Sheffield United: Birmingham City set to be without two key players, including former Blades target

Dion Sanderson, who was linked with a move to Sheffield United before joining Birmingham City, will miss this weekend’s meeting between the two clubs at Bramall Lane.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:04 pm

The centre-half has yet to play a game for Saturday’s visitors during pre-season, as he continues to recover from a back injury.

Sanderson, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, is among seven new signings City manager Lee Bowyer has completed since the end of last term.

“He’s just coming back,” Bowyer said, when asked for an update on the defender’s progress. “He’s in rehab and that is out of our control.

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Dion Sanderson is set to miss out for Birmingham City: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

“He is due back in a few weeks and he should be involved with the group.”

Although City have planned for Sanderson’s absence, news that midfielder Ivan Sunjic will also be unavailable for selection is a blow. There was speculation about the Croat’s future in the Midlands earlier this summer. But Bowyer has denied that, rather than a genuine fitness concern, is behind the decision to rule him out of the trip to United.

“We are not hiding him away so someone comes in and buys him,” Bowyer said. “He has been injured.”

“We are not making it up,” Bowyer added. “There is no plot or ploy to anything.”

As well as deciding who replaces Sunjic, Bowyer also faces a dilemma in attack. Former United loanee Scott Hogan has been in fine form during City’s warm-up programme. But there are suspicions Lukas Jutkiewicz and Jonathan Leko will be asked to spearhead the City front line.