Match Preview: Preston North End vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 30 January 2009 By @blades_mad1889

preston north end vs. sheffield united
The Blades already have firm advantage over the Lillywhites having beaten the Deepdale club 1-0 at Bramall Lane earlier this season - defender Ugo Ehiogu netted the decisive goal.

North End face the Cutlers without star striker Neil Mellor who has been told he requires a hernia operation. They also face late fitness tests on Callum Davidson (calf) and Ross Wallace (ankle) whilst former Rotherham United winger Chris Sedgwick is available after serving a one-match ban.

Possible Lillywhites Line-Up: Andy Lonegan, Sean St Ledger, Callum Davidson, Youl Mawene, Barry Nicholson, Ross Wallace, Paul McKenna, Billy Jones, Richard Chaplow, Elliott, Jonathan Parkin.

Sheffield United head into this fixture having put out an embarrassing display against Doncaster Rovers at Bramall Lane last Tuesday night, captain Chris Morgan netting an own goal.

It was the first time that Kevin Blackwell had seen his side lose in both League and Cup (home or away) since the beginning of December when Burnley ran the rule that day in a 3-2 win.

However on a brighter not United have been undefeated in the league away from home since October when Sheffield Wednesday (our opponents next Saturday) won the Steel City Derby 1-0 - nine games ago.

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell will be without midfielder Gary Speed (back) and defender Ugo Ehiogu (Achilles) who are both out for the remainder of the season.

However the Blades could hand full debuts to new signings Leigh Bromby and Jamie Ward; Bromby a former employee at the club has joined from Watford on loan until the remainder of the season and may make his full second debut after already coming on as a substitute. Whilst Ward has arrived in a £330,000 deal from Chesterfield.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Naughton, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Gary Naysmith, Danny Webber, Brian Howard, Nick Montgomery, Stephen Quinn, Darius Henderson, Billy Sharp.