Nottingham Forest
You can catch the fixture live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 12.00pm.