After one big game in Yorkshire last week, it`s an even bigger one this week. We travel over to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United. There will be over 1.5 million fans in attendance, according to Sheffield United fans` representative, Sean Spicer.
It`s been an interesting build-up, with tickets, attendances, and Gary Madine`s opinion of Billy Sharp being the topics of conversation. It`s a tough, but potentially pivotal game, if we could win, we`d be in a position where we have two games in hand over the Blades, but just a four-point gap. We can take this into our own hands, as long we were to win.
“That is obviously our job. We need to be better than we were early on at Valley Parade and if we can quieten that crowd down then we know we are doing something right. I think if we start the game like we finished the last one there is no reason at all why we can`t beat the odds and get a result.”
Parkinson in the Bolton News. From previous experiences of Bramall Lane, more likely they`ll whinge instead.
Sheffield United Team News:
Joe Riley (not our old one) dislocated his shoulder just after signing on loan from Man Utd, while Leon Clarke is also missing with an ankle injury. The Blades have no other injury worries.
Player to watch: Billy Sharp
Gary Madine doesn`t think much of him, but there`s little doubt Sharp is key to that lot. He has scored 35% of their goals since last August, is the league`s top scorer, and seems to have a knack of scoring some crucial goals as well.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Jay Spearing serves the second of his two-match ban. James Henry could, may would say, should be in the side after his performance off the bench at Valley Parade, Mark Howard could well be recalled after Ben Alnwick`s dodgy performance. Chris Long has been feeling pain in his hamstrings, and could have nerve damage, but will be allowed to prove his fitness. Andy Taylor remains a serious injury doubt.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
Gary Madine needs to perform after that stuff ended up online. If he does score the winner, he has my permission to fly Vs at the Kop, or maybe an Adebayoresque run if he scores at our end.
Match Facts & Stats
We`ve won both of our games against the Blades this season, 1-0 in the league and 3-2 in the FA Cup, both were at the Macron though.
The Blades have yet to win against any of the current top six at home this season, and only have one win in all, away at Southend, We`re unbeaten against top six sides.
Josh Vela and Gary Madine are our top scorers this season with seven and six. Billy Sharp has 21 – the same as the combined total of the four top scorers still at the Macron.
Mike Dean, who probably thinks the bumper crowd will be for him, and him alone.
I`ll go for a draw, they`re a good side but we have a decent record in the bigger games. 1-1
Two home games, Bristol Rovers are our visitors on Tuesday, then we have Wimbledon on Saturday.