Another pulsating encounter is anticipated at Bramall Lane and if it is half as entertaining as last seasons encounter, which United won 2-1, then those that have braved a cold October afternoon in the City of Steel are in for a treat.
Former Birmingham City, Crystal Palace and Coventry City forward Dele Adebola played in attack with new signing John Akinde during his debut on Tuesday night and feels that the youngster is a player with plenty of promise.
‘I was really impressed with him,’ said Adebola with regard to Akinde’s involvement on Tuesday.
‘Given his power and pace and ability to read the game, he can do well if given a chance. He has bags of potential.’
While some might feel that Akinde has a lot of catching up to do to reach the standards required at Championship level, Adebola believes that coming out of non-league football can actually work in the youngsters favour.
‘The nice thing for John is that there is absolutely no pressure on him. He’s come out of non-League football and people are probably expecting it to be another couple of years before he’s ready to play first team football regularly.’
‘It’s a great situation for him to be in. If he can get in the side, score some goals and progress more quickly than expected, it will be great news for John and for the club.’
Sheffiled United Team News:
Midfielder Greg Halford is doubtful for Sheffield United’s home clash with Bristol City, when new signing Brian Howard could make his debut.
The on-loan Sunderland man had eight stitches inserted in a gashed shin sustained late on in the midweek win at Doncaster and will be assessed closer to kick-off.
If Halford fails to make it, on-loan Southampton winger Nathan Dyer could be handed his first start, while David Cotterill and Lee Hendrie are also available to fill in, although Howard is another option after completing his move from Barnsley on Thursday evening.Sun Jihai is back in contention as well following his four-match suspension.
James Beattie is expected to be fit after picking up a dead-leg in midweek and Kyle Naughton should retain his place at full-back.
The game has come too soon for midfielder Matthew Spring, who is returning to full fitness following an ankle injury.
Player to watch: Brian Howard
Likely to make his debut and always a handful for defences.
Bristol City Team News:
Gary Johnson is buoyed by the return of three first-team players.
Michael McIndoe, Louis Carey and Marvin Elliott have all returned to training after failing pre-match fitness tests ahead of the midweek derby clash at home to Plymouth Argyle.
Nicky Maynard is also fit despite being withdrawn with a foot injury midway through the 2-2 Championship draw with Paul Sturrock’s men.
Jamie McCombe remains sidelined with a broken cheekbone, although Johnson has revealed he expects the giant defender to be back soon following his return to full training.
The Robins boss told the club’s official website: ‘Jamie will take a little while to get back up to match sharpness. He will probably play against Swansea in the reserves next week.’
Steve Brooker (Achilles) and Christian Ribeiro (knee ligament) are the only other absentees for City at Bramall Lane.
Player to watch: John Akinde
This raw Ebsfleet talent looked every bit a Championship player on Tuesday night. Big strong, quick and with an eye for goal; alongside Dele Adebola City have suddenly acquired a very powerful front line.
Match Facts & Stats
Bristol City have not won at Bramall Lane since Nov 16th 1957 when they won 3-0 in front of just over 15,000 fans.
City vs. Sheffield United
Biggest Victory 5-1
Heaviest Defeat 4-0
Biggest League Victory 5-1
Heaviest League Defeat 4-0
Highest Home 25,335
Lowest Home 6,922
Highest Away 29,787
Lowest Away 5,000
Avg. Home 14,620
Avg. Away 15,550
More stats at www.citystats.org.uk
Norwich City on Sat 18th October 2008 at Ashton Gate kick off 3pm