Sheffield United: The lowdown on The Blades versus Wolverhampton Wanderers
As Chris Wilder’s side prepare to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, The Star’s Sheffield United writer James Shield takes a look at some of the facts, and predicts the likely line-ups, ahead of their trip to Molineux.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio, Romain Saiss, Leander Dendoncker, Conor Coady, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Jonathan Otto, Matt Doherty, Raul Jiminez, Diogo Jota, Adama Traore.
Sheffield United: Dean Henderson, Chris Basham, Phil Jagielka, Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens, George Baldock, Oliver Norwood, John Fleck, John Lundstram, Oli McBurnie, David McGoldrick.
The Referee: David Coote will take charge of Sunday’s match at Molineux, with Peter Kirkup and Nick Hopton acting as his assistants while Stuart Attwell will take charge of VAR at Stockley Park. Coote, from Nottinghamshire, has already overseen a game involving Sheffield United three times this season, cautioning three of Chris Wilder’s players during August’s win over Crystal Palace and two as they drew with West Ham last month. Midfielder John Lundstram, who was booked during the meeting with Roy Hodgson’s side, enters this fixture one booking away from an automatic suspension.
History Lesson: This will be the 113th meeting between these two clubs, with both Sheffield United and their hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers locked on 38 wins apiece. Two seasons ago, when they faced each other in Championship competition, United triumphed 2-0 at Bramall Lane before Wolves, who went on to gain promotion, prevailed 3-0 in the return fixture. Ten of the players at Chris Wilder’s disposal that evening, including former Molineux favourite Richard Stearman, are available for selection this weekend. United’s last victory away from home over Wolves, however, came in 2002, when a Michael Tonge brace and Wayne Allison header enabled them to triumph 3-1 despite falling behind when Rob Ullathorne scored an own goal.
One to Watch: Conor Coady made 50 appearances for Sheffield United after joining them on loan from Liverpool in 2013, turning down the opportunity to take part in his parent club’s pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East in order to push through the move. A year later, he completed a £500,000 transfer to Huddersfield Town and scored his first goal for United’s Yorkshire rivals against Wolverhampton Wanderers, who would eventually pay £2m to acquire his services at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign.