Scunthorpe United last entertained the Blades at the old Showgrounds in March 1984; I can hardly suggest that I remember this particular fixture as I wasn't born.
The Iron's last match ended in a 2-1 defeat against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. It was a fixture between the two clubs who won automatic promotion last season with £1M striker Lee Trundle (36 & 45 minute) netting his first goals for the club since his arrival from Swansea City. Martin Paterson (44) had given the visitors an equaliser.
Iron manager Ian Atkins is expected to be without midfielder Ian Morris (Cruicate Ligament Damage) whilst former West Ham United and Swansea City defender Izzy Iriekpen missed Saturday's defeat due to a hamstring injury but could be fit for their clash with the Blades; if not then Andy Butler will keep his place.
Meanwhile the right-wing position is currently in a state of tug of war with Atkins being given the choice of either Jonathan Forte or Cleveland Taylor at his disposal.
The home side could field former Sheffield United striker Jonathan Forte who made his way through the youth ranks at Bramall Lane. Between January 2004 and July 2007 he failed to make the grade; making just five starts (+34) and netted once at Leicester City during the 2004-05 season.
This summer, with the arrival of new manager Bryan Robson he was given a free transfer to newly promoted Scunthorpe United as part of deal which brought Billy Sharp back to United for an undisclosed fee.
Midfielder Kevan Hurst could also be brought in to face his former employees; like Forte, Hurst attempted to break his way into the Blades first team but failed. His spell at the Lane last between September 2003 and July 2007.
After a successful loan spell at Glanford Park last season Hurst joined in a 200k transfer. He made just one start for the Blades (+4) without scoring any goals.
Possible Iron's Line-Up: Joe Murphy, Izzy Iriepken, Cliff Bryne, Marcus Williams, Andy Crosby, Jim Goodwin, Kevan Hurst, Cleveland Taylor, Matthew Sparrow, Paul Hayes, Martin Paterson.
Sheffield United travelled the Stadium:MK, the new home of Milton Keynes Dons last Tuesday in the League Cup (round two); this after securing a 1-0 home victory over West Bromwich Albion with James Beattie heading home the vital goal.
United edged this tie and went onto win 3-2 in extra-time despite going a goal behind when Drew Broughton (12 minutes) beat his marker to flick past Paddy Kenny.
However the Blades got back on level terms when defender Chris Lucketti (20) headed home Nicky Laws Corner; and Law himself put the visitors ahead (55); prodding home from close range after keeper Nathan Abbey kept out David Carney's effort.
The Blades looked safe from then on but with twelve minutes remaining the game was forced into extra-time when Jon-Paul McGovern's deflected free-kick spun past Kenny at the far post.
In extra-time United sealed the win; Luton Shelton did all the hard work to round three defenders before cutting in to shoot; his drive was saved by Abbey but he could only shove the ball into the path of veteran Geoff Horsfield (103) who finished from close range.
United are as usual without injured trio; midfielder Lee Hendrie (knee), striker Rob Hulse (broken leg) and defender Gary Naysmith (knee) and are unclear as to when they will return.
The Blades are more than likely to partner James Beattie upfront with Iron legend Billy Sharp. Sharp signed for the North Lincolnshire club from the Blades in July 2005 and spent two years destroying their opponents along side Andy Keogh who joined Wolves last January.
During the two seasons he played 92 games (+3) and netted a staggering 56 times in the process. He scored 32 goals last season, becoming League One's top scorer as the Iron took the league by storm as they were crowned Champions.
Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Leigh Bromby, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Derek Geary, Keith Gillespie, Nick Montgomery, Michael Tonge, Chris Armstrong, James Beattie, Billy Sharp.
:: Match Officials ::
Referee: K. Stroud (Hampshire)
Assistants: J. Devine & G. Britain
4th Official: C. Pawson
- 20.08.2005 - Blades 2-1 Preston NE
- 26.11.2005 - Leicester 4-2 Blades
- 11.03.2006 - Coventry 2-0 Blades
:: Last Five Meetings ::
at Glanford Park...
- 27.03.1984 - Scunthorpe 1-1 Blades
- 20.03.1984 - Scunthorpe 2-3 Blades (AMC)
- 20.02.1982 - Scunthorpe 2-1 Blades
- 25.02.1961 - Scunthorpe 1-1 Blades
- 26.09.1959 - Scunthorpe 1-1 Blades
AMC = Associate Members Cup