Sheffield United handed pre-Steel City Derby boost with key man expected to recover from injury to face Sheffield Wednesday

Mark Duffy
Mark Duffy

Sheffield United have been handed a pre-Steel City Derby boost with Mark Duffy expected to be fit for Friday’s meeting with Sheffield Wednesday.

Duffy, one of the heroes of last season’s historic 4-2 victory over Wednesday at Hillsborough, has missed United's last two games with a hip complaint he picked up in the Bramall Lane draw with Stoke City.

His absence from the teamsheet for Saturday’s defeat at Nottingham Forest prompted fears from some sections of United's fanbase that he would be ruled out of Friday’s derby against Wednesday.

But, speaking after Lewis Grabban’s second-half header condemned United to defeat at Forest, Wilder told The Star that both Duffy and Chris Basham, who served a one-match suspension at the City Ground after picking up his fifth caution of the season, will be back to face the Owls.

“Mark wasn’t really close to play against Forest but he’ll be ready for the week ahead,” Wilder confirmed. “He and Bash will be ready for next Friday, and we’ve not picked up any more injuries either.”

Wilder and his coaching staff breathed a sigh of relief, too, when striker David McGoldrick avoided a booking after coming on as a late substitute against his former club. A caution against Forest would have ruled the former Wednesday loanee out of the derby on Friday.

“Mark makes that No.10 position look really easy," Wilder added. “He is comfortable with it and has played in it for two years really well.”

Billy Sharp, meanwhile, has been nominated for the PFA Bristol Street Motors Championship player of the month award for October.