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Preview: Sheffield United vs. Derby County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Sheffield United and Derby County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sheffield United play host to Derby County on Saturday afternoon having put together a four-match unbeaten streak in the Championship.

While the Blades have moved into 14th position, Derby now sit bottom of the table after the EFL enforced a 12-point deduction for the club moving into administration.

Match preview

Sheffield United's John Egan celebrates scoring their second goal against Hull City in the Championship on September 18, 2021© Reuters

At a time when some clubs will say that the international break came at the wrong moment, Slavisa Jokanovic knows that the two-week interval was pivotal in changing Sheffield United's fortunes for the better.

Seven points and 11 goals have come from fixtures against Peterborough United, Preston North End and Hull City, kick-starting the Blades' campaign after an abysmal start.

The introductions of Iliman Ndiaye and Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Morgan Gibbs-White have made all the difference, the midfield duo chipping in with four goals and three assists between them.

Jokanovic will be less than satisfied with the defensive effort of his team with five strikes being conceded during the same triple-header.

Nevertheless, Sheffield United are back among the mix in mid-table, the best scenario that they could have hoped for after failing to win any of their first five fixtures.

Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Staying on the subject of best-case scenarios and simply surviving as a football club will be what Derby supporters are craving at the present time.

The inevitable move into administration has left the Rams nine points adrift of safety and with the prospect of further sanctions to follow in the future.

Last weekend's 2-1 win over Stoke City was a show of defiance from Wayne Rooney's squad, but the reality is that this squad are playing on borrowed time ahead of the necessary sales and departures in January.

Max Bird finally netted his first Derby goal during that fixture, and Rooney will hope for more of the same as Derby look to move off minus points at Bramall Lane.

Saturday's game is a repeat of last month's EFL Cup second round tie, which the home side won by a 2-1 scoreline.

Sheffield United Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Sheffield United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Derby County Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Derby County form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic on September 11, 2021© Reuters

Ben Davies is expected to start for Sheffield United after his late withdrawal against Hull proved to be a precautionary measure.

While Ndiaye is pushing for a recall to the starting lineup, Jokanovic may be content with using the same 11 players which started at the KCOM Stadium.

Despite Oliver McBurnie's goal against Southampton in the EFL Cup, Billy Sharp will lead the Blades attack.

With a week of preparation, Rooney is likely to stick with the Derby XI which performed so impressively against Stoke in difficult circumstances.

Kamil Jozwiak may be considered for a starting role on one of the flanks, potentially taking the place of Louie Sibley.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Baldock, Egan, Davies, Norrington-Davies; Hourihane, Fleck; Brewster, Gibbs-White, Osborn; Sharp

Derby County possible starting lineup:
Roos; Byrne, Jagielka, Davies, Buchanan; Bird, Shinnie; Sibley, Morrison, Lawrence; Baldock

SM words green background

We say: Sheffield United 3-0 Derby County

With both clubs moving in opposite directions over the past couple of weeks, this could prove to be a one-sided contest. While Derby will continue to fight for the cause, we see the Blades cruising to victory at Bramall Lane.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Derby County manager Wayne Rooney on September 14, 2021
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Derby facing 12-point penalty after confirming appointment of administrators
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