Preview: Sheffield United vs. Barnsley (Part One)

Last updated : 28 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889

It’s been a downward struggle for the Blades since they lost at Oakwell earlier in the season but following two quick fire 3-2 victories over Bristol City and Reading during the Easter period; United have a slim chance of saving themselves from Championship relegation.

They are six points behind both Doncaster Rovers and Crystal Palace, though both have the advantage of having better goal difference but could make up ground with considerable score lines.

Academy star Jordan Slew was the hero last Saturday as he notched the winner past former England keeper David James to secure a win whilst it was Reading old boy Darius Henderson who came back to haunt them.

League One football looked ever more likely when the Royals slipped into a two goal lead through Noel Hunt (9 minutes) and Hal Robson-Kanu (20); but the fight back started when Henderson (30) bobbled the ball past an unaware Alex McCarthy in the Royals goal.

One minute into first half stoppage time Lee Williamson (45+1) saw his shot from the edge of the area cannon off the post and into the net to level the scores.

The pundits expect Reading to come out all guns blazing in the second half but United dominated and got there just deserts six minutes after the break when a mix up in the defence allowed Bjorn Helge Riise to chip across goal for Henderson to nod home.

At three-two, the visitors saw a goal disallowed from Jordan Slew after Henderson had judged to have fowled whilst former Sheffield United midfielder Brian Howard struck the bar late on. The win ended Reading’s fourteen match unbeaten run.

Blades boss Micky Adams will be 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 Barnsley this weekend.

However; teenager Harry Maguire should be made available for selection again after missing the trip to Madejski Stadium through suspension. He was send off last Saturday against Bristol City but should have only served a one match ban.

The Blades have three former Colliers on their books, though not all are One-to-Watch: Darius 'Big D' Hendersonlikely to feature at the Lane; Daniel Bogdanovic (forward), Chris Morgan (defender) and Robert Kozluk (defender).

Kozluk joined Barnsley after being released by the Blades in July 2007; making his debut in a 4-1 home defeat to Coventry City. He was also part of the team which lost to Cardiff City (0-1) in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley.

He was released by the Oakwell club last summer having made a total of 82 (+4) professional appearances for the club.

Barnsley born skipper Chris Morgan came through the youth ranks at Oakwell - signing a professional contract in August 1996, though he didn't make his debut until January 1998 when the Tykes lost 6-0 at West Ham United in the Premier League. He made a total of 109 (+3) appearances for the club and scored eight goals.

Meanwhile striker Daniel Bogdanovic was released last summer by the Reds after failing to re-negotiate a new contract and joined rivals Sheffield United on a free transfer. Having signed from Lokomotiv Sofia in January 2009 he went onto make 36 (+13) appearances for the Reds and scored 19 goals.

Expected Eleven (4-4-2):


Lowton              Lowry               Collins               Mattock

Riise                 Montgomery (c)             Williamson                     Quinn

Henderson                     Slew