Saturday’s victory over Preston North End was a special result for Sheffield United, wasn’t it Blades fans?
In-front of a travelling faithful of 5,577 at Deepdale, Chris Wilder’s side edged out the Lilywhites as a first-half strike from David McGoldrick secured a vital three points which moved the club above Leeds United in the Championship standings after they were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham City.
Currently occupying the second automatic promotion position, the Blades are now just six games away from a return to the top flight of English football after 12 years away but they cannot afford to become complacent.
Wednesday’s clash at Birmingham could see United extend the gap between them and Leeds to four points yet if they slip-up at St Andrews, they may be leapfrogged by Marcelo Bielsa’s side depending on how they perform at Preston.
Wilder could look to inspiration from the way that the Blades finished their 2016/17 campaign. The Yorkshire-based outfit won all six of their final fixtures that year to secure promotion to the second tier, winning the League One title in the process. Although it is extremely unlikely that they will be overcome runaway leaders Norwich City in May, if they can replicate a similar run of form over the next four weeks they will be almost certain to edge out the Whites.
The first step to achieving the dream of a top-two finish is to end their poor record against Birmingham which has seen them fail to beat the Blues in their last four meetings. A victory in midweek would be the first in a decade against their opponents who are arguably a lot better than what their league position suggests.
Garry Monk’s side where in contention for a play-off position earlier on in the season however a drop off in form was compounded by a nine-point deduction from the English Football League for breaching profitability and sustainability rules (via the BBC).
Birmingham’s victory over Leeds illustrated that they can be competitive against anyone in the Championship when at their very best and with the likes of Che Adams and Lukas Jutkiewicz leading the line, the Blades know that they will have to be in top form in midweek in order to keep their promotion hopes on track.
What do think United fans? Will the result at St Andrew’s have a profound impact on your club’s hopes for finishing in the top two? Are you confident overcoming Leeds in the race for promotion? Let us know below.
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