The Blades were in North-East London last Saturday in our recent away fixture at Leyton Orient and came home with all three points. United came close on a number of occasions but the vital blow came on 59th minute when a cute pass from Dave Kitson found Nick Blackman who turned before firing on his left foot into the top corner. The result stood at 1-0 and the Blades leapfrogged into third place.
In last seasons encounters against the Latics the Blades enjoyed victory at Boundary Park but defeat at the Lane. United won their first three points of the season on the opening day at Oldham Athletic on 6 August, going into the break drawing 0-0 but soon rumbled the Latics net when young defender Harry Maguire (48 minutes) headed home before veteran striker Richard Cresswell (54) stabbed home at the far post.
At the Lane, on 6 March - United had a nightmare final twenty-five minutes against Athletic. They looked to have found the tonic for there Steel City headache defeat when Matt Lowton (22 minutes) and Ched Evans (38) stormed the Blades into a 2-0 lead at half-time; though they had lost Lescinel Jean-Francois after 35 minutes of play to injury.
In the second half the visitors pulled a goal back when Blades striker Richard Cresswell (65) was unfortunate to put into back of his own net following a well swung in corner, in the aftermath trying to take the ball to the centre circle a tussle involving Lowton and Kris Taylor were both booked - and a minute later Lowton was to pay for his booking when a rash challenge let to his second of the match and United reduced to ten men.
Keiran Lee (69) curled into the top corner to level the match with United stretched in defence and were given the opportunity to win the match when Harry Maguire pulled down Reuben Reid in the box, resulting in a straight red card for a professional foul. Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Shefki Kuqi stood up to finish; 2-3.
Blades boss Danny Wilson is faced with a slight selection headache ahead of tomorrows clash, they had already lost defender Neill Collins (injured) prior to there game at Leyton Orient on Saturday with Marcus Williams taking his place - but 11 minutes into the match keeper Mark Howard was forced off through injury and had to be replaced by Academy player George Long.
Forwards Chris Porter and Nick Blackman are likely to play against there former club. Porter, 28 was signed by the Latics from rival club Bury in June 2005 - scoring on his debut in a 2-0 win over Yeovil Town,a nd would later bag an hat-trick at Brentford in a 3-3 draw. The following season he netted 22 times before, in May 2007 he was sold to Motherwell. During his time with Athletic he made 60 (+15) appearances and scored 31 goals.
Blackman, 22 played a seasons long loan at Oldham from Blackburn Rovers during the 2009-10 season; making his debut at home to Swindon Town (2-2) and made a total of 7 (+6) appearances and netted once before returning to Ewood Park.
Oldham Athletic jumped to 16th in the table after a 3-1 victory over Lancashire rivals Preston North End at Boundary Park; a Jose Baxter (27) free-kick got the ball rolling for the home side after early chances from David Amoo and Stuart Beavon failed to give the visitors any advances. Christian Montano (57) and Dean Furman (69) netted in the second half to treble there lead. North End saw defender Shane Cansdel-Sherrieff sent-off for two book able offences before former Sheffield Wednesday striker Akpo Sodje (90) scored a scant consolation.
The Latics are without captain Dean Furman who is on International duty with South Africa with midfielder James Wesolowski taking the armband. On the injury front they are without James Tarkowski (hip) and Jean-Yves Mvoto (ankle) who will face late fitness tests.
Keeper Paul Gerrard, 39 enjoyed two spells at Bramall Lane and although on the Latics books is unlikely to feature against the Blades. He first joined on loan in August 2003 from Everton, making his debut in a 2-1 home win over Coventry City and returned in November after 16 appearances. He returned to the Lane as understudy to Paddy Kenny in January 2007 and during his time injured made three appearances before leaving S2 in July 2009 to join Stockport County.
Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 2-0 Oldham Athletic