Match Preview: Derby County vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 08 September 2009 By @blades_mad1889

derby county vs. sheffield united
Derby County, managed by Nigel Clough comes into this fixture against the Blades on the back of a narrow 3-2 defeat to the hands of near rivals Nottingham Forest. It looked like it would be a stroll in the park for the Trees as they glided into a three-nil lead before the break; Radolslaw Majewski (1st minute), Dexter Blackstock (28) and Nathan Tyson (43) grabbing the goals.

After the break things were different, Lee Croft came on in place of Kris Commons and within six minutes of the re-start Wes Morgan had put the ball through his own net. Jake Livermore (62) reduced the defecate later on, but Forest hung on to claim three points in this Derby match.

The Midlands side could hand a debut to Paul Dickov whom joined the club on loan from Leicester City shortly before their defeat at the City Ground - the former Manchester City striker was a named substitute and played the final four minutes in the 3-2 defeat and could make his full debut against the Blades this Saturday.

The Rams are likely to field former Sheffield United striker Rob Hulse, whilst their new signing - Lee Hendrie may also feature in this game.

Hulse was signed by Neil Warnock in July 2006 from Leeds United in a deal worth £2,200,000 - netting on his debut in a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool before breaking his leg at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) the following March. He left United after his recovery in July 2008 having made 38 (+15) appearances for the Bramall Lane club, joining Derby County in a £1,750,000 deal - he can also list West Bromwich Albion and Crewe Alexandra as his former clubs.

Hendrie arrived at Bramall Lane in a free transfer from Aston Villa under manager Bryan Robson in July 2007, making his debut in a 2-2 home draw with Colchester United. His chances were limited and was allowed to enjoy loan moves at Blackpool and Leicester City before completing a full transfer to Derby County in September 2009 - this included a swap deal involving Jordan Stewart. He made 12 (+14)

appearances during his time at the Lane and netted four goals.

Possible Rams Line-Up: Stephen Bywater, Jake Buxton, Dean Moxley, Miles Addison, Paul Connolly, Kris Commons, Gary Teale, Jake Livermore, Robbie Savage, Stephen Pearson, Rob Hulse.

Sheffield United travel to Pride Park on the back of a tricky fixture with promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion which ended in a 2-2 draw. The scores went in level at half-time 0-0 with both sides equally dominating, but it was the visitors who put themselves ahead when Roman Bednar (54) headed the Baggies ahead.

That lead lasted just two minutes when a deep cross from Jamie Ward found the head of Ched Evans to score his second goal of the season. But Bednar (60) again put the visitors ahead when a hoofed ball from keeper Scott Carson disrupted the defence where the striker was able to fire home past Mark Bunn.

At 2-1, Jamie Ward saw his goal disallowed for offside, but the scores were level four minutes from time when David Cotterill converted his spot kick after Darius Henderson was hacked down in the box.

The Blades will most certainly be travelling to Pride Park without keeper Paddy Kenny who was handed a nine month ban this week and is expected to return in April 2010; on loan shot stopper Mark Bunn (Blackburn Rovers) is expected to take his place.

United, however will also be without midfielder Lee Williamson (back) who looks to require sugary after a pre-season out injured; they will also be without Gary Speed (back) Gary Naysmith (knee).

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell could hand debuts to midfielder James Harper and defender Jordan Stewart - the latter joined on transfer deadline day from this weekends opponents.

Stewart joined the Rams in May 2008 in a free transfer from Watford and made his debut in a 1-0 victory at Preston North End in the Carling Cup. He netted his first of two goals in a 3-0 home win over4 Sheffield Wednesday and went onto made a total of 33 (+0) appearances and netted twice before being allowed to leave in September 2009 with Lee Hendrie going in the other direction in a swap deal.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Mark Bunn, Kyle Walker, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Andy Taylor, Jamie Ward, Nick Montgomery, James Harper, Keith Treacy, Ched Evans, Darius Henderson.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Derby County 0-2 Sheffield United

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:: Match Officials ::

Referee: A. D'Urso
Assistants: S. Ihringoova & G. Stretton
Fourth Official: S. Cook