SHEFFIELD UNITED: Return of in form pair

Back from suspension: Michael Doyle is available again for Sheffield United.      Picture: martyn harrison
Back from suspension: Michael Doyle is available again for Sheffield United. Picture: martyn harrison
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sheffield United are preparing for their toughest challenge yet - and that’s exactly the same sentiment coming out of the opposition camp as well.

Boosted by the availability of Michael Doyle and Ryan Flynn once again, the Blades find second-placed Notts County as the next threat to their unbeaten record in the league.

But Danny Wilson’s side are one of only three sides yet to taste defeat in League One (leaders Tranmere and Stevenage are the others) hence the view from County boss Keith Curle that this will be his side’s toughest test so far.

Curle, former player and one-time coach at Bramall Lane during Neil Warnock’s tenure, has revitalised the Magpies since taking charge and they head for the city on a roll with only one defeat themselves and unbeaten in their last six outings.

What’s more, they travel up with a new club away record under their belt.

The 1-1 draw at MK Dons in the last away game meant an 11th successive away game in the league without defeat so surpassing the record of 10 which had stood since 1971.

So far, both sides have generally met clubs in the lower reaches or bottom half of the table.

Of United’s eight opponents, only Doncaster, 12th, make the top half. Notts have met two in the top half.

The ending of suspensions for Doyle and Flynn is timely for United who also look set for their biggest crowd.

Flynn was enjoying the best form of his time at United when he was sent-off; Doyle, who has just signed a new three-year contract, brings steel and experience to the midfield.

“He doesn’t always get the limelight or the recognition for what he does but he’s done a sterling job for me since I came,” noted Wilson of his skipper.

He will renew his central midfield partnership with Kevin McDonald helping combat a particular Notts strength in their side with Alan Judge and Neal Bishop key to their operations.