Sheffield United: These are the changes Paul Heckingbottom should make against QPR

Inevitably, after a defeat and a performance which fell way below what is expected of a team with aspirations of competing at Premier League level next season, Sheffield United will be under pressure to make changes when Queens Park Rangers visit Bramall Lane tonight.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 11:05 am

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The match, one of only seven remaining on their Championship schedule, is of vital importance in the race for the play-offs. United are eighth, a point outside of the top six, having been beaten by Stoke City last weekend. Rangers are ninth and will climb above Paul Heckingbottom’s team if they win.

Both Heckingbottom and centre-half John Egan, whose unfortunate own goal settled Saturday’s clash at the bet365 Stadium, admitted United come into this game on the back of a desperately poor performance.

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But even so, I would resist the temptation to make wholesale alterations to the starting eleven.

Shield’s Starting Eleven: Foderingham, Norrington-Davies, Baldock, B Davies, Egan, Uremovic, Norwood, Fleck, Berge, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye.

Shield’s Substitutes: A Davies, Robinson, Stevens, Osborn, Hourihane, Jebbison, McBurnie.

Shield’s Substitutes: If Oli McBurnie is fit, genuinely fit that is, then he will probably start. But if the thigh issue which ruled him out of the trip to City has not been resolved completely, then I would select Iliman Ndiaye in attack with Morgan Gibbs-White positioned just behind him in order to ensure the England under-21 international, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, gets on the ball as much as possible.

Sheffield United face Queens Park Rangers at Bramall Lane tonight: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Ndiaye missed out altogether at the weekend. But Heckingbottom has not mentioned that he is injured. He might not be a striker in the true sense of the word. However, as he demonstrated by scoring a superb solo goal during December’s win over Fulham, the Frenchman is capable of producing those moments of magic which often settle big games.

In defence, I’d select Ben Davies on his preferred flank and then bring in Filip Uremovic. The Croatia international, signed after he was allowed to suspend his contract at Rubin Kazan, might not be fully au fait with United’s tactics and system yet. But he is clearly a defender of considerable pedigree and so should be able to negotiate his way through the contest.

The Star's Sheffield United writer James Shield
Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.