Sheffield United make crucial goalkeeper selection decision ahead of Man Utd clash
Chris Wilder, the Sheffield United manager, has declined to reveal who will start in goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford despite confirming he has already decided upon Dean Henderson’s replacement.
Although Michael Verrips appeared to be in pole position to start the match earlier this term, Simon Moore now seems certain to be selected ahead of the Dutchman after regaining his place on the bench since Premier League competition resumed last week.
“I have made that decision, who will start in goal,” Wilder said. “I’m not willing to share it, though. Why would I share it? What would I get out of it?”
Wilder’s refusal to elaborate on United’s selection policy for Wednesday’s meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side betrayed his anger that news of an injury to Jack O’Connell was posted on social media before their visit to Aston Villa - the first game to be staged in England since the fixture programme ground to a halt in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But it would be a major surprise if Moore, who featured during November’s 3-3 draw between the two clubs at Bramall Lane, does not get the nod having been named among the substitutes for both United’s trip to the West Midlands and Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle.
Premier League rules prevent Henderson, whose loan from Manchester United is poised to be extended to cover the remainder of the campaign, from facing his parent club.
“The loan (extension) is just a discussion level at an administration level,” Wilder said. “I’ve had a chat with the manager and I’m really thankful for his help.”
Meanwhile, Wilder has attempted to keep Solskjaer guessing about whether or not O’Connell will be passed fit for the visit to the North-West.
“It’s a daily thing, a daily conversation I have with the medical department - who is ready and who will soon be back,” Wilder, who has been unable to call upon the centre-half’s services this month, said. “As was said by somebody who wasn’t in the know, he’s not out for the season. I’m not going to put it out, obviously, when he’s going to come back. But we’re hopeful he’s going to be close.”