Blades vs Crewe - Preview; Miller against old foes

Last updated : 20 November 2012 By BladesMadeditor & PA

Preview: One loss in 18 games...a quite incredible feat which I'm sure any opposition facing the Blades over this busy period will respect, as we draw closer to festivity.

Resilience is the word you might be looking for when evaluating United's response to their first defeat of the season at Stadium MK just over a week ago, after Neill Collins and Chris Porter scored both sides of Shaun Miller's brace to give United a resounding win against last seasons play-off semi-final opponents Stevenage.

Millers, the former Crewe man, was awarded his first league start of the season on Saturday, something which hehas had to remain very patient for having only had cameo appearances in the league programme this season, despite grabbing two goals in the JPT win at Notts County in October, and banging them in for tonight's opponents for the last six seasons, having his most prolific campaign in 2010/2011, notching 18 goals.

He'll be hoping for his second start of the season tonight, and there seems to be no reason why he won't start against his former employees.

"I had been at Crewe since I was seven," said Miller, "and to play for my local club made me and my family very proud.

"I'm looking forward to the game. It was the first match I looked for on the fixtures, and it will be great to see some of the lads again. Crewe's is still the first result I look for after ours.

"Will I celebrate if I score? That depends on what sort of reception I get! But joking aside, if I did score I wouldn't rub anyone's nose in it because I've got too much respect for Crewe to do that."

Team News: Manager Danny Wilson could name an unchanged starting line-up for the home game with Crewe.

Defenders Tony McMahon and Matt Hill both missed out at the weekend due to respective hamstring injuries and may return to contention, but striker Dave Kitson will be sidelined for at least another two weeks with a similar problem; Daryl Westlake and Marcus Williams are expected to deputise again.

Goalkeeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lecsinal Jean-Francois (knee) remain long-term absentees as the Blades look to extend their unbeaten league run at Bramall Lane.

Nick Blackman, United's top hit-man this season, is likely to start out wide again following Saturday's success, a role which didn't seem to faze the former Blackburn man.

Kelvin Mellor and Michael West remain unavailable for Crewe.

Mellor has missed the last two games with a knee injury, while West, suffering with illness, will be absent for the third successive game.

AJ Leitch-Smith continues to be ruled out with an ankle injury, having already spent over a month on the sidelines.

Teenage winger Ryan Colclough has returned to full fitness following a broken jaw, but will not be included in the squad to take on the Blades.

England Under-19 striker Max Clayton suffered no side effects on his first-team return from a calf problem in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Shrewsbury, and will keep his place in manager Steve Davis' squad.

The Railwaymen saw their three-game winning run come to an end at Greenhous Meadow, and head to Bramall Lane having never recorded an away win against Danny Wilson's men.

Source: PA