Sheffield United's David McGoldrick appears to have taken a huge step forward in his battle against injury

Sheffield United expect David McGoldrick to be declared fit for the Republic of Ireland’s game against Finland on Sunday, raising hopes he will start the opening fixture of the new Premier League season later this month.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 6:00 am

Despite failing to appear in any of United’s three pre-season matches so far, Stephen Kenny selected McGoldrick in his squad for the meetings with Bulgaria and Markku Kanerva’s side - before announcing he would miss the trip to Sofia through injury.

But speaking ahead of tomorrow’s visit to Preston North End, the final match of United’s warm-up programme ahead of September 14th’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chris Wilder confirmed McGoldrick is making progress in his recovery.

“Didzy has been continuing to work with us this week,” the United manager told The Star. “They (Ireland) play on Sunday, I believe, so I think he’ll be involved in that.”

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

McGoldrick, aged 32, has emerged as a key figure at Bramall Lane since arriving on a free transfer two years ago - with Wilder acknowledging his ability to weave together attacks overrides his disappointing record in front of goal.

United’s John Egan and Enda Stevens are both expected to feature inside the Vasil Levski National Stadium, while Callum Robinson could also take part after being summoned to Ireland’s training camp.

All four players were absent when United continued their preparations for the 2020/21 campaign with a 2-0 win over Derby County at Pride Park on Tuesday evening. Ben Osborn and Billy Sharp were both on target.

An important message: Thank you to all who support local journalism with a digital or print subscription to The Star. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Subscribe here so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.

David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United and Republic of Ireland centre forward