This could be the turning point in Billy Sharp's Sheffield United season

Billy Sharp could be in line to start back to back games for the first time this season following his “magnificent” display against Manchester City.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:47 am
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 2:09 pm

The Sheffield United captain impressed after making a rare appearance in Chris Wilder’s first choice eleven, quickly establishing an effective partnership with Oli McBurnie in attack.

With Wilder expected to make changes for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Millwall, Sharp’s performance is set to be rewarded with another outing against Gary Rowett’s side; providing the centre-forward with an opportunity to cement his place when United return to Premier League action at Crystal Palace later this month.

“I was delighted with Billy on Tuesday night,” Wilder, who also singled out McBurnie and Mo Besic for special praise, said. “It was one of the toughest games of the season and he was magnificent.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Oli was outstanding as well but Billy and Mo gave us a spark too.”

Although he will use the visit to London to give new signings Jack Robinson and Jack Rodwell game-time - the two are still learning the finer points of United 3-5-2 system - Wilder has also acknowledged some members of his squad would benefit from a rest following a gruelling run of games.

John Lundstram in particular has looked fatigued in recent weeks, and was named on the bench for the 1-0 defeat by the reigning champions.

However, after starting only three times since helping United gain promotion last term, there are no such concerns surrounding Sharp’s conditioning. And with Lys Mousset failing to score in his previous 10 outings for the club, an opportunity has suddenly presented itself for him to earn a more prominent role in Wilder’s plans.

Billy Sharp could be set to start back to back matches: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

United’s strikers have scored four times since the beginning of December, with McBurnie, the club’s record signing, claiming exactly half of those goals.

“Lunny (Lundstram) has been outstanding for us this season,” Wilder said. “But he may need a bit of a break and it’s comforting that the likes of Mo and Billy come in and pick things up so quickly.”

Billy Sharp in action during Sheffield United's game against Manchester City: Simon Bellis/Sportimage