The Opposition: Sheffield United

Last updated : 28 October 2007 By Paul Holland
The Gameplan
United went with three strikers up front at the Walkers Stadium on Tuesday night and came home with a 1-0 victory - the first win on their travels since December 2006 and are likely to stick with a similar formation and team.

No doubt the Championship are aware of the ability and strengths of striker James Beattie who, despite the Blades poor run of form this campaign, has been able to notch up nine goals in twelve league games whilst he was on the wrong end of an offside decision on Tuesday night at Leicester City.

The back four has remained a problem so far this season with United leaking goals left, right and centre, but in the last few games manager Bryan Robson has rung in the changes after that dismal defeat at Bristol City three weeks ago and has in last two games hopefully changed our fortunes.

Keeper Paddy Kenny sustained a leg injury during the 1-0 win at Leicester City and was forced to be replaced by Ian Bennett. It is unclear as to whether he will be fit or not for the trip to the KC Stadium.

Player by Player
13. Ian Bennett - Is likely to be drafted in as a replacement to Paddy Kenny who may not be fit. Previously a loyal servant to Birmingham City, the 32-year-old is an established shot stopper and is still reliable.

4. Phil Bardsley - On loan from Manchester United and will make his third appearance for the Blades against the Tigers. He has shown signs of promise and possibility of getting on the scoresheet with his powerful drives. He could sign for the club in January on a full-time basis.

21. Gary Cahill - Reliable and trustworthy, the tall defender on loan from Aston Villa has been a shrewd loan signing by Robson and hopefully he will snap up the Sheffield-born man in January.

16. Matthew Kilgallon - Signed last January from Leeds United in a £1.75M deal. Hasn't featured in the starting eleven as much as I would have liked, but with the absence of Derek Geary (knee) he has been given the opportunity to impress.

3. Gary Naysmith - Signed in the summer from Everton in a £1M deal following the sale of Phil Jagielka in the other direction. Scottish international, likely to play at Euro 2008, should they qualify.

19. Keith Gillespie - Veteran winger Gillespie has done the rounds at Manchester United, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers in the top flight and has become a useful tool down the right. He could, however, be replaced by Australian international David Carney who has impressed since his £50,000 transfer from Sydney FC this summer.

18. Michael Tonge - Came through the youth ranks at Bramall Lane and seems to have been at the club since its formation. He has lost his sparkle a bit but shows signs of repeating his form which attracted Liverpool a few years ago.

20. Chris Armstrong - Netted at the KC Stadium along with Danny Webber and Paul Ifill as the Blades tore Hull apart in that 3-1 victory during the 2005-06 campaign. 'Stretch' is very versatile and can play either at left -back or -wing.

7. Luton Shelton - Was regarded as the Premiership's fastest player when he signed last January from Swedish outfit Helsingborgs. The Jamaican teamed up with Henrik Larsson in Sweden and although he will struggle to find goals at Bramall Lane, his electrifying pace will be more than enough for any defender to handle.

10. Danny Webber - Dismissed by fans at times during his career but won their hearts when he netted his third goal of the season against the Foxes last Tuesday. He showed that flash of brilliance when he last played at Hull and could once again do the business.

6. James Beattie - Acquired for only £4M from Everton in the summer to become the Blades' record transfer and has to date been worth every penny with his nine goals this season, and will hopefully net a few more against the Tigers on Saturday.

Click here for full squad list

Paul Holland is editor of Blades Mad