The Blades came from a goal down in each of this seasons previous cup opponents Bristol Rovers and Port Vale (at Bramall Lane) to record 2-1 victories which has seen them once again included in the third round ties. The two United's met each other in last seasons FA Cup in Round One where, at the Lane United won comfortably by three goals to one.
Blades boss Danny Wilson will be delighted at the return of defender Harry Maguire who returns from a one match suspension, he sat out the New Years Day South Yorkshire Derby clash at Doncaster Rovers which ended 2-2 despite United falling behind by to double strikes. Billy Paynter turned hero when he scored from the spot (18 minutes) and later David Syers (63) made it two-nil; it looked like United were heading for there second defeat it a row until the visitors hit back.
Firtsly, Nick Blackman (80) netted his penalty after substitute Joe Ironside was unheeded in the box by Andy Griffin before Paynter (87) turned villain and was dismissed for an off the ball incident, it was the second time he had previously seen red against the Blades having being sent off at the Lane in the Blades 2-0 win over Leeds United in March 2011. The Blades nicked a point from this game virtually in the last minute when a scramble in the box saw Matt Hill's shot cannon off the post before Dave Kitson (89) fired home the rebound.
Due to injuries and suspensions Mr. Wilson was forced to tinker with the starting eleven at Doncaster and may be tempted to again, Academy defender Terry Kennedy was drafted in to cover for the absent Maguire who will no doubt return to his position. New signing Danny Higginbotham, a free transfer from Stoke City should retain his right full-back position, whilst Elliott Whitewhouse who made his debut as a winger is likely to be replaced by new signing Jamie Murphy (from Motherwell). Joe Ironside is likely to be retaining on the substitutes bench
However they are without defender Neill Collins (broken cheekbone) and striker Shaun Miller (cruciate knee ligament), meanwhile keeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) have returned to training but are unlikely to see first team action soon.
Blades Possible Line-Up:
Hosts Oxford United saw off Barnet (2-0) and Accrington Stanley (2-0) in a replay following a 3-3 draw to reach Round Three and set up a tie with Sheffield United. They come into this fixture following a 1-0 win at home to Cheltenham Town on 1st January which saw the U's move to thirteenth in the League Two table, they are unbeaten in there last ten matches (all competitions) with five victories and have racked up a fine run of four consecutive victories in a row.
Oxford boss Chris Wilder, a former player with the Blades is without striker James Constable after he saw dismissed for the second time this season in the win at AFC Wimbledon on 29 December and will serve a four match ban. "I've lost a player who's absolutely flying for four big games now," Wilder said. "I can't afford to lose anyone. We're gutted. A report and an appeal will go in 100 per cent."
Blades-Mad Prediction: Oxford United 0-1 Sheffield United