Sheffield United vs. Barnsley

Last updated : 31 October 2014 By @blades_mad1889

Since the Blades were defeated at Chesterfield on 4 October United have claimed 10 points from a possible 12 with results against; Leyton Orient (2-2), Bradford City (2-0), Yeovil Town (2-0) and Crewe Alexandra (1-0). They have also been successful in the cup competitions. Beating Hartlepool United (2-1) and MK Dons (2-1) in the JPT and League Cup and will face Walsall and Southampton respectively in the following rounds.

Two late goals by substitute Michael Higdon sent Sheffield United into the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 victory at MK Dons. The Blades, who reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup last season, now find themselves deep into another knockout competition with the prospect of a glamour tie to come in December. After a non-event of a first half, Stefan Scougall should have put United in front when he headed over an open goal after Marc McNulty's cross had drifted over Dons goalkeeper David Martin.

The deadlock was finally broken after 67 minutes when Craig Alcock tripped Dele Alli in the penalty area and the Dons' on-loan Arsenal striker Benik Afobe calmly slotted in from the spot. The Blades drew level with just four minutes left when Higdon headed Jose Baxter's cross into the bottom corner after a quickly-taken corner. And they snatched victory in the third minute of stoppage time when Jamie Murphy's corner found its way through to Higdon, who smashed his shot into the net via a post.

Forward Ryan Flynn will undergo a late fitness test prior to Blades boss Nigel Clough naming his side ahead of this Derby clash. The former Liverpool trainee missed the victory at Stadium:MK due to an Achilles injury; "We don’t want to take any risks” - Clough told The Star: “We’ll see how Ryan is and then take things from there because it’s not the type of thing you want to take any chances with. If you do that then there’s always the possibility of making things a whole lot worse. Meanwhile Belgian midfielder Florent Cuvelier (ligaments) will return to full training next week and Chris Basham is available after serving a one match suspension.

Our South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley were busy in the transfer market last summer since their relegation from the Championship. Despite allowing 15 first team personnel to leave Oakwell they recruited just 9 in replacements. This included former Blades loanee Keith Treacy and ex-Reading striker Leroy Lita to the fold. There latest addition, Conor Hourihane from Plymouth Argyle has been an instant hit with the Reds - netting 8 goals so far this season from midfield.

However there league form hasn't lived up to expectations; winning four and drawing four matches from the fifteen already played which leaves them 15th in the League One table. Yet they picked up a little kudos after drawing 2-2 at home to Bristol City whom have yet to lose a single league match this season.

Bristol City extended their unbeaten start to the season to 15 games as they came back from behind to draw 2-2 at Barnsley. Luke Ayling gave the visitors a first-half lead before two goals in nine minutes from Sam Winnall and Conor Hourihane, from the penalty spot, put Barnsley in front. Aaron Wilbraham then scored to maintain City's unbeaten run. The home side had a penalty appeal turned down after Ryan Williams went down in the area under a challenge from Derrick Williams.

The unmarked Ayling put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute when he met Bryan's cross with a far-post header. Devante Cole went close to equalising for the Reds early in the second half when his header was cleared off the goal-line by Aden Flint. Winnall levelled for the home side in the 59th minute when he beat Frank Fielding with a fine finish after being given time and space inside the area. Hourihane scored from the penalty spot in the 68th minute after being fouled by Ayling. But Wilbraham came to City's rescue with a fierce drive from the edge of the area with 11 minutes remaining after the Barnsley defenders had failed to clear the ball.

Reds boss Danny Wilson returns to Bramall Lane for the first time since leaving his post as Blades manager in April 2013. They are without Winger Dale Jennings (ankle) through injury and Ryan Williams is expected to play his last game for the club before returning to Fulham following the end of his loan spell.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 1 Barnsley 0