League One favourites Sheffield United travel to Rochdale on Saturday as the Blades look to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Team News

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has no new injury concerns for the trip to Greater Manchester.

Long-term absentee Leon Clarke is still sidelined with an ankle injury and has continued his rehab at St George’s Park this week. The striker is hopeful of playing again before the season ends.

Manchester United loanee Joe Riley has undergone surgery at his parent club for his dislocated shoulder, meaning the left-back will miss the remainder of the campaign.

A surprise inclusion for Saturday’s match day squad is 19-year-old Harry Chapman, who is believed to be fit again and should be ready for a return to action this weekend. Wilder said to the Sheffield Star, “Harry, if all goes well, will probably take part in that match early next week. It’s going to be good to see him back but, because he’s been out for a while, we don’t want to rush him. It’s important we bring him on properly so that he can get back to doing what we know he can do as soon as possible with no more problems.”

Rochdale could see the return of former Blades loanee Steve Davies to the first team on Saturday. The striker has been sidelined with a knee injury since January and has scored 11 goals this season.

However, the home side will be without Joe Rafferty and Donal McDermott after the pair were red carded against Peterborough United last week.

Last Meeting

The League One sides last met in the second game of the season in August at Bramall Lane. The game ended 1-1 with the Dale looking the better side following Andy Cannon’s opener but a late Billy Sharp equaliser meant the South Yorkshire club avoided a home loss.

However, seven months later, Sheffield United are a different pedigree. Just five players from the summer clash started last weekend’s important 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers. The Blades had a poor start to the season in the opening month but have lost just three league fixtures since.

The home side are without a win in their last eight games and the away side’s quality may be too much for Keith Hill’s team. Billy Sharp is currently the League One top scorer with 23 goals.

Chris Wilder’s side are seven points clear at the top of League One and could extend their lead as Scunthorpe United face a tough test against third place Fleetwood Town.


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