SHEFFIELD UNITED: Old boy gears up for Cup assignment

Avid supporter: Boyhood Sheffield United fan Chris Wilder keeps a close eye on the club's fortunes.                   ''Picture: PA Wire
Avid supporter: Boyhood Sheffield United fan Chris Wilder keeps a close eye on the club's fortunes. ''Picture: PA Wire
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IT PROMISES to be an emotional occasion for Oxford United manager Chris Wilder when they host Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup next month.

Lifelong Blades fan Wilder, who started his career at Bramall Lane before joining neighbours Rotherham United, faces his old club on January 5 after the U’s beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 in a replay in midweek.

It is the second season in a row United will face Wilder’s men in the tournament. When the sides last met in November 2011, the South Yorkshire club cruised into the second round courtesy of strikes from Ched Evans (2) and Ryan Flynn.

But Wilder, who played over 100 league matches for United, will hope Oxford, in 18th position in League Two, can make home advantage count as they bid to pull off a cup shock in the New Year.

It will be United’s first ever visit to the Kassam Stadium.