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Sheffield United: ‘Red Button’ coverage could influence team selection against Birmingham City

Conor Washintgon could start against Birmingham City
Conor Washintgon could start against Birmingham City

Sheffield United could ask the English Football League to re-examine how it devises the fixture calendar amid concerns they are being disadvantaged by the scheduling of some midweek games.

As The Star revealed earlier this month, United are one of only three Championship clubs who will never enjoy more preparation time than their opponents during the remaining 39 matches of the season.

Marvin Johnson is also in contention

Marvin Johnson is also in contention

For example, Chris Wilder's side face Preston North End on Saturday less than 72 hours after tomorrow's game against Birmingham City. Alex Neil's team faced Leeds tonight.

Red button theory confirmed:

Sources at the EFL have confirmed SKY's decision to televise fixtures via the 'red button' has forced United, who traditionally played on Tuesday evenings, to stage some on a Wednesday instead.

Given the turnaround time between the two contests, Chris Wilder has admitted he could be forced to make changes for the meeting with Garry Monk's side.

Martin Crainie with Marvin Johnson

Martin Crainie with Marvin Johnson

"We'll make changes either for this one or for the weekend," the United manager said. "We'll have to. 
"That's why we did the business we did during the summer, to try and prepare and get more prepared for situations and challenges like this. But we'll have to make changes, that's for sure."

Birmingham City is the focus:

Although Wilder refused to be drawn on the matter at the Steelphalt Academy yesterday, he did express frustration at this anomaly in the schedule before last weekend's visit to Bristol City, where Marley Watkins' late strike condemned United to a first defeat in five league outings.

Conor Washington and Marvin Johnson, who both started on the bench against City, could be among the beneficiaries of Wilder's rotation policy.

"They've both played a decent amount of football before coming here," Wilder said. "They came in good shape. Obviously it was a little bit different with someone like Martin Cranie but, because of his experience, you knew it wasn't going to take long for him to get up to speed."