Preview: Sheffield United vs. Barnsley (Part Two)

Last updated : 28 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889

Last December, when the Blades faced the Tykes at Oakwell it was the home side who came away with three points – a ‘pitiful’ display resulted in a 1-0 defeat for former United boss Gary Speed in front of a crowed just short of 13,000.

A centre from Jim O’Brien was met by a strike from Hugo Colace (37) before the break as United struggled throughout the 90 minutes – it was the first time that Barnsley had beaten United at Oakwell since March 2000.

The Colliers hit a bad run of form following that 1-0 victory over the Blades; they immediately lost their next two fixtures against Burnley (1-2) and Swansea City (0-1) and in January only managed eight points from six matches.

Since then they have scattered wins and draws without picking up any real consistency and haven’t won away from home since 25 January when they beat Doncaster Rovers 2-0.

For the Tykes faithful it’s been a case of ‘what if!’ after a slow start to the season before picking up in the middle; had they found form early on then they believe they may be pushing for a top six finish – still it could be worse, they could be bottom of the league.

They hosted Doncaster Rovers on Easter Monday; drawing 2-2 after a slow start to the game. Both sides went into half-time at 0-0 but it was One-to-Watch: Jacob Butterfieldveteran striker Jason Euell (59) who opened up the game’s first goal before Captain Stephen Foster (69) levelled for the hosts.

Euell again (73) struck for the visitors and looked to have sealed the win but a free-kick curled in by on-loan Manchester City defender Keiran Trippier three minutes from time levelled the scores once again.

The Colliers are expected to be without young duo Luke Potter (knee) and Alistair Taylor (unidentified) through injury. Barnsley boss Mark Robins is likely to field former Blades duo Andy Gray and Jacob Mellis at Bramall Lane to face their former club.

Meanwhile on-loan Blackpool striker Marlon Harewood is doubtful after leaving the field injured in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Watford. He is likely to be replaced by teenage sensation Reuben Noble-Lazarus; who at aged 15 and 45 days old became the clubs’ youngest player in September 2008 when he featured against Ipswich Town.

The Reds are also likely to feature some young starlets on their substitute’s bench; striker Jordan Clark and Danny Rose should make the eighteen man squad – both have made their debuts at some point this season for the Oakwell club.

Barnsley boss Mark Robins is likely to field former Blades duo Andy Gray and Jacob Mellis at Bramall Lane to face their former club.

Gray was snapped up from Bradford City in February 2004 and netted on his debut in a 2-1 reverse at Reading - he went onto play 63 (+2) games for United and netted 28 goals before being sold to Sunderland in August 2005.

Midfielder Jacob Mellis joined Chelsea in July 2008 in a £1,000,000 fee from Sheffield United whilst he was with the Academy and is currently on loan from the Stamford Bridge club.

Expected Eleven (4-4-2):


 Trippier             Shackell (c)                       Foster                      Hill

 Butterfield                     Doyle                Mellis                Haynes

 Noble-Lazarus                     Gray