Fifth place Sheffield United host 21st placed Birmingham City, looking to bounce back from their defeat at Bristol City and continue their positive start to the season against the winless Blues.
The Blades have won four of their last five Championship matches, after losing their opening two games of the season. Those wins have included a 3-0 win at Bolton Wanderers and a 4-1 victory at home to Aston Villa. Chris Wilder’s side have produced some excellent performances so far this campaign, scoring 12 goals in their opening seven fixtures, although they have been beaten three times in those seven games.
Birmingham City, meanwhile, are winless so far this campaign having drawn five and lost two of their opening seven games. Garry Monk’s side struggled for goal last season, scoring just 38 goals in 46 matches, as they fought against relegation for most of the campaign before eventually finishing in 19th place. That does not appear to have changed so far this season with Birmingham scoring just five goals so far, four of which have come in two matches, both 2-2 draws against Nottingham Forest and Norwich City.
Sheffield United have won three of the past four meetings between the two sides at Bramall Lane. Wilder’s side were beaten, for the first time since a 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in their second match of the season, by Bristol City on Saturday but will be looking for a positive response on Wednesday night.
Birmingham have won five out of the last seven games between the sides in all competitions. If The Blues are to record another victory over Sheffield United, they will have to start converting some of their good play in recent matches into goals. Last time out against West Brom Monk’s side created a host of chances, even missing a penalty to double their lead, before being punished and having to settle for a 1-1 draw.
The hosts will be expected to pick up all three points and will have influential midfielder John Fleck available again following his recovery from a groin injury. Monk has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match and will once again face a choice of whether to start with Che Adams or Omar Boggle up front, after rotating the pair in recent games, as they chase a much-needed first win of the season.