Match Preview: Sheffield United vs. Burnley

Last updated : 04 December 2008 By @blades_mad1889

blades vs. clarets
United have claimed victories over Lancastrians; Blackpool (3-1) and Preston North End (1-0) at Bloomfield Road and Bramall Lane respectively and plan to add a third when Owen Coyle's Clarets visit the Lane this weekend.

The Blades go into this clash after claiming a point at Ipswich Town - it proved to be a vital point having not won at Portman Road since 1975; though it needed a brace of spot kicks to decided the out come of this fixture.

Referee; Mr. Whitestone awarded Town a penalty shortly before the break after Matthew Kilgallon was judged to have handballed, Tommy Miller converting the spot kick before Alan Quinn blatantly handballed in the area in the final minute of the game; James Beattie netting his 9th of the season.

Sheffield United have no fresh injuries doubts with the exception of experienced midfielder Gary Speed (back) who has not featured in the team since the 3-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers - meanwhile defender Sun Jihai may be recalled to the substitutes bench.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Naughton, Chris Morgan, Matthew Kilgallon, Gary Naysmith, Greg Halford, Brian Howard, Matthew Spring, Strephen Quinn, James Beattie, Billy Sharp.

Burnley have shocked most of the Championship at even at an early stage are now holding a play-off place after a glorious 3-0 victory over Derby County at Turf Moor lifted them into 4th place and one point ahead of the Blades. Kevin McDonald (6 mins) and Martin Paterson (15 & 23) netted goals in their win over the Rams.

However since that victory over the Pride Park club the Clarets booked a place in the Semi-Final of the League Cup with a magnificent 2-0 win over Arsenal - the Gunners, whom beat United at the Emirates Stadium in round three were overcame by a brace from Kevin McDonald.

Clarets manager Owen Coyle could opt to feature striker Adi Akinbiyi, once a player at Sheffield United although he is likley to make the substitutes bench. Akinbiyi spent twelve months at Bramall Lane between January 2006 and January 2007; he was signed from and sold back to Burnley. He played just 14 (+6) games and netted four times; he only worth while contribution coming at Hillsborough when he took United into a 2-0 lead before eventually winning the game 2-1.

Possible Clarets Line-Up: Brian Jensen, Michael Duff, Stephen Jordon, Clarke Carlisle, Steven Caldwell, Chris McCann, Kevin McDonald, Graham Alexander, Chris Eagles, Robbie Blake, Martin Paterson.