Huddersfield Town v Sheffield United: James Shield's proposed team selection and predicted scoreline

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Billy Sharp starts for Sheffield United.

Of course he does. The captain, as Huddersfield Town have already discovered this season, scores goals.

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But who, after David McGoldrick joined Rhian Brewster on the treatment table, should partner the 36-year-old at the John Smith’s Stadium today? Daniel Jebbison, now back with United following an impressive loan spell with Burton Albion? Or Oli McBurnie, who according to assistant manager Stuart McCall looks “hungrier” than ever after recovering from a series of set-backs this term. Both, for very different reasons, are intriguing options.

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There are also decisions to make in midfield. Does Morgan Gibbs-White start? Is Sander Berge, who despite needing to show more devil is clearly an accomplished technician, perfectly suited to this type of contest? John Fleck or Conor Hourihane alongside Oliver Norwood? Could it be time, even though he’ll be looking forward to facing his former club, to give Norwood a rest?

One thing is for certain. The meeting with Carlos Corberan’s team will present United with a very different type of challenge to the one they faced - and successfully overcame - when West Bromwich Albion visited Bramall Lane on Wednesday.

Then, Paul Heckingbottom’s side were forced to confront opposition intent on testing them physically. Huddersfield can look after themselves. But you suspect they’ll try and pass United into submission. Which, combined with this month’s hectic fixture schedule, could persuade Heckingbottom to make changes as he attempts to score another important victory in the battle for promotion. Having prepared for the match four points behind Corberan’s fifth placed side but having played three games fewer, United know avenging August’s 2-1 defeat in South Yorkshire would represent another serious statement of intent.

Sheffield united captain Billy Sharp should start against Huddersfield Town: Simon Bellis / SportimageSheffield united captain Billy Sharp should start against Huddersfield Town: Simon Bellis / Sportimage
Sheffield united captain Billy Sharp should start against Huddersfield Town: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

What they said: “We always respect opponents. But it’s about us and what we want to do at the end. Derbies, any derby, they are different. I’ve been lucky enough to have played in a few. They are tasty. The atmosphere, the rivalry” – United’s assistant manager Stuart McCall.

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James Shield’s starting eleven at Huddersfield Town: Foderingham, Basham, Egan, B Davies, Bogle, Norrington-Davies, Norwood, Hourihane, Gibbs-White, McBurnie, Sharp.

James Shield’s substitute selections: A Davies, Jebbison, Goode, Ndiaye, Berge, Baldock, Fleck.

James Shield’s predicted scoreline: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Sheffield United.