Pre-Match View From Reading

“Bring on Sheffield United”

“Im not fearing this game so much now the back line looks solid. I think we can make things very uncomfortable for them.”

“Saturday is a bit of a free-hit”

“for me this game is a bit like a free hit, we are expected to get nothing out of this game and if we played like we did in the first half against Blackburn then we’ll get slaughtered!!
So let’s go there with nothing to lose and see where it takes us, anything out of this game will be a bonus.”

“This has to be seen as a “bonus ball”. No one expects Reading to get anything whatsoever so the pressure is right off and all heaped on the Blades as they will look to continue their great from this season that has seen them become genuine promotion contenders.
United have won 7 of their last 12 in the league and are unbeaten at home in the league since losing to WBA in mid December. They have scored in all but one of those games. They have shown grit, fight and determination but also can be subject to a little bit of panic from time to time like in the 3-3 draw with Villa a week or two ago. this will definitely need a performance akin to the Forest and 2nd half v Blackburn to get anything out of it. Last thing we all need is another Blackburn first half performance otherwise it’ll all be over after half an hour. “

“Goes to show that fancy, fast-flowing football isn’t necessary the recipe for wins. The team showed enough grit and bottle to see out the Blackburn game, even after a setback. Pressure massively off for Sheff United. Same next weekend please!”

“Not the greatest performance but it brought out the true fight and spirit in this set of players. Simply wanted it more than Blackburn tonight, dug deep and got a crucial 3 points.”

“With the Blackburn win we can go to Sheffield United with the pressure off a bit. Nobody expects us to get anything there and if we do it will be a huge bonus. A draw would be a huge result if we can get it. It’s all about Rotherham on the 23rd, that is the big one”

“Couldn’t have been landed with a more annoying game after a good victory.”

“Sheff Utd are a decent side, was very impressed with them against Villa until the blew up. Cant see us getting much from it”

“Don’t expect anything at Sheff Utd”

“I think we will lose, but narrowly. Sheffield United are not a spectacular team playing silky football. They are well organised, work hard and keep going. They will have done their homework on us and will put loads of pressure on the keeper passing it out and close all the space. The only chance we have is to keep it scoreless as long as possible so the crowd, turning up expecting a turkey shoot start to mutter and grumble by about the 70 minute mark, and then we get a smash and grab from a piece of quality from our man in the mask!” “Fear we will get beaten up there but the game is a bit of a bonus one. It is all about Rotherham next Saturday.”

“I predicted Sheff Utd to be around 20th this season. Spectacularly wrong – a very good side in 3rd ATM”

“I do remember saying I thinks sheff utd would go down”

“Reading4eva predicted a bottom three of Hull, Sheff U and Villa with Wednesday to win the league :lol:”

“Sheffield Utd away will always remind me of 2 things:
Nicky Forster’s bullet from outside the box on Sky & Kevin Doyle scoring after about 12 seconds in the Prem.”

“Guess who the forth official is for this one? none other than mister Geoff Eltringham himself.”

“yeah just saw that. WTAF? Surely that’ll get changed”

“I sincerely hope there’s a tactical plan for one of our staff to bump into him and accidentally land their boot in his face. Unbelievable that the FA/efl have made this decision, he should be nowhere near the championship, let alone our games.”

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Pre-Match View From Middlesbrough

“Is Sheff Utd a must win for top 2? Im thinking it is. 7 points off Leeds with a game in hand but fail to beat Sheff Utd…..”

“I’d be more worried that we might not make a play off spot, we won’t trouble the top two again this season.”

“Try again in April with the “must win” rubbish. After Wednesday we have 45 points to play for. I doubt that we will be 46 points off second place, so the answer is ……..
No!”

“A win would be great on Wednesday, but remember a draw takes points off SU. It will be a very tough game.”

“As much as a draw was still a decent result, I think it’s hamstrung us if we’re hoping to catch Leeds or Norwich.”

“WBA, Sheff U and Bristol City are more likely than us to get that second spot.”

“Well I thought we would beat Leeds and should have and I am going for a BORO win. Why over the last three games have I thought positively about BORO? Well I really can’t get my head around it other than we have what we have and we need to get behind them and support the team. Perhaps it’s simply wishful and desperation. Regardless of formation, Pulis, the players put in a performance which I hope holds good for remaining of the season.”

“Don’t know why but I think we will win this one. For some odd reason and I can’t quite say why. Think the squad might have got some belief back from 4 points against WBA and Leeds and looking at the table we can ill afford to drop points. Leeds and WBa have semi tough home games and while I expect WBA to beat Forest I reckon Swansea cuold trouble Leeds. Norwich will beat PNE though and there is a good chance that Derby and Bristol will win too. A loss against Sheffield could see us drop out of the Play Offs and we really don’t want that. Boro to win”

“they played 3-5-2 last game, with an inverted central pyramid.
So 3-5-2 would match up. exactly. It then becomes about winning individual battles.
Ayala/Flint/Fry vs Madine & Sharp. I would think we will do OK there.
Mikel vs Dowell their number 10 – we know which way that should go.
Howson & Saville vs Norwood & Fleck – would be a good battle
Shotton vs Enda Stevens who has had a great season. This will be a key battle
Friend vs Baldock again a tough battle to call
Britt & Hugill vs Basham, Egan & O’Connell. I think we would be looking to get Britt in behind Basham who isn’t quick.
Man for man we are a better team, if we are setup right we should be able to stiffle their attacks, because they play a pretty basic get it forward early and try to bully you type of game, that should be tailor made for us. “

“Basham is out. He will be a big miss for them, his overlapping runs cause all sorts of problems.”

“The only thing that makes there formation interesting is there wider centrebacks overlap there wingbacks. That’s why I would be tempted to go with VLP as we may be able to catch them on the break with a bit of pace.”

“Living in Sheffield a lot of Blades fans I speak don’t rate Stevens. I think he’s improved this season but if Shotton gets into him a couple of times early doors could win the psychological battle there.
United’s play tends to focus on getting the ball forward early (from CB, often big diagonals) but once in the opposition defensive third they play some very nice football and I think they’ll be able to move us around quite easily.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see similar to Saturday (central striker with two midfielders pushed up) to try and close the CBs, stop the balls coming over in the first place.
Sheffield United do a lot of good work centrally round the edge of the box – don’t be surprised to see Mikel and Clayton deployed.”

“I can’t see how we can compete for top 2 anyways, as our home form is simply disgraceful for a side in the top 6.
Our away form is sublime mind so I wouldn’t put us past us putting in a performance on Wednesday.
Looking at Villa’s goals on Friday, Sheff Utd are weak as pi$$ from crosses into the box. Their keeper and defenders didn’t know how to deal with them so I’m hoping we exploit that weakness of theirs….especially given how tall, strong and powerful we can line up.”

“I think he will go for the same lineup injuries permitting and I fancy us to at least take a point in this game. Throwing away a 3-0 lead is a lot more deflating than a 1-0 lead. Even if it is against dirty Leeds…”

“that’s gonna hurt Sheffield for Wednesday. The players were pointing and arguing with each other at the end”

“It will hurt Sheffield for Wednesday as they weren’t United.”

“They play wingbacks like us. They just play 20 yards higher up the pitch.”

“Blades ship goals an like every team in this league can be nudged off the pace.“

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Pre-Match View From Aston Villa

“It has been 12 years since we last beat Sheffield United at Villa Park. We have played them twice since that 3-0 win in 2007 (prior to which, we had greeted our returning European Cup winners 25 years after they were crowned Champions of Europe). We lost 1-2 in a 2014 FA Cup tie and then drew 2-2 last season having been 2-0 up within the first 10 minutes. Overall we have won 59 and drawn 30 of the 125 league games between the two clubs. The Blades are founder members of the Football League and have been champions once in 1897-98. They have won the FA Cup 4 times in 1899, 1902, 1915 and in 1925. They have been outside of the top flight since 2007 and were in League One from 2011 until 2017. They are currently 11 points above us and a point nearer to the automatic promotion places (3) than we are to the play off spots (4). We really need to win this one, if only as pay back for the embarrassing 1-4 defeat we suffered at Bramall Lane 4 months ago. A win would see them on top of the league at the end of the game. A win for us would see us move within a point of sixth place.  Let’s make it a comfortable win and another clean sheet for us, so that we can begin the weekend in style and with a wide smile.”

“Sheffield United haven’t won an away game since New Years Day – enter Aston Villa”

“Think we will lose this one.Sheffield United is a good team”

“Sheffield United are gonna do us in next game”

“Only hope is we up our game against the better sides because we have certainly blown a decent chance with our form over the last 2 months to get ourselves in a strong position, not picking up anywhere near enough points from a kind run of games. Need to try something different, would love Keinan to start to give SheffYoo something unexpected to think about. Another draw if we’re lucky”

“not really looking forward to it tbh as I think we will lose. We couldn’t even break down a woeful reading team don’t see how we can sheffield united? If grealish is back then it might boost the place but I don’t think he will be back”

“Since the false dawn of those fantastic results at ‘Boro and Derby we’ve played 11 games and scraped 2 wins during a fairly kind run of fixtures. If we perform like we have since ‘Boro you’d expect us to lose this one. “

“Grealish is back soon and we’re a totally different team with him in the side. Still don’t think we’ll have enough this season, but there we are.”

“If Jack plays we win if he doesn’t may as well toss a coin”

“The next 2 games are against physical sides and both need beating–but my one fear is if Jack makes a much much needed return he could well get crocked again—referees and  also our own players need to protect the lad.”

“They are direct but not in a long ball sense. They play good football but are also very in your face”

“They go top with a win. Quite the motivation. Be nice to see us try to pass the ball. Grealish to come off the bench and get clattered at least once. “

“Interesting game this – there’s a sort of meh around the whole place, season drifting into nothingness, nowt to play for, nowt to get excited about. We’re not far off the playoffs points-wise but we’re not looking like we’re going to challenge for them, it’s all a bit waiting for 2019-20. But. Win this and I think you might get a bit of buzz back, Sheffield United are good and we know it, if we can beat them, not only does it keep us within touching distance of the top six, but it might give the place a little bit of spark. A big win could set the season on fire and any kind of win will blow though the embers and provide a bit of warmth.”

“Fortunately, Sheff U rarely draw. While we are approaching half our games drawn. I so hate draws. Amazing to think Sheff U go top by beating us, having lost more games than us this season. Salute to not drawing football matches.”

“I hope we win this one but I’d love it if these lot went up via autos over Leeds and West brom”

“We’ll need to play well. Sheff Utd are a decent outfit, well managed by Chris Wilder and we owe them one after the pathetic display up there earlier in the season!”

“Hopefully this will be the game we turn up, motivated to go and press and move the ball quicker.
If not they will turn us over – Wilder got them well tuned in most games.
Still waiting Villa, a lot of talk but little action.”

“Wilder for me is one of the best managers in the league. I rate him highly.”

“Wilder dont say a lot he just gets on with his job  –and he loves Sheffield Utd” “Bloody amazing that a team only promoted last season is giving cause for concern. Their management has done a great job on them.”

“Wilder has got them well tuned, but come May he has had three years to get them there , so early days yet for Smith. ”

“Wilder won League 1 by some distance in his first season with Sheffield Utd, 2nd season top half finish in this league and now challenging for automatic promotion. He’s won promotion with 2 different clubs before that as well. I’m sorry but Deano looks a long way off matching that sort of record. I personally think Wilder is a far better Manager”

“Like Wilder very much,gives very sensible interviews doesnt slag off the opposition and has got Sheffield playing some decent stuff.”

“What I dont understand is that when Smith first came the high pressing and trying to win the ball back were an obvious improvement in our game, and then it just stopped. Are we not fit enough to play it or have some of the older players and those that dont see it as their job making life difficult for the gaffer.”

“Yeah, the first half-dozen or so games were like a breath of fresh air, and gradually we have reverted to type and stroll around with all the zip and enthusiasm of a testimonial match, just like the Bruce days.”

“I actually see a Steve Bruce parallel. Unfortunately.  The only exception is we played some decent football for half a dozen games when Dean Smith arrived, defence excepted.  At the end of the first Steve Bruce season 50 % of us thought his tactics and ability to motivate players at a club our size was very questionable.  Seems to be going same way”

“I feel positive about this, defence is hopefully gonna stay solid and build from there. I know we have been poor lately but if we can continue to look safe at the back we can turn this corner.”

“Defies all logic, but I have a good feeling about this one.”

“Big crowd, under the lights, if we’re up for it we can blow them away, Jack or no Jack.”

“Predicting a 3-2 win following a surprise super-sub return by Jack. Shef U to go 2-0 up only to collapse following an accidental face stamp on their goalie by merciless Mings.”

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Pre-Match View From Bolton

“always a good away day this”

“Looking forward to this – one of the better away days”

“Fat billy, Madine, Pukka Pie stand….what’s not to like.”

“this will get shitty, imo,pissed up kids, pissed up owd blokes,a right royal dicking,not a recipe for a happy afternoon “

“I wanted to go, my lad asked if we could go, I’m on half day so I can still go. I cant be trusted to keep my shit together with our window lickers though”

“Think I’m done with away games now until it calms down. I’m on the verge of sacking home games off too.”

“It will be cold.And the m0ngs will piss me off. And we will lose. And madine will score”

“expect us to lose & can live with that, but I just don’t want to be near to, or have to listen to,  bellends who are hoping for the worst so that they can squeal abuse at the owner, the manager or this week’s scapegoat. I’ll probably give Wigan & Blackburn a miss for the same reason.”

“Hasn’t captured many this. think last week 500 sold”

“Not surprising is it given the chance of us winning or even nicking a draw.”

“Dry bumming with no lube”

“We will get an early lead, then get battered”

“Can’t see anything other than a utter dicking by these tossers.. “

“Looking through the remaining fixures and cant see more than another 6-7 points. Bolton 0 Saturday and they will score at least 3 “

“Just 36% possession in a must win home game against Reading. Less shots. Parky has blamed the fans in a press conference One win in 16 with 17 left… 7/8 wins needed to stay up”

“So we go into the rest of the season with 2 strikers who have scored 4 goals between them all season”

“Clayton Donaldson 0 goals in 860 minutes.”

“Donaldson’s stats are laughably bad. One upfront who has less than one shot per game. “

“The situation at Bolton is that bad that we can’t even sign Ched Evans”

“Anderson told Evans club that they will get paid out of Augusts EFL payment and that they have to pay his wages until then”

“19 goals in 29 games and we sign a defender.”

“We need to beat Reading. Wigan Millwall Sheffield Wednesday qpr Ipswich and win a top team or draw some top teams. Looking bleak right now”

“Gary Madine hasn’t scored a professional goal for a year. Bolton play Sheffield next………”

“We’re gonna get murdered by Sheffield United on Saturday unless agent Madine helps us out”

“We we will win 1-0 Madine own goal and he takes his shirt off to show his Weds. shirt underneath.”

“You’ve got Madine Gary  Madine

just do not think you understand

6 million in the bank 

he is fucking wank

you got Gary Madine. 

To the tune of the Gary Madine song. 

Then applaud him.”

“Plays into our hands a target man. We are most vulnerable against anybody with the slightest bit of pace.”

“Sharpe movement is top class”



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Pre-Match View From Norwich

“This could be feisty, both on and off the pitch. I watched Sheff U against Swansea the other night, and I’m not sure how the blades contrived to lose the game, as Swansea really weren’t up to much. Not much to choose between us in the form tables.”

“Far from impressed with Sheffield united against Swansea and some dreadful finishing.  I don’t think anyone in these league can match our intensity when we’re flying”

“Hopefully as far as ‘Blades’ are concerned this will be the start of a good slide”

“This has the potential of a season defining six-pointer: win and we’re 6 points clear of those behind us; lose and we’re down to 3rd and West Brom have a game in hand. A draw wouldn’t be a disaster, but it wouldn’t change much either.”
“I still wouldn’t surprise me for us to beat Sheffield and Leeds, then lose to Ipswich. “

“I’m really concerned that Sheff Utd’s game plan will be to kick us off the park, knowing that Leeds face us next as well. I’m almost expecting injuries here. I hope the ref is strong!”

“I’ll be amazed if we get out of this game without a whole new injury list.”

“I expect we’ll get the usual pathetic referee/officials and they’ll keep ‘tackling’ Bendy (if he’s fit) and Hernandez until one of them goes off ‘injured!!”

“I would have thought Sheff Utd would have wanted us to turn over their bitter Yorkshire rivals and fellow promotion contenders so kicking us off the park won’t help surely ?”

“If we are on form they won’t be able to get near us to kick. And if they do, a win for us and a red or 2 for them will be great.”

“I have no idea where people think Sheff Utd are a bunch of cloggers.   Sure they play a high intensity game like us and Leeds, but apart from the nous of Sharp that comes with age (a la Grant Holt in his prime, lots of nudges and elbows etc.) and the occasional late tackle from Robert Fleck’s nephew John (its in the genes) the rest of the team focus on playing the ball forward, on the ground, as quickly as possible.  If we go out and expect them to clog, that would be a big mistake.  We should focus on playing our own game and we will beat them.  Try anything different and lose our focus and we will lose.”

“I’m sure Farke et al are aware of their capabilities and won’t be underestimating them, they’ve been around the top of the table all season so are far from being just a bunch of cloggers.  My biggest concern, as ever, is at the back as we rarely look solid enough to keep a clean sheet – it would be good timing to go on a bit of a ‘stingy’ run in defence for the next few games.”

“Both us and them have basically accumulated a similar amount of yellow cards.”

“Absolutely massive game, and one that I actually think will be tougher than Leeds away next week. Sheffield United losing last week though has taken the pressure off us a bit, in the sense that as we’re above them this is a must-not-lose game, rather than a must-win which it probably would’ve been had we gone into this game below them. It would be fantastic though if we won, not only would we go 6 points clear but it would send Wilder and all their moron fans into a crying frenzy just like it did when we beat them at Brammal Lane last season.
Same team as Birmingham if everyone is fit. I have to say I do have concerns about Godfrey at centre back considering the attacking players Sheffield United have”

“I hope we score early, then shithouse horrendously, just to annoy Wilder”

“Just re watched Wilders press conference after the away game, banging the table and moaning away. So let’s go two up after five minutes , be late out at half time and spend all the eighty five wasting time.”

“Couldn’t care less about the spygate stuff. However, it’d be fucking magical if they do get deducted points. Just got to make sure we aren’t turning up late on Saturday for that clown Wilder”

“Bloke is a tw@t of the first order and deserves the humiliation his team will suffer this weekend.”

“I have no respect for someone, who of the age he is, and the ‘responsibility’ of his job, comes out with such drivel, like he did at the away game last season, and expects people to swallow it, and and pander to him.”

“Let him rant an’ ramble……We’ll do our talking on the pitch…….”

“it has to be said, he was pretty magnanimous after they beat us at their place this season. If he can do the same after losing, which I hope will happen to them on Sat, then all will be forgiven.”

“I quite like Wilder tbh. He’s passionate, managing the team he supports, and does things he thinks are right irrespective of who he annoys. He may have gone a bit crazy over our win there last year, but most of what he said was correct – we were pretty obnoxious that day. Equally, he recognises that we are a threat and that his bunch will need to find a way to win. Sheff Utd are a proper football team – physical, but not much whingeing or diving and rolling around. Happy to see them up there. Still think we’ll beat them though.”

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Pre-Match View From Swansea



“this is a match that the Swans would need to win if they are to target a play-off place. Equally, this is a match that the Blades would need to win to maintain their strong push for automatic promotion. I think that the teams will have to settle for a point each”

“The Swans had a great win in Sheffield on the opening day of the season but it will be tough to repeat that at the Liberty. I’d call the Blades a typical Championship side, big and physical with limited football ability- the type of side we struggle with at the Liberty.”

“They are really tough and well organised. Wilder has them well drilled”

“Sheff Utd flying at the moment, be surprised if we get anything out of this one. I think we got lucky on the opening day, Montero was the game changer for us that day.”

“They’ve come a long way since we stuffed them ,this could be very interesting”

“this will be an extremely challenging game I fear. “

“Blades can certainly be beaten but they’ve steamrolled some quality sides and managed to win tough games through grit too. “

“They have had a great season. Shows just what a good result that was on the opening day”

“Let’s do the double on these.”

“Be happy with draw. A point against a team gunning for promotion is a good result”

“They haven’t beaten anyone decent except Norwich back in August and Derby on Boxing Day. Both were at home”

“Can’t help thinking that Prutton on Sky hates us just a much as that W****R Lawrenson . . .Each and every week he cannot bring himself to give us the points and the merit we deserve . . Let’s prove him wrong tomorrow and stuff United. ”

“They should beat us, home record is awful”

“I am more concerned about our home games than i am about our away games myself……We look a good team playing some good football away from home, but at home for some reason we never look as good and you can predict the opposition will score and we struggle to score”

“We just need to keep creating chances and being clinical”

“If Fulton and Carroll give performances that their capable of great. If not a beating.”

“The blades are much better at the banter than the other lot in that city”

“Good bunch of lads. Think the Sheffield Wed fans were the worst so far”

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Pre-Match View From QPR

“Sheffield United are sitting just outside the automatic promotion spots and have a number of really good looking scalps already this season. So how good are they?
We know that their second string were not good enough to beat non-league Barney. In fact they didn’t really put up much of a fight and Barney well deserved their win. But that was the second string and they will likely be well up for Saturday. I haven’t paid much attention to them this season ( or any season, TBH) so I’d be interested to hear from someone who has been paying attention as to whether they are the real deal?”

“Not good enough to beat a giant purple dinosaur!
Perhaps it was just a bad hair day – Dodgy Barnet?”

“They are a good side who should make the playoffs this season, them losing to Barnet last week won’t do us any favours as you’d expect a big reaction from them but they are not unbeatable and if we defend like we have in recent weeks then every chance we can frustrate them”

“I don’t think, reading Chris Wilder, that ANY of the 11 that played in the FA Cup will play v us.”

“I hope we get a clear offside goal and a very debatable penalty in a 2-1 win….”

“Would take a point now”

“Gonna be a real tough one this. They’re very good going forward. I fear a loss but hope for a dogged draw.”

“Tough game this and I’d take a point now all day long. Washington has gone something like 12 games for Sheffield United without a goal too so you know the inevitible game of his life is on the cards.”

“Most of Washingtons appearances have been as sub so unlikely to start. Utd have been off the boil lately”

“If Sheff Utd are off the boil I’d hate to play them when they’re bubbling!”

“Our defence are gonna play the mother of games.”

“Not so sure they’re as good as people think they are? Would like to think we’re organised to get something, but you just know Washing up is going to score, couldn’t hit a cows ar$e with a banjo for us but you know it’s coming”

“Id take a draw but certainly think weve got every chance of turning them over”

“I am baffled at where they are in the table and their position gives me hope we may indeed scrape into the play off places.
I didn’t think much to them when they beat us in that early season game. They must be doing something right but I will be disappointed if we finish below them this season.”

“A team that has Leon Clarke and Connor Washington up front. Throw in Big Pat Agyemang and they’re almost sporting the QPR fans choice of the w@nkiest attack ever… “

“They have Billy Sharpe, very successful goalscorer.
Clarke has done well for them over a couple of years.
Washington, I wouldn’t expect to start but if they are wanting a change late in the game he could come on and we will all be hoping he doesn’t make us choke on our opinions of him.
A well organised, tough battling team, not unbeatable but we will have to match their effort them to get anything.”

“Clarke has a knack for scoring against us. I remember him scoring a hat trick against us at Bramall Lane what seems like many years ago. In fact, how’s he even still playing at this level?!”

“Thought Clarke got a bum deal when down here, in a very good side but mostly played wide which didn’t suit him.”

“15-1 to us,
just for the utd fans browsing this on their forum via link”

“I actually applaud them for not being like the usual and most club forums of throwing insults about at our club and fanbase. They seem like a good bunch who are just happy to be going along for the ride and happy with how they are doing just like we are. We’ve both been good and bad in the past and it’s good to see fans happy that they are doing well, not getting too much ahead of themselves. They also recognise that anyone up there at this stage is worthy of being there and that anything can happen.”

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Pre-Match View From Barnet

“A team with premiership pedigree Sheffield will present a stern challenge and it is hoped they will rest some players giving us a chance to pull off an upset.
Made famous by the film “when Saturday comes” a love letter by Sean Bean to his beloved blades. Here is hoping our Sharpe shooters are ready to take advantage of any opportunity which arises and we will not be left with a stark result.”

“Sheffield United are one of the bigger clubs in the country. Better than Fulham, Brentford away.
It’s a good tie. It’s not as if we’ve ever rubbed shoulders with them competitively.
All cup ties are winnable…there’s a chance”

“A big club who we’ve never ever played before, at their place, which is one of the big historic football grounds situated in one of our more interesting cities. Plus, there’s the Currie connection. What’s not to like?”

“The cup is all about tradition. Sheffield Utd have more Division 1 pedigree than Bournemouth, Wigan, Watford etc. and are a bigger club, but because they are not in PL fans are moaning.”

“Only a win at Sheffield United can act as a gloss on this disappointing season.”

“The good news is that very few Championship sides take the FA Cup seriously so there’s a good chance they’ll field a reserve side.”

“If Sheffield United rest a few players we might not get stuffed on Sunday.”

“Theoretically, if United were to field a weakened team, which they almost certainly will, our chances may not be so low.
The league has to be a priority for them, and this is an important stage if they want promotion. Not sure they’d fancy the extra hassle of the FA Cup, and certainly won’t be starting Billy Sharp.
So they field a weakened team and they’re left with a fairly young/unfancied squad that isn’t much better than low League One standard… a la Bristol Rovers… who we beat.”

“Their first choice strikeforce is starting to click. Basham and Sharp have been scoring in recent games.
But this is the sort of fixture where we could frustrate them even if they do field a strong XI.”

“I had a dream yesterday that we went 2-0 up and left them shell-shocked at half time. Then it was backs to the wall defending, We conceded one to set up a grandstand finish. Then the baby woke me up at 5am…

“I saw them win at reading easily so expect them to score freely against us.”

“We will do well vs sheffield, deserve better, lose”

“We’ll lose and they’re such a boring side”

“Another crap draw. No chance of getting through and no glamour or money to be made from playing Sheffield Utd. Why do we never get Arsenal, Tottenham or Chelsea?It’s always a zero interest Northern or West Country side. Boring.”

“A boring and difficult tie! Magic of the cup and all that….”

“Fantastic atmosphere at Sheffield Utd so a great day out I’m sure.” “Proper stadium with proper fans.”

“The Chip butty song is very catchy but I doubt they’ll sing it unless we can take the lead or there’s a large crowd.”

“I thought I would check their attendances & was very disappointed to see their Carabao cup attendance of 6300 vs Hull earlier this season. League attendances ranging from 23-30k though. “

“Bramall Lane is a ground with plenty of character looking at the design. Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick, Leon Clarke up front………. Hillsborough was just eerie and had a horrible feeling of what had happened five years before when I went in 1994.”

“5 club coaches will be making the trip oop north for our first ever visit to Brammall Lane”

“5 coaches is quite something for us these days. Well done to all those going up there and here’s hoping we can do what we did at Bristol Rovers. Stay in the game, soak up a bit of pressure and maybe nick something we can hang on to.”

“Sheffield United have been good with the prices”

“I’m impressed that Season Ticket holders & membership holders get a discount on their matchday tickets, we should do that for our cup ties.”

“Over 500 tickets sold so far.”

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Pre-Match View From Wigan

“Sheffield United next so that will be 1 win in 14 great going the team and cook. Laugh a minute this”

“This is a must win game for Paul Cook and his coaching staff and I’d like to see us take the game to Sheffield and give them something to worry about instead of the cautious approach we’ve had of late. A loss could well see action from the owners to change the coaching set up. Ultimately its all about results and we are not winning enough to stay in this division at presents.”

“4th place up next. I’d take a point, supported by a decent performance right now. I’d also take a win, not justified by a shite performance…….. as it wouldn’t be detrimental in the long run. I’m just amazed that folk didn’t expect this season to realistically be a bit of a struggle. ”

“We did but we were all expecting our sides whoever is selected to go out and play an attacking positive game as promised by Paul Cook at the begining of the season.”

“Of course it was at times going to be a struggle thing is the majority of struggles have been self inflicted due to the negative tactics employed by the manager since the gubbing at Preston.
The change yesterday first half was a welcome last roll of the dice IMO.
Once the advantage had been gained the bottle seemed to go and was then compounded by questionable subs
Only upside is we didnt lose. If we had carried on being positive and claimed 3 points confidence and mood would have changed as it is any side who have a go at us are likely to prosper.”

“I think what is surprising is that after playing so well following our tactical switch against Derby, we haven’t carried on in the same way (with 11 players obviously). I would go the same way on Tuesday as we need to have the extra man in midfield against Sheffield to limit the supply to their lively front two”

“the Swansea manager apologised to Fans for getting his tactics wrong in the first half which played into our hands. The second half was Swanseas after he rectified his error, SU wont make the same mistake, for this one, our players will have to work their backsides off for us to get a point, there again lady luck could be on our side for this one.”

“maybe a 5-5-0 for this one. Hopefully we just sit on the nil-nil from the off, play plenty sideways and backwards passes and the big boot to no bugger up top. No doubt that would be the right way to play rather than just go at them from the off.”

“From what I’ve seen Sheffield play variation of a 3-4-3 with the wing backs attacking like wingers and the left and right centre half acting like full backs. They play a system bit like what we did in that 4 month epic spell under Roberto when we went from garbage to world beaters almost over night but instead of having the left and right of the front wide they play more of a triangle with a main pairing and one behind. So i think the 4-1-4-1 we used in the first half against Swansea would be a sensible way to go as they are very fluid in their shape so we will need to control the midfield if we want to have any hope of getting a result.”

“If the deal hasn’t gone through for Lee Evans can we pull out of the deal, save our money and get someone better.”

“I thought it was a deal worth more than a million. That said they seem delighted they’re getting that amount. Can’t say I’ve been overly impressed this season myself, no better than max power in all honesty.”

“He’s too slow”  

“It doesn’t help Evans being paired with Sam Morsy in midfield as I’ve seen oil tankers turn faster than them both.”

“Sharp to break the all time English goals record.”

“Billy Sharp will break his record on New Years Day”

“Do the Sheff Utd fans not sing Billy Sharp to the tune of Baby Shark?”

“Chris Basham being sent off for Sheff united will help us”

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Pre-Match View From Blackburn


“At the time of going to press: the world is shocked that The Queen has got a golden toilet, I’ve put on a(nother) stone of Xmas cheer, and disappointingly for some – Mowbray hasn’t resigned as a result of those late goals. Another tough away trip awaits for this calendar closer, but selfishly – I cannot bloody wait. 
Crazily, we haven’t played at Bramall Lane for over twelve years. 
Only out of League One for a season and a half, the Blades have impressed many with their “Total Yorkshire” tactics and can attack from any area of the pitch. Billy Sharp continues to defy all logic and actually be decent, and their keeper is a coin-throwing nob.
I’d say United are a good bet for the play-offs, and fair dos to them – at least they aren’t bloody Wednesday. 
They have the  oldest professional football stadium in the world and it has the concourses to prove it. 
Bramall Lane was converted from an international cricket ground in the late 19th century but only got a proper fourth side during the 1970s. Centrally located in the city, the stadium is deceptively impressive and quite grand once you get inside, although surprisingly only holds 1300 more than Ewood Park. Sheffield is a fantastic, friendly, football mad city If we get beat, as I expect we will – let’s hope that it is soundly and thoroughly within the first 85 minutes, so that Mowbray can keep his job.
 You never know though… we might be able to shove those Greasy Chip Buttys right down their Yaakshire throats.”
 

“We won’t let a lead slip here because we won’t get one, this is one i’d expect us to struggle in even if we’d won three on the bounce. We can’t cope with physical sides so i’d be tempted to go and try to get a shut out, ten behind the ball start to finish.,, 0-0.  Mowbray has his teams caught between being a good counter attacking side or a non attack keep ball punt it forwards and hope style but with a formation set to counter. He needs to go one way or the other imo.”

“They’re big powerful side”

“Not a chance on Saturday.
We will concede at least 2 goals.
Our fitness levels are increasingly worrying and it will be no surprise to me if it looks like our 7th game in 7 days!”

“Heavy defeat to round of an awful Xmas period”

“Expecting a loss so will be pleasantly surprised with anything else. Sheffield United were very good at Ewood and we were well beaten. “

” Sheffield United play their system of 3-5-2 where the defenders push very high up the pitch particularly the right and left centre backs of the 3. We couldn’t deal with it at all and pretty sure in the second half we brought on Mulgrew and switched to a similar system to match them up. So I won’t be surprised if we see something similar to the 3-4-3 or whatever it was at Leeds but with Lenihan, Mulgrew and Williams starting as a central 3. Mowbray is mentioning it as a problem in the LT today. “

“For Saturday, I can’t see anything other than another galling defeat snatched from the jaws of victory. Something seems to have snapped in this squad, and despite the obvious shortcomings of a basically League 1 playing staff, I think we’ve been found out by the opposition at this level. I’m expecting 3 or 4 goals for the Blades to be honest, with at best a late consolation once they’e put the game to bed. ”

“I fear a thumping. SU will go for the throat. At home to Leeds we had low possession and a poor pass completion rate, I read somewhere it was 57% but that probably includes hoofballs to head, chest and arse. “

“we’ve regressed to the point were we don’t know our best 11 again  and we have no really noticeable method of getting the ball from our box to their box on a regular basis.
I think we’ll struggle but I’ll consider it a success if we manage to play out the last ten minutes or so with the ball more in their half than ours. When you have all your players back in the last third you’ll struggle no matter what level your playing at. It’s as simple as that really.”

“I expect a real tense nervy game. I think we will be tighter than ever at the back. Still expect us to concede”

“We up our game against the better sides”

“We cannot keep playing well and not win one of these matches”

“Their record to date is W12 D5 L7 so they obviously include a few off days in their bag of fancy tricks. And they have only scored two more than we have let in…. “

“I’d love a manager like the guy at Sheffield United. He may come across as a knob but he keeps it simple and is efficient. The manager we have at the moment wants to play Pep football and formations on low championship wages.   Two decent quick wingers and the games become much simpler. I personally don’t feel massive loyalty to the guy and if we come close to the bottom 3 I would hope some boots up arses are handed it. It’s to comfy comfy at this club. Perform well or pack your bags. Both players and staff.”

“Sheff Utd away and WBA at home – even the most rose-tinted of Rovers fans would be bold to see us getting a point or more there. Say it is indeed then 1 win in 10.”

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