Preview: Reading vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 20 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889

The Blades faced Bristol City last Saturday and a Robin’s victory and a Crystal Palace win at Doncaster Rovers would have resulted in relegation for Sheffield United.

United and Reading face each other for the second time 69 days after their original fixture at Bramall Lane in early December was called off two days in advance due to heavy snow falls over the Steel City which made surrounding areas around the ground dangerous despite the pitch being playable.

The game eventually took place on 15 February; ending 1-1. The Royals looked to have had the game in the bag when Shane Long capitalised on poor defending to fire home nine minutes from time.

But the hosts were to have the last say as Daniel Bogdanovic picked himself up after being floored in the penalty area to slot home his spot kick; 1-1.

Blades boss Micky Adams is without a number of players; Johannes Ertl (knee), Ryan France (back) and Andy Taylor (leg) are all missing through injury. Striking duo Ched Evans (knee) and Richard Cresswell (groin) were close to contention for the trip to Preston last weekend  and both may make the eighteen man squad to face Reading this Monday.

Former Royal Darius Henderson is likely to start in attack for the Blades; he started his professional playing career with Reading in August 1999, though he didn't make his debut until March 2000 in a 3-0 defeat at Burnley. He saw limited opportunities with the Royals and moved onto Brighton & Hove Albion on loan before completing a move to Gillingham in January 2004.

In all he made just 17 (+71) appearances for the Berkshire club and scored 15 goals.

Expected Eleven: Simonsen, Lowton, Maguire, Collins, Mattock, Riise, Montgomery, Williamson, Quinn, Henderson, Slew.

Reading is chasing an automatic spot with Queens Park Rangers unlikely to give up top spot anytime soon. They faced Leeds United last Friday and a victory in West Yorkshire could have seen them in second spot before they host the Blades tomorrow.

Boss Brian McDermott has just two injury concerns ahead of their clash this Monday; striker Noel Hunt (foot) and defender Alex Pearce (thigh) are both thought to be doubtful.

The Royals have recalled defender Sean Morrison from his loan spell at Huddersfield Town and may be included in the eighteen man squad to face United despite not making an appearance for the Terriers.

Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood could start against his former club. He was signed by Neil Warnock for £600,000 in July 2006 (from Crystal Palace), following their successful promotion to the Premier League.

He stayed at the Lane for just twelve months, joining Queens Park Rangers in a £900,000 deal having made19 (+4) appearances for the Blades. He joined Reading on loan in November 2010 until the end of the season and made his Royals debut in the draw against Leeds.

Following a successful 3 month loan spell Howard joined United in a permanent transfer from Barnsley in January 2009 and went onto make 32 (+7) appearances for the Bramall Lane club; notching three goals. He joined the Royals in September of the same year.

Expected Eleven: McCarthy, Mills, Griffin, Harte, Khizanishvilli, Kébé, Leigertwood, Karacan, McAnuff, Manset, Long.

Please note that preview was written prior to our fixture against Bristol City owing to the Easter Holiday’s.