Sheffield United’s play-off fate will finally be confirmed on Saturday lunchtime as they host Championship winners Fulham at Bramall Lane.
Currently sat in fifth place in the league table, a win over the Cottagers would guarantee the Blades a play-offs place.
Failing that, their spot in the play-offs should also be secured if they match either Middlesbrough or Luton Town’s results, barring an unlikely goal difference turnaround by Millwall who travel to Premier League-bound Bournemouth.
Hal, diehard United fan and co-host of multi-award winning podcast Sheff United Way, believes the Blades will do enough to secure a much-craved play-off berth.
He said: “I’m confident this side can make the play-offs, despite the mounting injury list, and go one further to finally, finally, get promotion.
“I think all fans believe the best way to go up if you can’t be champions is at Wembley in a play-off final.”
Paul Heckingbottom’s charges will hope to meet a complacent Fulham side tomorrow afternoon, with the London side crowned league champions on Monday night following a 7-0 demolition of the Blades’ play-off rivals Luton Town.
United will be aiming for a repeat of their previous encounter with Fulham earlier this season, in which youngster Iliman Ndiaye scored an outstanding solo goal to seal a 1-0 away victory over the league winners at Craven Cottage.
Jason Holyhead, freelance writer and author of Sheffield United book Ain’t Got a Barrel of Money, is conflicted over the Blades’ potential promotion.
He said: “Part of me hopes Middlesbrough pip us to the play-offs spot and we spend another season in this division building and maybe go up next year as champions.
“The big fear is we go up and get beat every week in the Premier League.”
Sheffield United have been involved in three Football League play-offs over the past decade, coming out on the losing side on each occasion.
Blades defender George Baldock is expected to be fit for the decisive clash on Saturday, but on-loan Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane looks set to miss out with a knock following his sumptuous strike away to QPR last Friday.
For Hal, a sell-out crowd and electric atmosphere at Bramall Lane could prove decisive.
“Saturday’s crowd will be bumper and this can play a huge part and be key to United’s potential success”, he declared.