Preview: Sheffield United vs. Bristol City

Last updated : 17 April 2011 By @blades_mad1889

A defeat for Sheffield United (against Bristol City) and a win for Crystal Palace at Doncaster Rovers would indefinitely condemn the Blades to League One football next season.

For the Robins it will come as possibly revenge, In April 1999 the two teams met at Bramall Lane; City needed to win to create any hopes of surviving relegation but a relaxed Blades road out 3-1 winners – Lee Morris netted a brace and scorned an opportunity to take home the match ball when he missed his penalty kick.

Now the tables have turned and a Bristol City win would mathematically send United into League One; though in reality they have been facing third tier football for the previous few months.

The two clubs’ last met in November 2010 when City recorded a 3-0 win over the Cutlers; Brett Pitman netted twice (6 & 34 minutes) from the penalty spot whilst Jamie McAllister (62) made it three at Ashton Gate.

United go into this fixture having played against relegation rivals Preston North End where the Lilywhites won 3-1 despite a brave fight. Former Blade Keith Treacy (55 & 68) netted twice for North End before young Jordan Slew (72) pulled one back.

Being only a goal behind the Blades pushed hard for an equaliser but were hit on the break towards the end with Nathan Ellington (90) capping off a fine move and all three points for the Deepdale club.

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 Bristol City this weekend.

Expected Eleven: Simonsen, Lowton, Lowry, Collins, Mattock, Riise, Montgomery, Williamson, Quinn, Bogdanovic, Henderson.

Bristol boss Keith Millen was left ‘frustrated and angry’ after seeing his side lose 1-0 at home to Ipswich Town; 17 year old rising star Josh Carson (52) scored from 30 yards out, catching David James out to score his third goal in two games.

The Blues scored at a time when they were down to ten men after former Sheffield United winger Lee Martin (28) was dismissed after a dangerous tackle on Khalifa Cissé.

Though the Ashton Gate club haven’t won on Bramall Lane soil since November 1957 when they recorded a 3-0 victory and many Blades may believe that they will do it again 54 years on.

City travel to S2 without Captain Louis Carey (fractured skull) whilst on-loan striker Andy Keogh (back) has return to parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers for treatment.

The Robins are likely to field former Sheffield United striker Jonathan Stead to face his former club; he was signed by Neil Warnock from Sunderland in January 2007 in a £750,000 transfer fee; he made his debut at home to Portsmouth in a 1-1 draw.

He netted five goals for United that season, including the final day (1-2) defeat to Wigan Athletic which failed to save themselves from Premiership relegation. Stead shoved out of the team following the signings of Billy Sharp and James Beattie – he made 32 (+15) appearances for the Blades and scored 11 goals before joining Ipswich Town (initially on loan until the end of the season) in September 2008, completing a full £600,000 transfer in June 2009.

Expected Eleven: James, Stewart, Spence, McAllister, Nyatanga, Campbell-Ryce, Cissé, Elliott, Adomah, Maynard, Stead.