Nigel Adkins, the Sheffield United manager, will assess the fitness of three key players before naming his starting eleven for Saturday’s fixture against Bury, writes James Shield.
Louis Reed, Che Adams and David Edgar all hope to feature after returning from international duty this week but Adkins, a qualified physiotherapist, is set to demand they are examined by Bramall Lane’s own medical team ahead of a match which could see United seize first place in the League One table.
Edgar’s conditioning is the biggest cause of concern having represented Canada during their World Cup qualifier in Belize 48 hours ago but the centre-half is adamant fatigue, following the 5000 mile journey, will not be an issue.
“I’m used to making the trip home,” he said. “Your body gets used to it and, to be fair, we get looked after well (by the Canada Soccer Association) with regards to seats on the plane, travel arrangements and stuff like that.
“It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time now and so I don’t envisage any problems. It’s actually something I enjoy so that probably helps.”
Tiredness will not be an issue for Adams, who made his England under-20 debut against the Czech Republic on Monday, having only returned from Shrewsbury. Reed, meanwhile, was part of the England under-19 squad which faced Germany and Croatia in Bergisch Gladbach and Zagreb respectively.
Canada advanced to the penultimate round of qualifying for Russia 2018 after beating their CONCACAF rivals 4-1 on aggregate. They must now finish in the top two of a group also containing Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador to reach the decisive phase.
Speaking before the double-header, Edgar, who was cautioned during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw, said: “I’m sure I’m going to be fine, absolutely fine for our (United’s) next game. If selected, it’s definitely one that I’m planning on being involved in, yes, of course.”
United have conceded only one goal during Edgar’s five appearances since arriving on loan from Birmingham City earlier this term. Having formed an effective partnership with Neill Collins, Adkins is keen to deploy both when David Flitcroft’s side visit Bramall Lane.
“There are some excellent attacking players here,” Edgar said. “So, if we can keep it out at the back, with the goals we’ve got, that gives us a massive chance because I’m always confident those lads will score.”