Sheffield Utd v Middlesbrough preview
Last Updated: 09/04/18 5:25pm
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has no fresh injury problems ahead of Tuesday night's Sky Bet Championship showdown with Middlesbrough.
Defender Richard Stearman, who missed Saturday's 3-2 derby defeat at Barnsley with a hamstring problem, will sit out once again, but could return for Millwall's visit to Bramall Lane at the weekend.
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Midfielder Mark Duffy was used as a second-half substitute at Oakwell after two games on the sidelines with a groin strain and will hope to figure once again. However, keeper Jamal Blackman completes his three-match ban with Simon Moore again in line to deputise.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has a clean bill of health as he heads into a potentially key clash for his promotion-chasing side. Only long-term absentee Rudy Gestede is missing as the sixth-placed Teessiders attempt to cement their place in the play-off berths.
Full-back Fabio da Silva, who has been out of action since December with a thigh injury, returned to the bench against Nottingham Forest on Saturday and will hope to make it on to the pitch this time around. Pulis made just one change for the 2-0 win at the weekend with Ryan Shotton replacing Martin Cranie, and he is likely to keep faith with the bulk of the team once more.
Sheffield United have scored just two goals in their last seven matches against Middlesbrough in all competitions (W1 D2 L4).
Middlesbrough haven't visited Bramall Lane since April 2011, winning 2-1 in a Championship clash thanks to a late Marvin Emnes winner.
The Blades are unbeaten in five league games at Bramall Lane, with the last two ending level (W3).
The Boro have lost just one of their last nine Championship games (W5 D3), with that defeat coming at home to league leaders Wolves (1-2).
Billy Sharp's 12 goals have been worth 17 points to his team this season, more than any other player in the Championship.
Tony Pulis' last league meeting with Sheffield United was in December 2007 - his Stoke side won 3-0 at Bramall Lane in the Championship.
Sheffield United need a win here or you feel it will be curtains on their play-off hopes. There are four points between them and Middlesbrough in sixth, and a draw or defeat would probably leave them with too much ground to make up.
Boro will be aware, however, that if they are beaten then it will provide a real lift to the chasing pack. The Blades will absolutely go for it because they have to, Score draw.
David Prutton predicts: 1-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet)