The key advantage Sheffield United may have over Fulham this weekend

Sheffield United may benefit from an extra weekend of mental rest ahead of this weekend’s crunch clash against Fulham, which will effectively determine whether they qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 6:21 am

United will have had eight days to prepare by the time they walk out at Bramall Lane on Saturday to face Marco Silva’s men, who faced United’s play-off rivals Luton Town on Monday evening.

The Blades will also be hoping that Fulham used up the last of their goals, after firing seven past the Hatters at Craven Cottage.

The 7-0 win was the third time they had reached that figure in a single match this season and took their goal tally to 106 in the Championship.

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Although the gap won’t be enough to have Billy Sharp available, the Blades skipper forecast to miss “weeks rather than days” after tearing a calf muscle, it could prove psychologically pivotal in United’s play-off bid.

“It’s good [to have eight days], but four’s enough. Plenty of time,” Heckingbottom, whose side beat QPR in the capital on Friday evening, said.

“That’s fine. It’s just more the effort of the game.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

“People don’t understand, the season’s 46 games, nine months, and it takes its toll. So mentally it’s good to recharge as much as physically and get ready to go again.

“It’ll be a normal week in terms of workload. Nothing needs to change. It’s good for the players to unwind, forget about things, relax, get a bit of time with family and friends and then we start again.

“Prepare for the next game and be ready to try and win.”

Iliman Ndiaye, who scored the Blades’ equaliser, is expected to be available for the crunch Fulham clash despite being substituted in the second half at QPR after dragging the Blades level.

Ndiaye, who was fasting, took on some fluids and energy gels after the game was paused after sunset but later made way with cramp.