Match Preview: Sheffield United v Fulham

Last updated : 29 January 2007 By @blades_mad1889

blades v cottages
Disappointing is putting it lightly, Shane Long capitalised on defending error to score the first of the Royals three goals close to end of the first half and Usiles De la Cruz added a second soon after the re-start.

Things from their got hasty, Keith Gillespie came on as a substitute and was sent off just 10 seconds into his game after elbowing Stephen Hunt and after an incident in the dugouts Neil Warnock and Wally Downes (Reading Assistant Manager) were sent to the stands.

Hunt netted a third for the home side after Robert Kozluk blocked on the line before substitute Christian Nade beat the offside to slide the ball past Marcus Hahnemann for 3-1 and send the visitors with something to cheer about.

Sheffield United will once again be without captain Chris Morgan who serves the last of his four match suspension while winger Keith Gillespie start the first of his so far three matches.

Neil Warnock could field new signing Matthew Kilgallon who is expected to recover from an ankle injury - it will be his first start for his new club if he does.

Elsewhere the Blades could make first starts for other new signings; midfielder Ahmed Fathi, defender Mamadou Seck and forward Luton Shelton are all available to play after receiving international clearance.

United however will be without Mikele Leigertwood (ankle) and keeper Ian Bennett (fractured finger), both are close to fitness though.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Robert Kozluk, Matthew Kilgallon, Claude Davis, Derek Geary, Stephen Quinn, Phil Jagielka, Nick Montgomery, Chris Armstrong, Rob Hulse, Jonathan Stead.

Unlike the Blades, Fulham were involved in FA Cup action last Saturday. they beat Championship outfit Stoke City 3-0 at Craven Cottage. Vincenzo Montella (11 minutes), Brian McBride (39) and Tomasz Radzinski (54) goals plummeting the Potters out of the cup.

Fulham manager Chris Coleman has Alexi Smertin for selection. The former Chelsea and Portsmouth Midfielder signed for the London club yesterday in an undisclosed fee from Russian side Dynamo Moscow and could make his debut against the Blades.

The visitors will be without seven first team players; keeper Antti Niemi (neck), Simon Elliott (calf) and Papa Bouba Diop (thigh) are all out.

Meanwhile Claus Jensen (hamstring), Ahmed Elrich (knee) and former Sheffield Wednesday Midfielder Mark Pembridge (Achilles) will miss the trip to Bramall Lane.

Star Midfielder Jimmy Bullard (knee) will also be out; he hasn't played for the cottages since he injured his knee at St. James Park on 9 September in a 2-1 victory against Newcastle United.

Despite their being twenty-two players on the field all eyes will turn to just one as Neil Warnock's prodigal son returns to South Yorkshire. Michael Brown, a legend for the Blades will captain Fulham.

Brown, 30 signed for United initially on a months loan from Manchester City in December 1999 and signed in a £400,000 deal. He made his debut in a 1-0 win at home to Portsmouth and netted his first against his former club, again a 1-0 win.

The Hartlepool born Midfielder was prolific during the clubs triple assault in 2002/03 campaign, scoring 21 goals in the process as the Blades reached Semi-Finals of the League and FA Cup, only to be knocked out by eventual winners Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.

The Blades also reached the final of the Play-Offs, and in a full capacity Millennium Stadium succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After little success Brown left for the dizzy heights of the Premiership in the form of Tottenham Hotspur n a cut price fee of £500,000 in January 2004.

In all, including his loan spell Brown played 168 (+ 6 as a substitute) times whilst netting 36 goals for Sheffield United. He left White Hart lane and joined rivals Fulham in January 2006.

Possible Cottages Line-Up: Jan Lastuvka, Moritz Volz, Philippe Christianval, Liam Rosenior, Carlos Bocanegra, Franck Queudrue, Wayne Routledge, Michael Brown, Vincenzo Montella, Brian McBride, Tomasz Radzinski.

Last Time: Sheffield United 1-1 Fulham (2000/01)

Man in the Middle: Dermot Gallagher (Oxfordshire)

  • 19-12-1992 - Blackburn Rovers 1-0 Blades
  • 13-01-1998 - Bury 0-1 Blades (FAC)
  • 07-10-2001 - Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Blades
  • 03-02-2002 - Norwich City 2-1 Blades
  • 21-09-2002 - Gillingham 1-1 Blades
  • 09-11-2002 - Blades 0-0 Ipswich Town
  • 25-01-2003 - Blades 4-3 Ipswich Town (FAC)
  • 06-11-2004 - Blades 0-0 Gillingham
  • 29-01-2005 - West Ham United 1-1 Blades (FAC)
  • 05-03-2005 - Cardiff City 1-0 Blades
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