SHEFFIELD UNITED: Gamble for United boss Danny Wilson

Time to impress: Striker James Beattie could start in the vital last game at Exeter.'        Picture: Steve ellis
Time to impress: Striker James Beattie could start in the vital last game at Exeter.' Picture: Steve ellis
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SHEFFIELD United manager Danny Wilson could be forced into the biggest gamble of the season at Exeter City - pairing two players up front who have not started together before.

Richard Cresswell and James Beattie are in line to play at St James Park, having made positive contributions as substitutes in the club’s fightback at home to Stevenage. Cresswell has pledged to play through the pain despite nursing a shoulder problem while Beattie has started just once since re-joining United last November. Ex-England international Beattie has not found the net in 18 appearances, many of them only brief ones, and was red-carded in the defeat to Charlton Athletic.

Chris Porter and Michael O’Halloran failed to shine in the showdown with Stevenage. By contrast, all three of United’s replacements, Cresswell, Beattie and Ryan Flynn made an impact.

Wilson also has youngster Danny Philliskirk, who has been on the periphery of the first-team for long periods, at his disposal in the striking department.

It promises to be a major selection quandary for Wilson as United aim to pip Sheffield Wednesday to the second automatic promotion place in League One. Shorn of the services of top-scorer Ched Evans, it’s likely the United chief will go with experience for the final fixture of the regular league programme.

Wilson has hinted at personnel changes, saying: “There are players here who give us the flexibility to do that.”

A win is essential whilst a draw against the relegated Grecians would be enough for Blades to reclaim second spot provided the Owls lose to Wycombe Wanderers.

However, a Wednesday victory will consign United to the play-offs.

Nearly 2,000 tickets have been sold for the ‘beam-back’ at Bramall Lane. Live pictures will be beamed to three big screens in front of the John Street Stand.

Ex-Blades-midfielder-turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse has been named Sheffield FC manager. The world’s oldest club have appointed Woodhouse, aged 32, having axed boss Mark Shaw earlier this month following a 7-0 hammering to Ilkeston Town in the Evo-Stik First Division South play-offs.