Sheffield Utd. Match Preview

Last updated : 14 April 2006 By Michael Morris
With the play offs out of reach for City we are in the position today of trying to do Leeds and Watford a favour as well as playing for our own pride.

Sheffield Utd are favourites to go up with Reading but there could be a twist in the tail. Utd are 9 points ahead of Leeds and Watford. Should we beat them today and Leeds win tomorrow the gap would be just 6 points and the Leeds face Utd next Tuesday. That could make the gap just three points with two games to go.

All ifs and buts though. If Utd win today and Watford and Leeds fail to win this weekend then Utd are up.

Todays game is live on Sky Sports 1.

On the pitch City may have to swap things around. There are doubts over Thompson, Koumas and Ardley with Nsungu, Parry and Weston ready to step in. Will Dave Jones keep Joe Ledley at left back?

Sheffield Utd have no such worries they have a full strength squad to chose from and are likely to name an unchanged team from the one that beat Hull last week.

Neil Warnock knows he can't confirm promotion today

"We can't win anything at Cardiff. After that we can be promoted in every game.

"We haven't got to rely on Watford and Leeds getting beaten because you can't rely on that.

"I fully expect Leeds to beat Reading on Saturday because they've nothing to lose. They've got good players.

"Reading have gone up and they're not expected to beat them, that's why I think they'll be at their most dangerous. I think Watford will beat Wolves. What we need is four points to be mathematically safe."

Speaking ahead of the game Dave Jones told the Echo

'Sheffield United have been knocking on the door of the Premiership for many years and maybe it's their time.

'But a few years ago I slammed the door in his face at the Millennium Stadium and we'll be out to stop Sheffield United at Ninian Park.

'When we've clashed it has always been on the side of the pitch during matches, but we have always got on well after games and often have a drink together.

'The big difference at the moment when you compare clubs like Reading and Sheffield United with Cardiff is that they have options.

'They can change their teams during matches and between matches - they have a lot of players, while we can only change like for like.

'But Reading and Sheffield United have been building towards this point for years.

'I don't want to wait that long, but we have only been together for eight or nine months.

'We got ourselves into a position from where we could challenge - and that was from a point where nobody gave us a cat in hell's chance when we started out.

'As a football club we are not ready, either as a squad or in other areas.

'But we have made excellent progress - and we will keep working to make sure we challenge again next season and sustain the progress we have made.'