IF SHEFFIELD United are to re-ignite their stuttering automatic promotion push this weekend, they will have to succeed where many sides have failed in nullifying the threat of Will Grigg.
The Northern Ireland international is expected to shake off a hamstring problem and spearhead Walsall’s attack when they entertain United at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday. In his last six outings, Grigg, whose contract expires in the summer, has netted eight goals, including a hat-trick at Carlisle United. Only Yeovil Town’s Paddy Madden (22) and Coventry City’s Leon Clarke (19) have scored more goals in League One than Grigg. The 21-year-old, a graduate of the club’s youth system, is on the verge of becoming the first Saddlers player to score 20 goals in a season since Jorge Leitao in 2001.
Grigg missed Walsall’s 4-0 victory over Coventry City on Easter Monday as Dean Smith’s men extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches. It was their biggest win of the season and means Walsall, operating on one of the smallest budgets in the division, remain in eighth position, three points shy of the play-offs, with four games left.
It has been a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Walsall. Last December, after losing 5-1 to Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena, Smith’s side sat in 19th place in the table, just three points above the drop zone.
Walsall are likely to name former Sheffield United left-back Andy Taylor and ex-Chesterfield forward Craig Westcarr in their starting line-up. Westcarr bagged a double against the Sky Blues.