Whilst two Counties separate the two clubs this will undoubtedly be the biggest (locally) fixture of the season as well as the presence of the live Sky cameras and up against former striker Ched Evans, all the boxes have been ticked for possibly a pulsating local Derby.
Under the stewardship of Chris Wilder the Blades have managed eleven league games unbeaten. Their magnificent run started with a 1-0 win over Wilder's former club Oxford United on 27 August and continued with back-to-back wins over Gillingham (2-1), AFC Wimbledon (3-2) and Peterborough United (1-0). They drew 2-2 at leaders Scunthorpe before beating newcomers Bristol Rovers (1-0). They drew 1-1 at Fleetwood before waiting a fortnight to beat Port Vale (4-0) and Shrewsbury Town (3-0). In recent weeks a hard earned 3-3 draw was played out at Bradford City and were victorious (2-1) at home to MK Dons.
A break in league action saw the First Round of the FA Cup take place and United were rewarded with a place in round two with a tie at Bolton Wanderers on 4th December. Their spoils, a 6-0 home win over League Two Leyton Orient. United were also involved midweek in the Checkatrade Trophy at Grimsby Town, with neither side able to advance to the next stage. The Blades were 4-2 winners at Blundell Park with Wilder listing a number of younger players, one of which, Regan Slater scored the opening goal. A Boyce own goal as well as Jack O'Connell and the returning Leon Clarke also found the net.
Harry Chapman scored a hat-trick as Sheffield United thrashed Leyton Orient 6-0 to ease into the second round of the FA Cup. Chris Basham, Stefan Scougall and Kieron Freeman also found the net for Chris Wilder's men. The visitors had an early opening when Ollie Palmer forced his way through in the area and forced Aaron Ramsdale to make a save.
United then took control and Basham scored with a close-range header in the 22nd minute after John Fleck darted into the area and delivered a pinpoint cross. Midfielder Scougall increased United's lead 17 minutes later after Mark Duffy's free-kick caused problems for the opposition defence. Freeman added a third goal with a diving header from Chapman's cross in the final minute of the half.
Chapman slipped the ball past Alex Cisak to score following a good run into the area nine minutes after the restart and then found the net again 15 minutes later after meeting a David Brooks cross. Chapman completed his treble in stoppage time, chipping over Cisak following a defensive error.
Sheffield United will be boosted by the return of Matt Done (jaw) and Clarke (hamstring); both returned from injury and featured in the victory over the Mariners on Wednesday night. The former scored 9 goals in 16 games during a loan spell at Chesterfield in 2011.
Meanwhile on loan Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Ethan Ebanks-Landell returns to the squad after the Molineux club refused to allow permission to feature in the FA Cup. They will be without cup hero Chapman and Louis Reed who will represent England Under-20's and 19's this weekend.
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