Stevenage vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 13 March 2013 By @blades_mad1889

Despite seeing there midweek fixture at Crewe Alexandra become a casualty of the weather the Blades remain second in the league after Brentford who face United next Saturday (12:45PM kick-off) beat Swindon Town to jump into third place. It leaves our 0-0 home draw with Milton Keynes Dons as our last match action; the Blades have now gone nine hours without conceding a goal (6 matches); but there match with 'Franchise FC' was somewhat of a bore draw with little much other than a clean sheet to mention.

Blades boss Danny Wilson is expected to name an unchanged side to face Crewe Alexandra tonight, on-loan Southampton forward Jonathan Forte (groin) who has missed recent matches could return from injury whilst Dominic Poleon (on-loan from Leeds United) who made his first start against Leyton Orient will be hoping to retain his place in the squad with Jamie Murphy (groin) doubtful.

Meanwhile, youngster Diego DeGirolamo (knee) is out for the remainder of the season after being injured whilst on international duty with with Italy U-17 squad. Striker Shaun Miller (Crucial Ligaments), formerly with Crewe Alexandra is also sidelined for the season.

Stevenage lay sixteenth in the League One table (ten points from safety) following a terrible run which has seen the Boro pick up six points (two victories) in the last ten matches. They beat Brentford (1-0) on 5 March but defeats to Preston North End (0-2) and a one-nil loss at home to AFC Bournemouth last Tuesday hasn't inspired them to the accolades of last season under former boss Graham Westley. They were beaten by a goal from Brett Pitman (38 minutes) from the penalty spot but were reduced to ten men at the death when Daniel Charles was sent-off after receiving two yellow cards.

Boro boss Gary Smith will be without Daniel Charles who serves a one match ban following his dismissal against the Cherries but welcome back midfielder James Dunne who returns from a two match ban.

:: Head-to-Head ::

In football terms Stevenage are pretty much a 'new' club having been formed in 1976 and after years in the non-league finally won promotion to League Two in 2010 after winning the Blue Square Premier League; they had won the league in 1996 but were denied promotion after their ground fell foul of league regulations.

It is due to there brief history that the Blades and Boro have met infrequent since there formation and was only until last season when Sheffield United fell into League One that the two teams finally locked horns in any professional competition. United lost this corresponding fixture last season 2-1 on Bonfire Night 2011 before drawing 2-2 at the Lane whilst chasing automatic promotion.

They had to settle for the Play-Offs and over two legs won 1-0 with that close range header from Chris Porter with only five minutes remaining of the match, they of course went to lose (again) in the final to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on penalties.

Earlier this season the Blades railroaded there opponents at Bramall Lane, but had to perform a second half surge to win this tie 4-1. Neill Collins (19) had given United the lead before a laps in defence allowed Mark Roberts (44) to level before the break. Shaun Miller (55 & 70) scored a brace and Chris Porter (87) finished the rout.

League form versus Stevenage FC...
  P W D L F A
Home 2 1 1 0 6 3
Away 1 0 0 1 1 2
Total 3 1 1 1 7 5

* Statistics correct up to and including 14 March 2013

Blades-Mad Prediction: Stevenage 0-1 Sheffield United