Sheffield United v Blackpool: Team news, predicted line-up and pre-match quotes from Neil Critchley

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The Seasiders will be hoping it’s not a case of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ this weekend when they make the trip to Bramall Lane.

 

Neil Critchley’s side return to action a week on from claiming the bragging rights with their 2-0 derby win against Preston North End.

Blackpool are in a rich vein of form at the moment, having won six of their last nine games in the Championship.

It leaves Critchley’s newly-promoted side in 11th place in the table, but level on points with Luton Town in fifth.

This weekend they take on a Sheffield United side that were relegated from the Premier League last season.

Under new boss Slavisa Jokanovic, the Blades endured a difficult start to the campaign, not winning until their sixth game in.

But since then, the Blades have recovered and now sit 14th and just three points adrift of the Seasiders.

The Seasiders take on Slavisa Jokanovi's side at Bramall Lane tomorrow

The Seasiders take on Slavisa Jokanovi’s side at Bramall Lane tomorrow

The game will be refereed by Tony Harrington, who officiated Blackpool’s play-off final win at Wembley back in March.

Team news

Blackpool could have a potential selection problem in central midfield, with Kevin Stewart and Kenny Dougall both carrying knocks to their ankle.

Stewart’s setback came during the recent defeat against Nottingham Forest earlier this month, while Dougall picked up his injury late on against Preston North End last week.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Neil Critchley told The Gazette that he was “hopeful” the midfield pair would be able to train on Thursday and Friday.

If the duo were ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Bramall Lane, it would leave Ryan Wintle as Blackpool’s only recognised midfielder, although Callum Connolly is capable of filling in there if required.

Elsewhere, CJ Hamilton is making good progress on his recovery from surgery on his foot, but will still be sidelined for a little while.

Chris Maxwell (torn quad), Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (achilles) and Shayne Lavery (hamstring) all remain sidelined.

The likes of Daniel Gretarsson (concussion) and Reece James (foot) are both available having recovered from their setbacks.

As for the Blades, Lys Mousset limped off after scoring twice during the 3-2 win against Barnsley on Sunday.

Jayden Bogle missed out at Oakwell and will be assessed ahead of the weekend, while Sander Berge is out with a hamstring injury.

Neil Critchley’s pre-match comments

“When you’ve got a new manager, a new way of playing and a different system, it always takes a bit of time.

“They had a bit of a sticky start but since then they’ve picked up and having watched them play a lot recently, they’re an excellent footballing team.

“They’ve got outstanding players, you just have to look at their squad. The options they’ve got up front is quite frightening really.

“When you throw John Fleck and Oliver Norwood in there, who are arguably two of the best midfielders in this division, the backline and the experience they’ve got there, they’re a very good team with a very good squad.

“I would fully expect them come the end of the season to be challenging for promotion again, so we’re under no illusions about the task we’ve got.

“It’s a tough game, however we can take great confidence from our last few performances and how we’ve performed away from home against some good teams.

“It’s got the makings of a really good game.”

Opposition view

“It’s a really hard opponent,” Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic said.

“I watched a lot of the games, they have a system and play football with a lot of intensity. They will press us with energy, they are brave and play good football.

“I have tried to share this information with my team to prepare them for the challenge ahead.”

Pool’s predicted line-up (442): Grimshaw, Gabriel, Keogh, Ekpiteta, Husband, Connolly, Wintle, Bowler, Anderson, Yates, Madine