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Blades boast Cutting edge

Date published: 01 March 2012

ATHLETIC will be under no illusions as to the size of their task in trying to topple Sheffield United this weekend.

Blades manager Danny Wilson kicked off the season with a 2-0 win at Boundary Park and after a brief lull, United have since climbed up to second place in the npower League One table with a series of impressive victories.

Ex-Athletic forward Chris O'Grady downed the Blades for Wednesday in the derby between the ambitious city rivals last week.

But after beating Scunthorpe 2-1 at home last night, the Bramall Lane outfit will have few fears about further improving their record by claiming a 'double' over Paul Dickov's men, who have so far picked up six points in eight games against those teams currently occupying the division's top six.

Gunning for Dickov at Bramall Lane on Saturday will be Wales international striker Ched Evans, whose 21 goals this term have powered United up the rankings.

There is also considerable fire power elsewhere. Richard Cresswell scored the second of the visitors' goals at Boundary Park and as well as on-loan front man Will Hoskins, 34-year-old ex-England star James Beattie — once bought by the Blades for £4million — is again finding his feet at the club after signing a short-term deal which was recently extended to the end of the season.

United are a club who have traditionally produced their own talent and that is very evident across the likely line-up for Saturday.

Matthew Lowton and Harry Maguire have come through the ranks to make up half of the Blades' four-man defence and in midfield, livewire winger Stephen Quinn — impressive in the last meeting between the sides — is joined by one-club man Nick Montgomery, who has now made almost 400 appearances in a United shirt.


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