Walsall vs. Sheffield United

Last updated : 06 April 2013 By @blades_mad1889

Sheffield United face Walsall this weekend before entertaining Crawley Town next Tuesday - they host Swindon Town next Saturday before Brentford (Tuesday) form a triple scoop of fixtures. By the time they face Preston North End (home) on the final day of the season they will have played eight matches in one month – though there hard work may not go in vein as it could lead to automatic promotion or condemn the Blades to another year of misery in the play-offs.

Last weekend United had a busy weekend, they beat Tranmere Rovers by a single goal on Good Friday thanks to an own goal from Ash Taylor (41 minutes) following Tony McMahon’s long range strike. And on Easter Monday faced Carlisle United at Bramall Lane and for the third succesive fixture at home United drew 0-0 and failed to capitalise on the Cumbrians being reduced to ten men late on.

Blades boss Danny Wilson is expected to be without defender Matt Hill (head) and striker Dave Kitson (hamstring) who both went off injured during the goalless draw with Carlisle. They only add to the current crop of injured players; Shaun Miller, Mark Howard, Lecsinel Jean-Francois and Diego DeGirolamo.

Meanwhile winger Dominic Poleon has been recalled by Leeds United and will not feature for the Blades again this season. Richard Cresswell (York City) and Jordan Chappell (Torquay United) are with there respective clubs' on loan.

He is also without key defender Tony McMahon who picked up his tenth booking of the season and will be suspended for the games against Walsall and next Tuesday's Bramall Lane re-arranged fixture with Crawley Town. Former Saddler Darryl Westlake is likely to take his place.

Darryl Westlake came through the youth ranks at the Bescot Stadium - making his debut in August 2009 in a 2-2 draw at home to Southend United and during his three year stay netted just once, a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic in January 2011 and upon his contract expiring left the Midlands club in July 2012 to join the Blades having made 70 (+8) appearances for the club and scored just once.

Walsall have no fresh injury worries heading towards this Saturday's crunch tie with npower League One rivals Sheffield United, striker Will Grigg is likely to shake off a hamstring injury that saw him miss Bank Holiday Monday's 4-0 triumph over troubled Coventry City, and fellow front man George Bowerman should make a return from illness. Defender Richard Taundry may be in line for a place on the bench following four months out with a hamstring injury.

Saturday also marks 125 years to the day since Walsall Football Club was founded, to celebrate, ahead of the game, there will be a giant inflatable goal, music, competitions, entertainment, prize draws and a display by Dudley Heathens Speedway plus a whole host of former players will also be in attendance.

There will be a special 100-page Matchday Programme available to mark the occasion, which will include some fantastic stories from supporters of all ages plus past and present players and staff.

This season has been one of surprise so far for Saddlers fans, after battling relegation for successive seasons, they find themselves on the fringe of the play-off places, and after a run of twelve games without defeat are hopeful of breaking into the group-of-four come the end of the season, and were it not for a seventeen game winless streak in the middle of the campaign The Saddlers could already be troubling the automatic spots.

With only four games remaining it is imperative The Saddlers continue their current for and gain at least eight points from the games to stand even the slimmest chances of making the play-offs. However this season can only be seen as a success and with the recent signing of Captain Andy Butler, Paul Downing and James Baxendale, amongst others, to new contracts, hopes is high for an even better 2013/2014.

Saddlers manager Dean Smith is likely to field Andy Taylor against his former club who only left Bramall Lane this summer when his contract came to an end. He had initially been signed by Kevin Blackwell in July 2009 but during his spell with the Blades was hampered by injury, particularly last season where he recovered in time for the Play-Offs. He made his debut in a 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough and was part of the team which was inevitably relegated into League One and left the Lane after making only 38 (+7) appearances in three years.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Walsall 0-2 Sheffield United

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