The Sheffield United player set for an extended run in Chris Wilder's starting eleven

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A desire to inject greater mobility into Sheffield United’s midfield is expected to see Ethan Ampadu make his third Premier League start for the club when Manchester City visit Bramall Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

After impressing during last weekend’s game against Liverpool, the Wales international will retain his place for the meeting with Pep Guardiola’s side barring injury or illness.

Although United were beaten at Anfield, manager Chris Wilder praised both the quality and commitment of their performance on Merseyside; a sentiment echoed by his opposite number Jurgen Klopp.

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Ampadu, signed on a season long loan from Chelsea, was at the heart of that display and is set to be rewarded with another high-profile outing - this time against the team Liverpool deposed as champions earlier this year.

“We looked at a number of things,” Wilder said, explaining the thinking behind his decision to select Ampadu. “We felt that one (Liverpool) was going to be a game where mobility was really important, and that’s definitely something Ethan brings to the table - as well as a lot of other qualities, clearly.

“We thought he did well in there and that’s given us another strong to our bow if you like. That can only help going forward.”

Despite being recruited to provide competition and cover in defence, United are now likely to primarily view Amapdu as a midfielder given the impact he made four days ago. Coaching staff are understood to have identified a need for more flexibility and athleticism in central positions after analysing the squad’s displays en route to the North-West, where United slipped to their fifth defeat in six outings so far this term.

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Goals from Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota, after Sander Berge had earlier fired them ahead from the penalty spot, extended United’s wait for a win. But Wilder is convinced that will soon be over if they continue to adhere to the same high standards they produced at Liverpool.

Sheffield United's Ethan Ampadu (L) before the match at Liverpool: Andrew Yates/SportimageSheffield United's Ethan Ampadu (L) before the match at Liverpool: Andrew Yates/Sportimage
Sheffield United's Ethan Ampadu (L) before the match at Liverpool: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

“Mobility is so important in this day and age,” Wilder said. “You can see it getting more and more crucial in the game, every single season and even month by month.”

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