The international break may have arrived at the worst possible time for Sheffield United.
Flying in the Championship this season, last week’s win over promotion rivals Leeds United was a statement by the Blades who are looking to secure their return to the top flight after 12 years away.
A run of ten games without a defeat has propelled Chris Wilder’s side into a battle for the league title yet he will know that in order to achieve their goal this season, his players will have to emerge unscathed from their Euro 2020 qualifying games at the weekend.
Influential forward David McGoldrick is one of four players who have been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad whilst John Fleck may get on to feature for Scotland in their games against San Marino. With Conor Washington, Kieran Dowell and Dean Henderson also scheduled to be in action over the next week, Wilder will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on their fitness.
However, one player who hasn’t been called up by his national team is Oliver Norwood, a decision which would have inadvertently brought a smile to his manager’s face. Despite earning 50 caps for Northern Ireland during his career, Michael O’Neill has surprisingly decided to leave him out of the squad for their fixtures against Estonia and Belarus.
Giving the fact that the midfielder has been in such good form for the Blades, it will comfort the club’s supporters knowing that barring any injuries in training, he will be fit to face play-off chasing Bristol City on March 30th.
United’s top-scorer for the season Billy Sharp could also benefit from a rest in action. The 33-year-old has been in sparkling form for his boyhood club this season and alongside Norwood is vital for the club’s hopes of achieving automatic promotion in May.
What do you think Blades fans? Is Norwood’s Northern Ireland rebuttal good news for the club’s promotion hopes? Or would you have wanted him to be called up by his country? Get in touch below.
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