Sheffield United vs Reading; 3pm, Saturday 16 February 2019; Bramall Lane
Sheffield United will be the more confident of the two sides heading into Saturday’s clash with Reading at Bramall Lane.
The Blades sit 3rd in the EFL Championship, two points behind Norwich after their 1-0 win at home to Middlesbrough on Wednesday. The Canaries slipped up, falling to Preston North End by three goals to one. Promotion rivals Leeds picked up the full 3 points at home to Swansea, beating the Welsh side 2-1. However, United boast a greater goal difference than the sides above them, with +20, compared to +17 and +19 for Leeds and Norwich respectively.
Now only three days later, Chris Wilder’s men face a Reading side in 21st that managed a narrow 2-1 victory at home to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. That win was their first in four attempts, following a loss to Derby County and three successive draws.
United have had a slightly better run of form in that time period, with two wins to their name, two draws and a single loss to Swansea City.
The Blades have also had a decent record at home with goals at both ends of the pitch. On average, they have scored 1.7 goals per home game, compared to Norwich’s less impressive 0.8. On the defensive side, it also fares well for the Blades. Reading’s 1.4 average goals conceded away from home doesn’t stack up against United’s 0.9.
United fans will be keen to welcome back Chris Basham, who missed Wednesday’s game through suspension. Jack O’Connell is still out with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Reading will be without Garath McCleary or Andy Rinomhota, both of whom are out injured. After returning to first team action on Wednesday, Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira will be back on the team sheet.
Sheffield United: WLDWDW