PREVIEW: Sheffield United travel to Cardiff this weekend hoping to boost their play-off chances

Written by Seb Sadler

 

Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United take on Cardiff city away this Saturday in his second tie in charge of the Blades.

United are currently placed 13th in the league and are hoping to win three consecutive league games for the first time since December 2019.

Heckingbottom took charge of the side with a four and a half year deal after Slavisa Jokanovic was fired by the Blades last week.

His reign as Sheffield United manager got off to a successful start as they dismantled Bristol City at Bramall Lane last weekend, with goals from strikers Rhian Brewster and Billy Sharp.

This victory moved United ten points clear of the relegation places in the second tier.

Heckingbottom will now be hoping his team can compete for a spot in the playoffs and looks to use this run of form as a springboard to later season success. 

Cardiff head into their encounter with the Blades having lost seven of their last eight league matches on home soil, failing to score on six occasions in the process.

However, New Cardiff boss Steve Morison has made an immediate effect with 10 points from his first six matches as the Bluebirds temporary manager, including a 2-1 win at Luton Town last weekend.

Sheffield United will be faced with a Cardiff side who they have failed to beat in each of their last six encounters, last winning in Cardiff 12 years ago.

The Blades’ have some injury concerns with last Sunday’s goal scorer Rhian Brewster and midfield general Oliver Norwood picking up slight knocks in the fixture.

There is some good news concerning Scottish midfielder John Fleck, as he practiced in the Sheffield United facility this week. 

This is following the 30 year old Blades veteran being rushed to hospital after collapsing during United’s 2-0 away win at Reading on November 23rd and missing United’s victory over Bristol City at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United boss, Paul Heckingbottom expects a tough test from a reinvigorated Cardiff side saying on Thursday:  “We know they’re tough opponents, they started the season fantastically and then had a big dip.”

“I think they’ll be up and at us and they’re going to try make things as difficult as possible for us”

The 72 football writer, Sebastian Jones said of the fixture: 

“I think Wes Foderingham will keep his place in goal and the back three of Davies, Basham and Egan will remain. The rest of the line-up will probably stay more or less the same.”

“I do think Sheffield United will win this one, I think Cardiff have slipped. The Blades are hoping for that ‘new manager bounce’ under Heckingbottom.”

Written by Seb Sadler

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