Match Preview: Derby County v Blades

Last updated : 27 January 2004 By @blades_mad1889

Paddy Kenny: Nationwide's Number 1 Keeper
Should the Blades beat the Rams and then claim three points away at Norwich City on Saturday then the Blades will go top of the league despite what West Bromwich Albion might achieve.

United were in FA Cup action last Sunday against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. Michael Tonge was brought down in the penalty area and former Forest striker Jack Lester hammered home the spot-kick.

Jurgen Bopp almost brought an equaliser in second half but his thunderbolt of a shot was equally saved by Paddy Kenny, Gareth Taylor also flashed an header wide before Chris Morgan's acrobatics gave the visitors a slender 2-0 lead. Wayne Allison headed home a 3rd in 90th minute.

After being cup-tied striker Paul Shaw will be in contention for a start against the Rams, while Peter Ndlovu will be missing due to commitments in African Cup of Nations.

They say that your former players come back to haunt you, if that's true Derby have a reason to be worried, though Ashley Ward is injured and probably will miss the game there is always Rob Kozluk and Dean Sturridge who could dishearten the Pride Park fans.

Should Lee Morris sign for the Blades before this game then he could make his debut against Norwich City, he will not be allowed to play against the Rams as it as been agreed between both clubs as part of the deal.

Robert Ullathorne: Former Blade On Trial At Pride Park

Having being knocked out the FA Cup in round 3 against Ipswich Town (lost 3-0) their last game was against Gillingham at home two weeks ago. Jamie Vincent gave the Rams a 1-0 lead, Rob Edwards extended the lead before former Celtic striker Tommy Johnson got one back for the Gills.

Simo Valakari announced himself hit before the Gillingham game and should be considered for the game on Wednesday night. Paul Boertien as been handed a first team place after Luciano Zavagno departure for struggling Series A side Ancona a few weeks ago.

Former Walsall striker Junior will be out after damaging crucial knee ligament, and has since had surgery.

The last time United went to Pride Park was last season, the Blades started off well and took the lead through Shaun Murphy but two late goals from Izale McLeod and Deon Burton dented Neil Warnock's promotion hopes.

Possible Starting Line-Up
Derby CountyVSheffield United
13Lee Grant-Paddy Kenny1
3Jamie Vincent-Phil Jagielka17
2Rob Edwards-Robert Page6
16Youl Mawene-Chris Morgan5
29Tom Huddlestone-Alan Wright22
10Michael Johnson-Nick Montgomery4
7Ian Taylor-Stuart McCall8
8Canddidio Costa-Michael Tonge18
9Manuel Fernandez-Jack Lester11
23Marcus Tuguy-Paul Peschisolido10
22Marco Reich-Dean Sturridge19

Football League Record v Derby County

at Bramall Lane44277107952
at Pride Park4496295497