Bury vs. Sheffield United

By @blades_mad1889
Last updated : 01 January 2017

 

Leon Clarke will be hunting for goals against his former club.

The Blades will be aiming to complete the double over their League One rivals, having profited from an injury-time winner on 22 November to win the game by a single goal. They ended 2016 of an almighty high, winning maximum points over the Christmas and New Year fixtures with Oldham Athletic (2-0) and Northampton town (1-0) being their latest victims. That victory over the Cobblers was enough to ensure they ended the year top of the table.

Kieron Freeman's late goal kept Sheffield United's promotion charge on track with a 1-0 win over Northampton. Freeman struck just a minute from time to finally end Northampton's resistance and send the Blades top of Sky Bet League One, at least temporarily. United's Paul Coutts had a low drive saved by Adam Smith early on while Northampton's first effort came from Sam Hoskins, whose shot from inside the area was charged down.

The home side then enjoyed a good spell with Freeman firing in a shot which was deflected off target. Billy Sharp also missed the target with a header and Coutts shot narrowly wide. After Paul Anderson headed wide at the other end, United threatened again when Mark Duffy's free-kick was deflected wide. Duffy also had a shot easily saved.

Sharp went close to scoring midway through the second half when his effort hit a post while Matthew Taylor also threatened for the visitors with a free-kick which was saved by Simon Moore. Freeman, though, scored the winner when he fired into the roof of the net from close range to send United above Scunthorpe.

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has no major new injury worries following Saturday's home win against former club Northampton. Victory lifted the Blades to the top of the table and Wilder must decide whether to make changes for his side's second game in three days.

Leon Clarke started up front on Saturday alongside Billy Sharp in place of Matt Done, who will be pushing for a recall. Midfielder Stefan Scougall is also hoping to return to the starting line-up as the Blades chase a fifth straight league victory.

BURY VS. SHEFFIELD UNITED
MONDAY, 2ND JANUARY 2017
LEAGUE ONE - KO-3:00PM

Bury may be looking behind their backs over the next few months as they battle against relegation. The Shakers are currently one point better off but they haven't won a league match since winning 3-1 at MK Dons on 27th September, they have however drawn their last two and quite respectively at Fleetwood (0-0) and Bradford City (1-1).

Bradford staged a second-half fight back but were held to their fourth successive draw by struggling Bury, who are without a win in 14 matches after a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The visitors, who ended a run of 12 defeats in a row with a goalless stalemate at Fleetwood on Boxing Day, went in front after 39 minutes when Scott Burgess latched on to a long through pass and lobbed the ball over the advancing Colin Doyle.

The goal came less than minute after Jordy Hiwula had missed Bradford's best chance. Left-back Matt Kilgallon's cross was helped into his path but the on-loan striker saw his close range shot blocked. Bradford began the second half brightly and deservedly equalised after 52 minutes, moments after Doyle had saved Burgess volley at the second attempt. The ball was quickly cleared up field for James Hanson to head the ball into path of Hiwula. Ron Lainton saved Hiwula's shot but could not hold the ball and Nicky Law fired the rebound into the net to level the scores.

The home side continued to dominate but could not turn pressure into goals and substitute Mark McNulty twice missed good chances after Hanson headed the ball into his path and the tall striker also provided chances for Law and substitute Haris Vuckic, but their shots were off target.

Neil Danns is back from a ban for Bury's Sky Bet League One encounter with Sheffield United. Danns has missed the past three games having been dismissed in the loss to Bristol Rovers and provides competition in midfield along with Jacob Mellis, who was only used as a substitute on his comeback from suspension against Bradford.

James Vaughan (thigh) could come into the starting line-up having also come off the bench and boss Chris Brass may be able to include 18 players in his squad having also signed winger Jack Mackreth from Macclesfield on New Year's Day.

Ishmael Miller (hamstring), Andrew Tutte (illness), Leon Barnett (calf) and Zeli Ismail (knee) have all returned to training, though Niall Maher, Kean Bryan (thigh), Nathan Cameron and Chris Brown (both knee) all remain out.

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