Oldham Athletic entertain in-form Sheffield United in this weekend’s League One clash at the SportsDirect.com Park.
Latics’ defender Rob Hunt could return to the Oldham team following an injury against Oxford United last week, but John Sheridan is likely to name an unchanged starting XI after Saturday’s impressive draw at Peterborough United.
Sheffield United’s left-wing-back Danny Lafferty will miss the trip to Greater Manchester after receiving an international call-up for Northern Ireland in their World Cup qualifier against Norway on Sunday. The absence of the 27-year-old will be a blow for Chris Wilder’s side and the boss has a selection problem to solve. Lafferty has been an important part of the Blades’ success this term and accumulated 32 appearances thus far.
Attacking players Matt Done and Jay O’Shea are both reasonable candidates for the position on Saturday, with the former previously filling the role earlier in the season. Chris Hussey is another option for Wilder, although the left-back hasn’t played since December’s FA Cup loss to Bolton Wanderers.
Long term absentee Leon Clarke could be in contention for a place in the match day squad after appearing in a behind closed doors friendly mid-week. The striker has been sidelined since January with an ankle injury.
The Blades hosted Oldham on Boxing Day last year with the visitors sitting rock-bottom in League One. Sheffield United were quickly rising up in the table and unbeaten in their last 18 league fixtures but both sides were far from spectacular at Bramall Lane. The promotion chasers came out as 2-0 winners, in front of 25,800 in attendance, following a brace from captain Billy Sharp.
Sheffield United would be delighted to take another scrappy win on Saturday as long as they return to S2 with the three points. The South Yorkshire club are six points clear of Bolton Wanderers in second-place and will look to extend their gap of safety.
Oldham are fighting for survival but enter the fixture undefeated in their last three games. Sheridan’s side are three points above the relegation zone.