Doncaster Rovers vs. Sheffield United
Updated Monday, 31st December 2012
Sheffield United make the short trip across South Yorkshire to face Doncaster Rovers for the first time in two years.
Blades boss Danny Wilson will welcome back defender Tony McMahon who missed the clubs last match - a 3-2 defeat at home to Hartlepool United through a one match suspension. It was a poorly performed performance from the hosts, despite a muddy pitch fell behind to a Steve Howard header (7 minutes) before captain Michael Doyle's (30) stinging effort found the net and before the break Ryan Flynn saw his goal ruled out for offside.
United pressed on in the second half but fell behind again when they were caught on the break, lifelong Blade and ex-Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Ritchie Humphrey's (54) bundling home. A second Howard (72) header seemingly put the game beyond reach but when Harry Maguire (90) reduced the deficit it was virtually the last kick of the game - it was the Pools first ever win at Bramall Lane.
They may be boosted y the return of McMahon, but Harry Maguire's fifth booking last Saturday will rule him out through suspension and will be available for selection at Oxford United this weekend. They are also without Neill Collins (broken cheekbone) and Shaun Miller (cruciate knee ligament) and are likely to recruit Darryl Westlake and Richard Cresswell to face Rovers.
Meanwhile keeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) have returned to training but are unlikely to see first team action soon.
Possible Blades Line-Up:
Doncaster Rovers have won there last two matches following victories over Lancashire pair Oldham Athletic (2-1) and Preston North End (3-0) which has seen them climb to third in the table and are level on points with second placed United. Despite limited resources manager Dean Saunders is doing a sound job at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers are expected to see striker Iain Hume return to the side after he was ineligible to face his parent club Preston last Saturday but Saunders may stick with the same side which won at Deepdale. He also has James Coppinger, 31 at his disposal after the midfielder ended his loan spell with Championship side Nottingham Forest but must seek approval from the Football League before he can be selected.