An in-depth look at Barnsley's trip to Bramall Lane from 12.30pm today.
Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Collins; Brittain, Helik, Andersen, Vita; Gomes, Wolfe; Styles, Bassi, Quina; Morris
Sheffield United (3-4-2-1): Foderingham; Gordon, Egan, Robinson; Osborn, Berge, Norwood, Norrington-Davies; Gibbs-White, Ndiaye; Sharp
Barnsley: Injury doubts: Carlton Morris. Out injured: Cauley Woodrow, Jordan Williams, Victor Adeboyejo.
Sheffield United: Injury doubts: Ben Davies, John Fleck, Oli McBurnie. Out injured: Charlie Goode, Chris Basham, David McGoldrick, Rhian Brewster, Jayden Bogle, George Baldock, Enda Stevens, Jack O’Connell.
MATTY WOLFE v SANDER BERGE
Norweigan international Berge was signed for £22million when the Blades were in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old has had a mixed spell in English football but is starting to find his feet in the Championship, and has scored twice in his last three games.
He has often been starting alongside former Barnsley captain Conor Hourihane and another experienced Championship performer Oliver Norwood in a midfield three.
They will look to dominate a far less experienced Barnsley midfield who have struggled badly at times this season but improved of late.
Wolfe has been excellent recently, in his first run of starts having spent more than a decade in the Reds academy.
He may have solved Barnsley’s problem in central midfield, impressing alongside Claudio Gomes, while Josh Benson and Romal Palmer are now out of the first 11. Wolfe can look raw at times, as you would expect from a 21-year-old with such little experience, so must keep his composure in the derby.
MICHAL HELIK V BILLY SHARP
Sharp, 36, is the all-time record goal-scorer in the history of the Championship with 128 goals.
He is the sixth top-scorer in the division this season with 14, as well as seven assists.
He has only scored twice in 17 meetings with Barnsley, both in 1-0 wins for the Blades – at Oakwell in 2008 and in 2017 at Bramall Lane.
Helik is due to play in this match then go straight into international duty with Poland who are one game away from the 2022 World Cup.
He will have to make sure he keeps an eye on the wily striker, as well as Wolves loanee Morgan Gibbs-White who has excelled in attacking midfield with eight goals and seven assists. Helik and Mads Andersen have impressed as a centre-back duo in recent weeks, with Brad Collins also very solid behind them in goal.
CARLTON MORRIS V JOHN EGAN
The Reds have not netted in their last two trips to Bramall Lane and Morris is the most likely man to end that wait.
The 26-year-old striker is the top-scorer with six goals, despite starting fewer than half of the league games.
His return to full fitness following a three-month injury then a bout of Covid-19, along with the signings of attacking midfielders Domingos Quina and Amine Bassi, have turned Barnsley from the lowest scorers in England football to a much better attacking prospect.
Irish international centre-back Egan was bullied by Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres on Saturday and Morris will look to do the same if he is fit after coming off in midweek with a tight calf.
Blades 0, Reds 1 – November 1, 2014
Barnsley’s last win at Bramall Lane and their last goal there. Sam Winnall headed in James Bailey’s corner on 56 minutes for Danny Wilson’s side. It was a League One mid-table battle. Current Blades Conor Hourihane and Adam Davies were in Barnsley’s squad, while Devante Cole started during his first spell with the Reds.
Blades 3, Reds 3 – March 7, 2000
Barnsley lost the lead three times including in the 93rd minute of this thriller. Rob Kozluk, the future Barnsley defender, was given a torrid time by Georgi Hristov. The Macedonian latched onto a Kozluk error to make it 1-0 then – after the hosts levelled – won a penalty from the same player which Darren Barnard converted. Michael Brown made it 2-2 then, after a fine goal by Neil Shipperly looked to have won it for the visitors, Marcus Bent levelled late on.
Blades 1, Reds 2 – March 24, 1990
Barnsley’s first league win at Bramall Lane for 39 years. United led at the break but Steve Agnew volleyed in a leveller then Andy Saville headed in a winner.
Blades 1, Reds 1 – March 31, 1981
Two team-mates from England’s World Cup winning team 15 years earlier were the managers as Martin Peters said Norman Hunter’s Barnsley were the best Division Three side he had seen that season. Glyn Riley put the visitors ahead but the hosts levelled with ten minutes left.
Blades 1, Reds 2 – December 29, 1951
The hosts were leading until the final minutes when Frank Pattison levelled from a pass by Eddie McMorran who then found the winner.