Paul Coutts' Sheffield United comeback delayed as Blades trio miss Maritimo pre-season friendly due to injuries

Paul Coutts
Paul Coutts
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Three Sheffield United players, John Lundstram, Simon Moore and Paul Coutts, will miss tonight's game against Maritimo due to injury.

Chris Wilder's team face the Portuguese at Estádio Municipal da Bela Vista this evening, after beginning their pre-season preparations with a win over Stocksbridge Park Steels last week.

But midfielder Lundstram (hamstring) and goalkeeper Simon Moore (thigh) are both set to watch the match from the stands while Coutts has been granted further time to recover from the broken leg he suffered during November's win over Burton Albion.

Meanwhile, United's hopes of signing Aston Villa's Scott Hogan could hinge upon Keinan Davis' future at the Midlands club.

Despite acknowledging departures are inevitable as his employers' battle to stave-off a major financial crisis, manager Steve Bruce is determined not to leave himself short of attacking options ahead of the new Championship campaign.

With Jack Grealish destined for the exit door and Jonathan Kodja attracting interest from abroad, Chris Wilder's counterpart at Villa Park will petition owner Tony Xia to retain Hogan's services if Davis is also sold.

The 20-year-old is a popular figure with supporters after progressing through the former European champions' youth system but is being monitored by a number of top-flight sides including Southampton. Intriguingly, another of Wilder's targets - Sam Gallagher - could see his opportunities at St Mary's limited further if Davis arrives on the south coast.

Bruce, who granted Hogan permission to miss Villa's warm-weather training camp in Portugal this week, has admitted he will be forced to "wheel and deal" in the transfer market after failing to secure promotion last season.