Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Tuesday August 16 2011
Tuesday night sees us travel to sunny Sheffield in search of the unlikeliest of away victories. Aside from Preston, they are probably the favourites to go up this season and their early form hasn`t done them any harm. They have, so far, managed to retain a quality set of championship players and their last three team sheets makes for formidable reading. They have premiership and championship experience all over the pitch and you would fancy them to beat most teams in the division this season.
All that being said, Sheffield United are not unbeatable. Both teams start on an even footing and if we can defend well and catch them on the break, we`ve got a chance. We are missing Butler and Chambers, both through suspension, and it offers Manny Smith a rare chance to put his stamp on the team. I absolutely adore Manny and I am praying that he pulls it out the bag because he`s a superb defender. All football fans have their favourite types of player and I am no exception. I would take a hard-hitting, nut-job with the technical ability of an onion any day of the week and that is exactly the type of player Dean Smith has filled the team with. The technical ability of the team is on show for all to see but they also exhibit a grit and determination that was just a pipe dream during the days of Chris Hutchings. However, to get anything out of this game tomorrow night we will need to defend our goal like the Alamo as there will be periods of the game where the home side will be lining up to take shots at Jimmy and, without Butler and Chambers, we will do very well to contain the Blades for 90 minutes.
We are going to the biggest club in the league without, arguably, our two most influential players and the signs are not good. Sheffield United are yet to concede in the league and it is perhaps too much to ask that we take points off the Blades. With the likes of; Steve Simonsen, Neill Collins, Lescinel Jean Francois, Chris Morgan, Matty Lowton and Johannes Ertl all prepared to do just about anything to stop us putting the spherical thing between the two big sticks; our chances do not look good. I have to abandon loyalty in favour of realism with this particular prediction and I would not be surprised if United secure their third 2-0 win of the season. You never know, we might pull it out the bag but on paper you`d have to say Sheffield will beat us comfortably and they might prove to be just a step too far for Deano`s men at this early stage of the season. Nonetheless I will be among the faithful at Bramall Lane hoping that we can put an end to Danny Wilson`s fantastic start to this season.
Come on you Saddlers!!
Date:Tuesday August 16 2011
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