James Shield’s Match Guide: Sheffield United v Preston North End

Action from the first match between Preston and Sheffield United
Action from the first match between Preston and Sheffield United
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Sheffield United host Preston in their FA Cup fourth round replay tonight, with a potential tie against Manchester United (should they find a way past Cambridge) on offer to the victors.

POSSIBLE TEAMS

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Howard, Flynn, McEveley, Basham, Harris, Doyle, Baxter, Campbell-Ryce, Scougall, Murphy, McNulty.

PRESTON NORTH END: Stuckmann, Woods, Huntington, Buchanan, Welsh, Kilkenny, Humphrey, Gallagher, Reid, Davies.

ONE TO WATCH

Kevin Davies, aged 37, supports Sheffield United but made his professional debut for Chesterfield over two decades ago and has since been capped by England at under-18, under-21 and senior level. Davies enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Bolton Wanderers before joining tonight’s visitors in the summer of 2013 and was on the books at Southampton when, together with former United players James Beattie and Danny Higginbotham, they finished runners-up in this competition to Arsenal in 2003. Won his full cap against Montenegro.

HISTORY LESSON

These teams first met in FA Cup competition in February 1899 during a 2-2 draw at Deepdale. Sheffield United have won two and Preston North End one of their five ties since. Former United loanee Paul Gallagher and Diego De Girolamo were on target when last month’s game also ended all-square. That was the fourth draw between United and North End in their last six matches. The winner of this replay faces either Manchester United or Cambridge United.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE

Lee Probert: Aged 42, the Wiltshire based official took charge of last season’s FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull City having overseen the FA Trophy final in 2010. Appointed to the PGMOB’s Select Group three years before Barrow beat Stevenage Borough at Wembley Stadium, Probert averages 3.16 cautions per game this term compared to 1.78 during the previous campaign and has produced one red card.

BETTING (Sky Bet)

Sheffield Utd 13/10 Draw 11/5 Preston 9/4

WORTH A PUNT?

In-form Jamie Murphy is 2/1 to score in 90 minutes

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