FORMER Blades’ favourite Billy Sharp will get an unexpected chance to parade his skills at Bramall Lane again tonight.
For some reason the 25 year-old didn’t produce the goal-scoring form for Sheffield United he has for Scunthorpe and Doncaster Rovers.
He’s been leading scorer for Rovers for the last two seasons but he remains a fans’ favourite among the Bramall Lane faithful - not least because of the 100 per cent effort he put in every time he pulled on a United shirt.
Sharp, who turned down a move to Southampton last month, has already got off the mark during Rovers pre-season campaign, scoring the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win at Mansfield a week ago.
But he got little chance to add to his tally in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Carlisle where he suffered from a poor service from midfield during his 45 minutes of action.
Following Sheffield United’s relegation to League One last season, the two South Yorkshire rivals were not scheduled to meet this season.
But the fact that the two clubs are now in different divisions meant they could play each other in a pre-season friendly.
Tonight’s game will be only the second time - the first being in the 1981-82 season when Rovers were in Division Three and United in Division Four - that the Keepmoat Stadium club find themselves in a higher division than their Steel City rivals. But Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll, who has decided not to retain former United and Wednesday player Allan Quinn, who had been on trial, isn’t reading too much into that situation.
He said: “If you look at their squad it is probably a lot stronger than ours. They’ve obviously got a good youth policy having reached the the final of the Youth Cup.
“So you imagine it will be a blend of experienced players and the young kids coming through and you’d like to think that they will do well and have a good season.
“Tonight will be a good test for them and for us.”