Match Preview: Sheffield United vs. Charlton Athletic

Last updated : 25 December 2008 By @blades_mad1889

sheffield utd vs. charlton ath.
In late November 2008 United recorded a 5-2 victory in London with goals from; James Beattie, Gary Speed, Matthew Kilgallon, Kelly Youga (own goal) and Stephen Quinn with replies from Linvoy Primus and Hameur Bouazza for the Addicks - no doubt the Bramall Lane faithful wish to repeat that great performance.

Blades boss Kevin Blackwell is without veteran midfielder Gary Speed (back) whilst United will also be without striker Darius Henderson who serves the third of a three match ban, he has missed the fixtures against Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers since his sending off at Swansea City.

Fellow striker James Beattie, who has netted 11 goals this season so far is carrying a calf strain and is unlikley to feature against Athletic if he missed the Boxing Day clash at Molineux. Meanwhile Nick Montgomery (who returned to action last Saturday) is out with a calf strain and Gary Naysmith (back) is also expected to be missing from action.

Winger Keith Gillespie has be recalled from his loan spell from Charlton Athletic and may be included in the squad this Sunday - the Northern Ireland international made four (+2) appearances for the Valley club during his one month loan spell.

Possible Blades Line-Up: Paddy Kenny, Kyle Naughton, Chris Morgan, Ugo Ehiogu, Matthew Kilgallon, Greg Halford, Brian Howard, Matthew Spring, Stephen Quinn, Anthony Stokes, James Beattie.

Charlton Athletic, whom playing in their London Derby against Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day where caretaker boss Phil Parkinson will be planning a similar result to last season when Athletic scupper the Blades hopes of reaching the play-offs with a 2-0 victory.

Prior to their Christmas clash with QPR, Charlton have failed to record a victory since 14 October when Ipswich Town lost 2-1 on the road at the Valley - since then they have drawn on five occasions.

Football League regulations state that no club can field no more than five players (including named substitutes) in their team; and with six players from Hameur Bouazza (from Fulham), Deon Burton (Sheffield Wednesday), Linvoy Primus (Portsmouth), Martin Craine (also Portsmouth), James McEveley (Derby County) and Martyn Waghorn (Sunderland) on loan its likely that Hillsborough man Burton will miss out.

On loan stalwart Jay (James) McEveley has however been out of action for almost a month when he dislocated his shoulder against Coventry City on 9 December but could make a surprise return to the squad against their Capital City rivals.

The club could however turn to former Blade strikers Andy Gray and Izale McLeod with the latter likely to miss out. Gray became a signing from Bradford City in February 2004 and became an instant hit, netting on his debut at Reading in a 2-1 defeat.

He transferred to Premier League outfit Sunderland in a £1,100,000 deal following a clause in his contact in August 2005 having made 63 (+2) appearances, whilst scoring 28 goals. Meanwhile Izale McLeod arrived at Bramall Lane on loan from Derby County in March 2004 until May, he made just one (+6) appearances - the Blades opted out of an option to buy the forward and he joined MK Dons (then Wimbledon) instead.

Possible Athletic Line-Up: Rob Elliot, Martin Craine, Jose Victor Moreira Semedo, Mark Hudson, Jonathan Fortune, Martyn Waghorn, Grant Basey, Nicky Bailey, Lloyd Sam, Hameur Bouazza, Andy Gray.