Match Preview: Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers

Last updated : 05 September 2006 By @blades_mad1889

09.09.2006: Kick-Off: 3:00pm - Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers.
The Blades have had a two week break due to internationals but go into the game after a 1-0 defeat to the hands of Fulham at Craven Cottage; Jimmy Bullard produced an amazing free-kick on 40 minute mark to win the game.

United could offer a debut to striker Colin Kazim-Richards who completed a £150,000 transfer from Brighton & Hove Albion on transfer deadline last Thursday.

Meanwhile Craig Short could be in contention to make his second Blades debut against his former employers after he penned a new one deal after being officially without a club; but only if he gets over his thigh injury in time for kick-off.

Blades boss Neil Warnock could be forced to hand a debut to keeper Ian Bennett; the summer signing from Leeds could be put in place instead of Paddy Kenny who is out with a thigh injury.

Late fitness tests will be given to Short and Kenny respectively though Derek Geary (groin) and Steve Kabba (hamstring) may have to wait yet another week when United face Reading. Jamaican international defender Claude Davis (knee) will be out for a further two weeks at least.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Ian Bennett, Leigh Bromby, Chris Morgan, David Sommeil, David Unsworth, Paul Ifill, Phil Jagielka, Michael Tonge, Chris Armstrong, Rob Hulse, Danny Webber.

Rovers go into the game on the back of their 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea; Frank Lampard (penalty) and Didier Drogba supplying the goals.

Mark Hughes will be without backup keeper Peter Enckelman; the former Aston Villa shot stopper is suffering with an ankle injury and should return for their following game at Austria Salzberg in the UEFA Cup on September 14.

The Ewood Park club will also be without Ryan Nelsen (hamstring) who will also have to battle it out of a place in the UEFA Cup. Rovers will also be without Finish striker Shefki Kuqi; the former Wednesday striker joined Crystal Palace in a £2.5M deal on deadline day. Elsewhere Midfielder Jonathan Douglas joined Leeds United on a permanent basis.

However the Lancastrians added to their squad last Thursday by signing DR Conga international striker Shabani Nonda on a seasons long loan spell from Italian giants AS Roma and make his debut against the Blades.

Possible Rovers Line-Up: Brad Friedel, Lucas Neill, Andre Ooijer, Zurab Khizanishvili, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Brett Emerton, David Bentley, Robbie Savage, Steven Reid, Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 Blackburn Rovers

Man in the Middle: Mike L. Dean (Wirral) - Born in the Wirral (near Liverpool) Mike Dean has to date took charge of five competitive games involving the Blades; the most notable being the League Cup Semi Final; win over Liverpool during the 2002-03 season.

The season Mr. Dean has officiate two matches; Barnsley v Southampton (2-2) in the Championship and Charlton Athletic v Bolton Wanderers (2-0) in the Premier League two weeks ago. During these games a total 8 yellow cards were brandished with two red cards shown.

  • 09.10.1999 - Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Sheffield United
  • 08.01.2003 - Sheffield United 2-1 Liverpool (League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg)
  • 28.09.2004 - Sheffield United 1-0 Sunderland
  • 26.12.2004 - Coventry City 1-2 Sheffield United
  • 01.11.2005 - Sheffield United 4-0 Luton Town