After a dreadful opening weekend, the Blades are working their way through the gears and welcome recently-relegated Blackpool to Bramall Lane for their latest test on Saturday.
Sheffield United: Howard, K Wallace, McEveley, Edgar, Freeman, Basham, Baxter, Campbell-Ryce, Adams, Sammon, Sharp.
Blackpool: Letheren, Boyce, Jones, Robertson, Ferguson, Cameron, McAlister, Potts, Dunne, Redshaw, Cullen.
READ MORE: Adkins issues warning to Blades ahead of Blackpool clash
Man in the middle
The Cambridgeshire official, who will be assisted by Amy Fearn, Nicholas Barnard and Gary Hilton at Bramall Lane tomorrow, produced 122 yellow and 10 red cards during the 33 games he oversaw last season. Deadman’s previous appointment involving Sheffield United was in March when they were beaten 2-1 by Fleetwood Town. Five years ago, Fearn became the first woman to take charge of a Football League match.
Tomorrow’s match at Bramall Lane will be the 70th meeting between these two clubs. Sheffield United have triumphed on 31 occasions, Blackpool on 23 with 15 ending in a draw. The previous two contests, which took place during the 2009/2010 season, both ended in 3-0 victories for the home side. Since October 1988, they have locked horns 10 times with United boasting a 50 per cent win percentage compared to Blackpool’s figure of 20 per cent. During that period, the matches have returned a goal average of 3.3. United first met Blackpool in 1892 when they won an FA Cup first round tie 3-0. United had overcome Stockton 6-0 in their previous game with South Bank - an amalgamation of Middlesbrough based teams South Bank Eribus and South Bank Excelsior - Kilnhurst, Wednesday Wanderers and Attercliffe also among their opponents that term.
Emerson Boyce - Experience will be vital for Blackpool this season as they attempt to put the club back on a sound footing following several seasons of upheaval. Emerson Orlando Boyce, the former Barbados defender, boasts it in abundance and, as such, is likely to be a key figure at Bloomfield Road this term. Aged 35, the highlight of his nine year stay with Wigan Athletic was captaining them to victory in the 2013 FA Cup final at Wembley. Born in Aylesbury, Boyce turned professional at Luton Town, where he played alongside Gary Doherty and Matthew Upson in the Kenilworth Road youth system, before rejecting a new contract and joining Crystal Palace. He turned down another deal, this time at Selhurst Park, before being sold to Wigan in 2006. Sheffield United supporters will remember him being part of the side which triumphed 2-1 at Bramall Lane on the final day of the 2006/07 Premier League campaign to relegate the hosts.
Sheffield Utd 2/5 Draw 100/30 Blackpool 15/2
Worth a punt?
He's been getting closer and it surely won't take long for Billy Sharp to open his account. You can get 4/1 with SkyBet on the hometown hero opening the scoring on Saturday or 11/8 on him scoring in 90 minutes. The feeling is, once Sharp gets one, he'll get a bagful so if you're feeling lucky you can get 6/1 on the striker finding the net twice.