Sheffield United ended the season with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Preston North End last Saturday. Interim boss Chris Morgan fielded an inexperienced eleven in their last two matches at Crewe and against the Lilywhites but last weekend’s result produced little chances from either side to mount an exciting match.
However it proved a worthy point, a defeat for Swindon Town at Scunthorpe United didn’t stop the Iron from escaping relegation to League Two but the Robins did slip to sixth whilst United prevented a more tricky tie against third placed Brentford who no doubt themselves are seething at the thought of the play-offs after missing out on automatic promotion by just one vital kick.
The two league fixtures played against Yeovil Town came at vital points of the season for United. Firstly (at Huish Park on 22 September) was at a time when Danny Wilson’s Blades were in acceptable form. Neill Collins (55 minutes) headed goal was the only goal of the game which won the Blades third match of the season but formed part of a streak of 16 matches unbeaten.
On 12 January the Glovers travelled to Bramall Lane during United’s bad run which saw them go six matches without a league win’ only victory in the FA Cup gave them some glory. A lacklustre performance didn’t take away any credit from Town’s fine display as two goals from Paddy Madden (49 & 66) gave the visitors a two-nil victory.
Blades boss Chris Morgan is likely to make changes going into this double play-off clash against Yeovil Town; defender Darryl Westlake is likely to be replaced by regular Tony McMahon (Achilles) who had been rested due to injury. In Midfield Callum McFadzean could be replaced by Barry Robson whilst either Chris Porter or Jonathan Forte will be handed a starting role in place of Joe Ironside.
The Blades are 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.
On-loan Southampton forward Jonathan Forte is also considered doubtful, an unused substitute against Preston is suffering with a hamstring problem and has only recently returned to training. Meanwhile defender Danny Higginbotham (hamstring) returns to the side after recovering from injury.
However the Blades boss is keeping players on their toes and hasn’t quite selected his starting eleven; "This week's training has been good and everyone is filled with anticipation," Morgan said. "The one thing that pleases me is that there are going to be some tough decisions. For me if the players are pushing each other then that's what we want."
Yeovil Town sounded off their season with a 3-2 defeat at already relegated Bury last Saturday. The Glovers slipped into a three goal reverse as Kevin Blackwell’s men saw goals scored by; Jonson Clarke-Harris (5 & 25) and Nick Ajose (32) before Town netted twice to reduce some capital punishment, James Hayter (58) and Kevin Dawson (90) finding the net.
Glovers boss Gary Johnson could be facing an injury crisis ahead of their meeting with Sheffield United after he was forced to field a makeshift back four after Jamie McAllister (ankle), Byron Webster (hamstring) and Dan Burn (ankle) were all absent through injury.
Former Rotherham United striker Reuban Reid could be included after he returned from his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle but could also be without Matt Dolan and Nathan Ralph (knee) who are both doubtful.
Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 2-0 Yeovil Town