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Ndiaye starts: The predicted Sheffield United XI to face Blackburn on Saturday

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Championship side Sheffield United will be desperate to get three points on the board this weekend, as they take on Blackburn Rovers in their final game before the international break.

The Blades have been frustratingly inconsistent so far this season, seemingly getting back on track in September after failing to win any of their opening five league games of the 2021/22 campaign but failing to gain any meaningful momentum since then.

Their 1-1 draw at the City Ground against an in-form Nottingham Forest side in midweek wasn’t the worst result on paper – but a win to make up for their 1-0 loss to Blackpool last weekend would be the perfect way to end a difficult mini-period for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men.

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What squad number does Billy Sharp currently wear?

With this inconsistency, they currently sit in 16th place and further away from the play-offs than they would have wanted, even at this early stage of the season when there’s still plenty to play for.

Automatic promotion looks less likely than before the beginning of the season with AFC Bournemouth and Fulham flying and the Blades already a whopping 16 points adrift of the top two.

However, two wins separate Jokanovic’s side and sixth-place Stoke City going into the weekend and a victory against Tony Mowbray’s men will only help them to take them closer to the promotion mix.

After being relegated from the Premier League last term, this has to be their minimum aim and the team selection for this tie could make all the difference in this one and in their longer-term quest of getting back to the top flight.

Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s kick-off at Ewood Park, we have selected the starting 11 United’s manager is likely to go with in Lancashire.

In goal, Robin Olsen has to start again as the established first-choice option, although he will need to stay on his toes with Wes Foderingham showing earlier in the season that he can do a respectable job when called upon.

The back four also remain the same, with Chris Basham playing particularly well in the East Midlands and showing why he should be starting every game for the Blades. There will be outrage from many supporters at 2pm tomorrow if he isn’t in the lineup.

Jayden Bogle, who still has much room for improvement at 21, keeps his place and helps to retain Jokanovic’s side’s threat down the right-hand side with George Baldock also able to come in and drive down the wing if needed.

For now though, the 21-year-old gets in ahead of him having not had an adequate chance to impress so far this season.

Unfortunately for loanee Conor Hourihane, who has performed well at Aston Villa and Swansea City in recent years, the two in front of the backline also stays as it is. John Fleck and Oliver Norwood have played together countless times – and this could pay dividends against a vulnerable Blackburn side who lost 7-0 against Fulham on Wednesday night.

The Republic of Ireland international’s time to re-enter the fray at some point will come though – and he needs to remain patient.

One man who is perhaps lucky to stay in the lineup is Ben Osborn after an average performance in midweek, but he has been generally reliable this term as an orthodox wing option and the influential Morgan Gibbs-White moves over to the right-hand side as the Blades two advanced wide men.

Someone who isn’t so lucky is Rhian Brewster who looked a shadow of his former self again against Forest – and is replaced by the exciting Iliman Ndiaye – fresh after only appearing as a substitute in Nottingham and motivated to show boss Jokanovic why he should never have been dropped.

Billy Sharp also comes in to replace Lys Mousset, having come on and made a real impact at the City Ground. The experienced man, like Ndiaye, will be fresh and raring to go and will no doubt do United fans proud again on the road as they make the trip north.

Predicted Substitutes: Foderingham, Baldock, Robinson, Hourihane, Brewster, McGoldrick, Mousset


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Ndiaye starts: The predicted Sheffield United XI to face Blackburn on Saturday

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