Sheffield United entertain promotion rivals Bolton Wanderers in tomorrow’s huge top of the table clash in League One.
The Blades will be without loanee Joe Riley after the youngster suffered a dislocated shoulder in a freak training injury this week. The full-back has featured regularly on the Sheffield United bench with two appearances to his name and has returned to Old Trafford for a scan and treatment.
Riley aside, long-term absentee Leon Clarke (ankle) is Chris Wilder’s only missing player for Saturday’s fixture.
For the visitors, Phil Parkinson will be without key player Jay Spearing, who accumulated 32 appearances for Bolton this term before earning himself a two-game ban as the midfielder was booked for the tenth time this season against Rochdale.
Loanee Andrew Taylor isn’t expected to return for the trip to Bramall Lane.
In the two team’s last meeting, Bolton scraped through to the FA Cup third round with a 3-2 win at the Macron Stadium against a largely weakened Sheffield United side. Chris Wilder left important players Mark Duffy, Simon Moore and Billy Sharp out of the starting eleven but will be naming a strong team to face Bolton at the weekend, and perhaps may name an unchanged side to last week’s game.
The Trotters also beat the South Yorkshire side on the opening day of the season through a Jay Spearing strike in a 1-0 win. Sheffield United were still finding their feet under new boss Wilder and fell to the bottom of the third-tier, but Bolton will collide with a new and improved team when they travel to Sheffield tomorrow.
The encounter will prove to be vital in the promotion race with Bolton seven points adrift of the league-leaders. Both sides are undefeated in their last four games and will be looking to inflict a damaging blow to their opponent’s promotion campaign.