Match Preview: Sheffield United v Crewe Alexandra

Last updated : 03 March 2006 By @blades_mad1889

The Blades, second in the league go in after that 3-2 defeat a the hands of Queens Park Rangers and are waiting on the fitness of Defenders Leigh Bromby (groin) and Craig Short (hamstring), Midfielder Alan Quinn (leg) and striker Bruce Dyer.

All three are struggling with injuries and missed last Saturday's home loss to the Hoops, and should former Barnsley and Crystal Palace forward Dyer miss out then the services of Geoff Horsfield will once again be required who will partner Ade Akinbiyi.

Keeper Paddy Kenny will play despite being excused from Republic of Ireland's 3-0 victory over Sweden on Wednesday

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Robert Kozluk, Neill Collins, Chris Morgan, David Unsworth, Paul Ifill, Phil Jagielka, Michael Tonge, Chris Armstrong, Ade Akinbiyi, Danny Webber.

Bottom of the table Alex will be without Gary Roberts in Midfield who is suffering with a back problem, it is expected Billy Jones will take his place after returning from suspension but will have to fight for it after recent performances by Tony Grant.

Meanwhile former Shrewsbury Town striker Luke Rodgers is back in contention after recovering from a dead leg. Also missing for Crewe are; David Vaughan (dead leg), Adie Moses (hamstring), Darren Moss (thigh), Eddie Johnson (ankle), Ben Williams (illness) and former Blades target Juan Ugarte (knee).

Upfront for Crewe will be former Sheffield United striker Gareth Taylor, he was signed by Howard Kendall from Crystal Palace (with David Tuttle going the other way) on a swap deal in March 1996 and went onto make 69 (+ 36 as sub) appearances and netted 26 goals before a 400k transfer fee saw him move to Manchester City in November 1998.

Taylor is currently on loan at Gresty Road from Nottingham Forest and has currently scored once in just five games played for the Alex.

Alex boss Dario Gradi has soon made his opinions about the United front line and is training his defenders up for the worst; "We have worked with the players on an individual basis more than anything because three of them are away until at least Thursday. We will do some work on set-play tomorrow and hopefully Madjid (Bougherra) will be back to train with us tomorrow.

"Our defenders know all about the likes of Kabba, Horsfield and Akinbiyi because they have faced them before but Madjid hasn't. He is a big lad and should be okay physically, but Sheffield United away is a different game to Brighton at home. Madjid has the habit of trying to play offside at the wrong time and that is something we will have to work at. He got caught out once against Brighton and we'll work with him to eradicate that.

"We expect to do a lot more defending than we did on Saturday because of Sheffield United's attacking play. How we do will depend on how he defend and I mean the whole team defending not just the back four." Gradi told

Possible Alex Line-up: Ross Turnbull, Anthony Tonkin, Madjid Bougherra, Jon Ostemobor, Steve Foster, Tony Grant, Lee Bell, Kenny Lunt, Luke Varney, Steve Jones, Gareth Taylor.