Sheffield United's next opponents Southampton benefit from three huge fitness boosts

Southampton, who face Sheffield United at St Mary’s this weekend, have been boosted by the return of three key players from injury as they prepare to face Chris Wilder’s side.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 12:01 pm

Danny Ings made his first appearance since the beginning of November during Monday’s win over Brighton and Hove Albion, marking the occasion by scoring the winning goal against Graham Potter’s team.

Nathan Redmond also stepped off the treatment table for the visit to the Amex Stadium, entering the fray midway through the second-half after spending over four weeks recovering from a hamstring problem.

Ings’ availability - the England centre-forward has already netted seven in all competitions for both club and country this term - will increase belief among Ralph Hassenhuttl’s squad that they can challenge for a place in Europe next term after climbing to fifth in the table.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Danny Ings, the Southampton striker, in action against Sheffield United last season: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Like Redmond, the 28-year-old was introduced from the bench at Albion and Hassenhuttl must now decide whether to hand them both starting roles when United travel to Hampshire on Sunday.

Ings only resumed full training less than a week ago, after receiving the all clear following a knee complaint.

Southampton’s options for the meeting with the Premier League’s bottom club further increased when Mohammed Salisu was granted permission to take a place on the bench for the first time since completing a £10.9m from Valladolid in August. The defender, aged 21, played 31 times in La Liga last term.

“We must look how far he is,” Hassenhutl said, acknowledging Salisu is still not “match fit”. “Then we have more alternatives, and this is good for me.”

An important message: To help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports. Your support is much appreciated.