Sheffield United vs. Hartlepool United

Last updated : 08 October 2013 By @blades_mad1889

Sheffield United prevented an unwanted record of seven straight defeats being equalled last Friday night when they drew at home to Crawley Town 1-1. It has been tradition this season that the opposing team takes the lead and Crawley was no different when Jamie Proctor's header after just 10 minutes gave the visitors the lead. Blades boss David Weir changed things at half-time and on 63 minutes Marlon King lashed home the reply - it was the first time a striker had scored for United this season!

They almost stole the game towards the death when a neat one-two between Conor Coady and King saw the on-loan Liverpool midfielder denied by a cute save from Paul Jones in the Town goal. United reached the second stage of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy after beating Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. In a dire match the game was drawn goalless but in a penalty shoot-out the Blades won 5-3 and thus face Hartlepool tonight.

Under competition rules Weir may field a under strengthen side from which faced Crawley, however he is likely to be without midfielders Florent Cuvelier (knock) and Callum McFadzean (ankle) - however he may see the return of striker Shaun Miller (cruciate ligament injury).

The Blades are likely to field defender Neill Collins to face his former club; he spent time at Victoria Park on loan (from Sunderland) between August 2005 and January 2006; making his debut in a 1-0 victory at Doncaster Rovers. He made 25 (+0) appearances in total.

Hartlepool United convincingly made it through into round two after demolishing Bradford City by five goals to nil, but in the league they aren't doing so well despite beating league newcomers Mansfield Town by four goals to one but sit just one point better off than the two relegation spots. Andy Monkhouse (8 minutes) opened the scoring whilst Jack Crompton (44 & 50) scored twice before Sam Clucas (74) pulled one back via the penalty spot but moments later James Poole (79) ended the game with his goal for the Pool.

The 'Monkey Hangers' will be without experienced pair Jack Baldwin and Steve Howard through suspension. Baldwin picked up his fifth booking of the season and will serve a one match ban whilst Howard serves the second of three games following his dismissal in the recent defeat to Oxford United. On the injury front Matty Dolan (groin) is doubtful and Anthony Sweeney (calf) may feature after recovering from injury.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 2 Hartlepool United 1