Sheffield United vs. Crawley Town

Last updated : 07 April 2013 By @blades_mad1889

The Blades were initially scheduled to face the Red Devils on 5 February but a frozen pitch put paid to any football being played that night.

At the time the cancellation came somewhat as a blessing; United hadn’t won a league fixture since they overcame Scunthorpe United (3-0) on Boxing Day. Recently the Blades have put themselves in a better position, but haven’t recorded a home victory since 16 February when they beat Colchester United (3-0) – in our last three home ties have recorded 0-0 draws on each occasion, however they have lost just once in the last ten matches (5 wins).

United drew there last match also, a 1-1 draw at Walsall last Saturday which many considered as a vital game as they look to hunt down the automatic spots. The Saddlers look contenders to sneak into the play-offs and prior to the game had gone twelve matches without defeat. During the game both sides spurned chances to win it with George Long in top form, but it was the hosts who took the lead; Craig Westcarr (44 minutes) firing home. Changes were made at half-time and following Kevin McDonald’s low drive the ball was eventually scrambled home by substitute Chris Porter (65) who salvaged a point.

Blades boss Danny Wilson without striker Shaun Miller (cruciate knee ligament), meanwhile keeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) have returned to training but are unlikely to see first team action soon.

He is also without Diego DeGirolamo (knee) through injury, whilst defender Tony McMahon will serve the second of his two match suspension and will be made available for this Saturday’s home fixture with Swindon Town.

Crawley Town look unlikely to make a late dash into the play-offs, twelfth in the table and currently ten points behind sixth placed Swindon Town following their 0-0 draw at Milton Keynes Dons last weekend which, combined with tonight’s match will make up a trip of three matches away from home.

United won this fixture earlier in the season away from Bramall Lane when Tony McMahon scored two stunning free-kicks to register a 2-0 victory and no doubt the Blades will be looking for the same again but despite a unhappy turn of form Town have lost just twice in the last ten matches, but with a hat full of draws have only managed two victories and haven’t scored for three matches.

Boss Ritchie Barker has vitally a full strength squad ahead of tonight’s match, but has midfielder Matt Sparrow (knock) doubtful and former Sheffield United Academy defender Kyle McFadzean (virus) likely to be resting as he restores his fitness following an illness.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 1-0 Crawley Town