A top of the table clash takes place at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon when League One leaders Sheffield United take on 3rd place Bolton Wanderers.
Bolton are currently 7 points behind Sheffield United but have two games in hand so this weekends match is a must win for both teams and could prove vital in the race for promotion to the Championship. Wanderers are looking to make a swift return to the second tier after being relegated last season.
Both teams are unbeaten in their past four fixtures, winning two and drawing two. Last time out United came from behind to draw at home to 2nd place Scunthorpe, meanwhile Wanderers drew 2-2 away at Bradford City.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has said: “No matter how a game is going, these lads are showing they aren’t prepared to be out-fought. They are prepared to put themselves on the line. Whatever else happens, they won’t be out-fought.”
“Bolton have a good group of players and staff who have achieved. I don’t think their off-field problems will affect them. “
United midfielder Mark Duffy said: “We have belief in ourselves, particularly on our own pitch with the unbelievable backing we have.”
They will be without full back Joe Riley for the match and possibly the rest of the season. The 20 year old loanee from Manchester United dislocated his shoulder in a freak accident during training today.
Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson said: “Bravery is two things in football; it can be a physical challenge and putting your body on the line for the team but it can also be showing for the ball when the pressure is on. We’ll need both at Sheffield United.”
Bolton will be without two key players, suspended skipper Jay Spearing will be replaced by 23 year old Josh Vela. Full-back Andy Taylor will also be missing.
The last time these two played was a dramatic second round FA Cup match in December with home team Bolton winning 3-2. Bolton also won their previous league fixture with a 1-0 victory on the opening day of the season.
The match is expected to be attended by over 28,000 people with 2,200 Bolton fans making the journey to South Yorkshire.
Mike Dean, who has been much maligned this season and demoted from Premier League duties, will be officiating the match.