Match Preview: Sheffield United v Crystal Palace

Last updated : 10 December 2009 By @blades_mad1889

sheffield united vs. crystal palace
The Blades stretched there recent unbeaten run to five games (three wins, two draws) after a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest last Tuesday night. It was a night of limited opportunities for both sides, in particular third placed Forest who failed to test Mark Bunn all night, whilst at the other end United wasted chances with Jamie Ward and Matthew Kilgallon handed the best chances to win the match but were both saved by keeper Lee Camp.

Midfielder Nick Montgomery was handed his fifth booking of the season against the Reds at Bramall Lane in midweek and could be suspended for the visit of Crystal Palace. Blades boss Kevin Blackwell could include two former Eagles to face their former employers; Kyel Reid and Glen Little - though both are expected to make the substitutes bench.

Reid joined the Selhurst Park club on loan from Premiership West Ham United in March 2008, though the winger made just two substitute appearances for the Eagles. He made his debut in the 0-0 home draw with Blackpool and then again in a 2-1 win at Stoke City.

Veteran winger Glen Little started his professional career with Crystal Palace in August 1994 but failed to make any appearances for the Eagles; he moved to Irish outfit Glentoran in August 1995.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Mark Bunn, Kyle Walker, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Andy Taylor, Jamie Ward, Lee Williamson, James Harper, Stephen Quinn, Richard Cresswell, Ched Evans.

Crystal Palace head into a trip to Sheffield 2 following a trip to the Madejski Stadium to face a Reading side whom to date have failed to fulfil their achievements of last season With the visitors going away with a 4-2 victory. However the away team were made to work for their victory when the Royals Alex Pearce (27 minutes) cancelled out Nathaniel Clyne's (7) opener with Darren Ambrose (45) and Victor Moses (45) adding on the stroke of half-time.

After the interval Reading gave their fans hope of reprieve when Gylfi Sigurdsson (80) dispatched his spot kick before Victor Moses (88) netted again to give the visitors all three points.

The Eagles will be without defender Paddy McCarthy (shoulder) who is recovering from a recent operation whilst full-back Lee Hills returns to the squad after serving a three match suspension.

Their manager; Neil Warnock is no stranger to Sheffield United fans after he was manager of the club from December 1999 to May 2006. He succeeded Adrian Heath after being boss at Bury FC and sustaining the Bramall Lane club into a comfortable 10th place after being in the bottom three at point of appointment. During his time he guided United to the Semi-Finals of the League and FA Cup, only to lose out to Liverpool (3-2 aggregate) and Arsenal (1-0) respectively during the 2002/03 season - whilst in the same campaign lost 3-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Play-Off Final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

He gained success when the Blades won promotion to the Premier League (2005/06), completing the double over rivals Sheffield Wednesday (1-0 & 2-1) along the way but United were relegated from the top flight at first attempt with Warnock resigning. In all he was manager of the club for 388 competitive fixtures where he won 165 and lost 123 (drew 100) of those.

The former Huddersfield Town boss would also be able to field four other former players; defender Claude Davis and midfielder Shaun Derry. Davis, 30 cost the Blades £2,500,000 and at the time was the Blades record transfer paid until James Beattie (£4M), he was signed from Preston North End in July 2006 but only stayed for one season at the Lane after they were relegated from the Premier League.

The Jamaican international made his debut in a League Cup fixture against Bury (won 1-0) and went onto make 19 (+3) appearances for the club until making a move top Derby County in July 2007. He is currently on loan to Palace from the Pride Park club.

Derry, 31 joined the Blades from Nott's County in a £700,000 transfer deal in January 1998 by Nigel Spackman - making his debut days later in a 1-1 home draw with Huddersfield Town, he left United in March 2000 to join Portsmouth having made 73 (+10)

starts for United and scored just once in an FA Cup tie.

Possible Eagles Line-Up: Julian Speroni, Nathaniel Clyne, Clint Hill, Jose Miguel Fonte, Danny Butterfield, Johannes Ertl, Shaun Derry, Darren Ambrose, Neil Danns, Victor Moses, Calvin Andrew.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Crystal Palace

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:: Match Officials ::

Referee: C. Webster
Assistants: K. Mattlocks & S. Ross
Fourth Official: M. Naylor