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Sheffield Utd v Boro

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Original Fat Bob
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Sheffield Utd v Boro Bramhall Lane

Saturday 1/1/22 k.o. 12:30

 

So after a nail biting and frenzied finish against Blackpool we turn to our next opponents.

 

The Current Boro boss and once former Blades boss returns to his former stamping ground at Bramall Lane on Saturday for the first time since his departure in March this year.

 

I have spoken to Sheffield United fans who plan to give Wilder a good reception and still wish that he was their manager.

 

Chris Wilder is of the opinion that Sheffield United may possible benefit from their extended rest period when he brings the Boro to Bramall Lane on New Year's Day. This is due to the fact that Sheffield United will be very much rested after having seen both their festive fixtures called off due to positive Covid tests in their opposition  squads.

 

They were due to travel to Preston on Boxing Day and entertain Hull this week but both these fixtures were postponed

This means that they will be fresh and will play  their match, at home to Boro on New Year's Day, off the back of an 11-day break.

 

Boro, meanwhile, have played Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day which we won 2 0 and also our game at Blackpool less than 72 hours before making the trip to Sheffield.  Wilder believes that lack of action for United could hand them an advantage fitness wise going into Saturday's fixture, with Paul Heckingbottom's men benefiting from an extended rest period

 

He has been quoted as saying

 

“Of course, you can talk about our opponents at the weekend, who will have gone a big period without a game and we will have played leading up to that.There's obviously going to be an advantage to them there. But on the flip side, there are a lot of teams who are playing catch-up and we want to play and carry on. Of course, in an absolute ideal world, we want everyone to be playing at the same time, so the integrity of the competition doesn't come into question. But we are not in ideal times and unfortunately, that is the situation we are in.”

 

Fulham manager Marco Silva however was unhappy with Sheffield United's tactics after watching his side fall to a 1-0 defeat last weekend. It was only the second time this season they had been beaten on home soil with Iliman Ndiaye's third-minute strike proving to be the difference between the two sides.

 

It was a disappointing night for Fulham with both fans and players giving off an anxious feel to proceedings as United used their experience well to protect their early lead.

 

The former Everton manager was particularly unhappy with the Sheffield United tactics, accusing them of timewasting as Paul Heckingbottom's men managed to frustrate the league leaders. Silva also felt United's opening goal was fortunate.

 

Boro will again be without Johnny Howson in midfield leaving Paddy McNair to fill in the midfield and captaincy role.

One thing is certain this Boro side doesn’t know when it’s beaten and I can’t remember a team who have played with vigour right up to the end and produce a winning result.

 

So do I have foam hands for Saturday? I’ll settle for a 1-1 draw what do the rest of you Diasborians think?

 

OFB


Original Fat Bob
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Thinking of Saturdays game, I’m in something of a mental quandary as I don’t know whether I want to stick or twist……..do I want the game to be played so that the run can continue or do I feel that we could do with a break. Sheffield United are in form and they’ve had a rest. Have they been Covid-affected or has it been their opponents?

Is it time for our luck to change and, if so, is it better for it to happen against Mansfield. 

If we don’t play, there will be time for Howson to recover.

What do people think?

Selwynoz


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Selwynoz
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

Thinking of Saturdays game, I’m in something of a mental quandary as I don’t know whether I want to stick or twist……..do I want the game to be played so that the run can continue or do I feel that we could do with a break. Sheffield United are in form and they’ve had a rest. Have they been Covid-affected or has it been their opponents?

Is it time for our luck to change and, if so, is it better for it to happen against Mansfield. 

If we don’t play, there will be time for Howson to recover.

What do people think?

Selwynoz

OFB

Thanks for moving this across to the new thread

UTB


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Andy R
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Great opener Bob. Thanks once again.

I don’t think the win over Blackpool was particularly lucky as I thought we were marginally the better side overall, though clearly it could have been a draw on another day. The fine margins are with us at the moment and it’s great to see us taking advantage.

That said, it was a below par performance from Boro with the passing and movement less evident than in previous weeks. There are plenty of reasons why that might have been the case: fatigue, changes to the line-up (at least one enforced) and Blackpool playing pretty well without the ball.

Its definitely advantage Sheff Utd with the break they’ve had but we may get that advantage back later in the season as the fixtures pile up for the sides around us.

I’d happily take a draw for this one but wonder if the run is about to end.

What a December for Boro though. One or two good reinforcements and we can build on this.

To Pedro’s point re the lack of creativity in central midfield, I would like to see Payero given a start again. Crooks did a fine job as the holding midfielder earlier in the season and I’d rather see McNair back in the back three where he’s been playing so well.

I’m also still wondering whether Tavernier would be better at left wingback. Peltier there didn’t work for me, though Taylor has been fine. Just think Tav might give us more threat to balance us a bit as we’re becoming overly reliant on Jones.

These are minor quibbles though. We’re in good shape.


John Richardson
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OFB,

Thanks for the opener with a lot of good and valid points made. One thing that Boro do have is momentum but balancing that against the freshness of the Sheffield team is hard to measure. United have to be favourites but Boro's ever quit attitude, never thought I'd say that, is almost an extra man. My main worry is just how long before one of those lumbering Championship journeymen clumps Jones out of frustration, he is becoming a bit of a talisman. Mind you so are the others too.

Previously Boro's heads would have gone down after that equaliser, then panicking goofball would have started but not last night and I hope that level of self-belief can carry Boro through the Sheffield game, Then there are the travelling fans. Just brilliant.

The score? Boro won't lose, that's as far as I'm prepared to go. I'm not superstitious...

Stay safe everyone.

UTB,

John


jarkko
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Posted by: @original-fat-bob

They were due to travel to Preston on Boxing Day and entertain Hull this week but both these fixtures were postponed

This means that they will be fresh and will playtheir match, at home to Boro on New Year's Day, off the back of an 11-day break.

I think it is better to play and win two matches than rest for 11 days. And keep the momentum going.

If Howson is missing (Wilder said he will be checked in coming days but I thought BBC Tees said it was Covid) I would like to see the following Boro side at United on Saturday:

Lumley 

Dijksteel - Fry - McNair 

Jones  - Crooks - Taylor

Payero - Tavarnier 

Watmore - Šporar 

I for one want to see the Argentinian starting. He must be fit and freshing up the team. So max two changes now.

PS. Thank you for staring a new thread, OFB. Up the Boro!

 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago 4 times by jarkko

Powmill-Naemore
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Thanks for starting us off again OFB, while the euphoria of the last 5 minutes last night is still tangible.

I didn't see last nights match, following the game on Twitter. When I saw AV's "BUGGER" tweet I felt a little sick at heart for a moment, but then thought to myself I believe this team can still win this...honestly I did!. Overjoyed a moment later as the "GOAL" tweets came in.

That never stop playing attitude has been so rare a quality in Boro teams of recent times and that is why I believe  despite the rest that The Blades have had  we will be up for it on Saturday and will give a good account of ourselves...again.

What will the result be? I too will be delighted with a point, but not despondent if we lose so long as we play with the same commitment over-the-counter whole game.

Big positive that Sporar and Watmore both scored from open play. Sporar looks like to score every time I see him and I suspect he might do so again on Saturday.

I agree with AndyR about keeping McNair in the back three. Not conceding is most important, and he has been outstanding in that defensive role. So, why break that up.Crooks could take on that holding role in midfield, though I suspect there will be a yellow card in it for him if he does.

Use of subs will be critical for us in this match, balancing fatigue with contribution. But CW has used subs much more effectively and in a more timely manner than some of his forebears, so I am not worried on that front.

A battling 1-1 then for me, but with another slice of luck 2-1 to us.

CoB

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Powmill-Naemore

Original Fat Bob
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@andy-r

Apparently Taylor was rested and I expect him to be in the team against Sheffield United. Peltier of course is right footed and doesn’t do a bad job on the left when he can call on his experience.

Howson we must assume has Covid as Wilder was reticent about his absence from the team.

Hopefully Jones can stay free from Injury and see out the season in style.

Of all the places in the team that are under threat I would think that the most likely to be changed is Tavernier. Although he has the energy and gets up and down the field his passes and shooting can be erratic. He would benefit from some additional coaching but whether his ego would allow that I’m not sure.

 

Exciting times from 

OFHB

OLD FOAM HANDS BOB

OFB 


David in Cumbria
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Thanks for the opener OFB (and belated thanks Andy for the Blackpool opener. It's strange how fast time goes by when I basically have nothing much to do each day but I ended up rushing through the pre-match posts only yesterday.)

I was looking at the fixtures dates and wondering how the Boro players could keep playing at the pace Wilder expects even before you pointed out the rest that the Sheffield United players have had. I will just accept that Wilder has got more out of the squad than I thought was possible having watched the way we played under Warnock and the late winner against Blackpool showed how they have bought into the new style and want to win. Sheffield United's poor start to the season was a surprise but they have improved so I would again be happy with a draw. There are bound to be some slip ups in the 2nd half of the season but hopefully not too many, unlike our past early year results. 

 


Original Fat Bob
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One interesting fact regarding Chris  Wilder is that it is only three years ago, that his Sheffield  United side ended the calendar year in the Position of fourth in the Championship. They were four points off the top two, before setting off on a stunning surge through the second half of the season to win automatic promotion.

My foam hands have grown larger as I’m not looking for the play offs now as I’m going for automatic promotion!

OFHB

OLD FOAM HAND BOB


exmil
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Allegedly Brighton striker Aaron Connolly is having a medical today at  Boro in preparation for a loan move.

Come on BORO.


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Forever Dormo
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Thanks, once again, to OFB for his opener.  A good one as usual.

In my view momentum is very important and therefore Boro should want all games to be played at the present.  We are on a very good winning run and we want that to continue. The players, after that last minute winner at Blackpool following so soon after the home club's injury-time equaliser, probably feel they can meet any challenge this division can throw at them. 

The other side of the coin is that if Sheffield United had been on a decent run of form, after 11 days form that will almost seem a distant memory to the players. And we regularly hear that players much prefer playing matches than training.  I guess it will be a light train today and a look at tactics for the Blades game after a rub down/massage, then another light(ish) session for those who played at Blackpool on Friday before setting off for Sheffield's game on Saturday. I guess if you play, and win, you must feel on top of the world but if you play and are beaten you'd quite like a few days' rest.  Better to be in the first category.

Probably the biggest issue facing the Boro is that worry that Chris Wilder may be awarded Championship Manager of the Month as, in the past, that has often heralded a decline in the following month.  But maybe THIS Boro set-up will change those previous habits and perceptions. But as an insurance, maybe it could go to Mogga whose Blackburn is also looking good?

So - we go into the New Year on a HIGH, with confidence through the roof and the crowd full of enthusiasm.  Despite all the advertising for a Netflicks science fiction film  imploring us to do otherwise, we all seem to be Looking Upwards.


jarkko
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Posted by: @forever-dormo

Probably the biggest issue facing the Boro is that worry that Chris Wilder may be awarded Championship Manager of the Month as, in the past, that has often heralded a decline in the following month.  But maybe THIS Boro set-up will change those previous habits and perceptions. But as an insurance, maybe it could go to Mogga whose Blackburn is also looking good?

Don't worry mate. The gong will go to our lunar leader in Mogga. His Blackburn team have won all they matches in December and lifted them third, level on points with second-placed Fulham.

But perhaps Wilder will win the gong for January, which makes OFB prediction a bit uncertain ..

Up the Boro! 


jarkko
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Why will the Sheffield Utd match be played at 12:30 on Saturday?  On TV or via Riverside Live? UTB!


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Malcolm
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@original-fat-bob Totally agree with you about Tavernier

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Malcolm

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Plato
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@malcolm

Who would have thought that we would be worrying about wild enthusiasm causing us problems?

 


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Ken Smith
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Bramall Lane has not been a happy hunting ground for Boro in recent seasons with  seven defeats and one draw in the last nine visits there though that followed three consecutive wins in the mid 1980s. Overall though Boro have won only six times in 25 League matches at Bramall Lane in my lifetime, so I would be amazed if Boro started next year with a win there. Most fans would take a draw but I have the feeling that Boro will lose this one, but after all it’s a marathon not a sprint and I think it’s more important how Boro finish the season not the here and now.

The biggest win that Boro have recorded against Sheffield United away from home was strangely 3-0 in Willie Maddren’s first season as manager when Boro just avoided relegation by the skin of its teeth. The scorers that September day were David Currie, Stephen Bell and David Mills. The heaviest defeats though all occurred just after the end of the First World War. However Boro’s highest aggregate home win ever was also against the Blades in 1933 when a meagre crowd of less than 6,500 (the second lowest attendance that season) watched Boro win 10-3 (6-2) at halftime with George Camsell scoring 4 and Bobby Bruce a hat trick. 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Ken Smith

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Martin Bellamy
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@jarkko I think the game is live on Sky. 


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Redcar Red
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Posted by: @martin-bellamy

@jarkko I think the game is live on Sky. 

It appears to be on Sky and ESPN


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Redcar Red
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I would restore the "normal" back three of Dijksteel, Fry and McNair for the Blades. Last night we looked a bit disorganised and jittery which I put down to the shuffling. To me the Howson replacement is blindingly obvious, a skilful midfielder who can tackle, with a bit of ability to play the ball out at his feet, with possibly too much confidence in performing all that but the energy and fitness levels to deliver.

Stick Tavernier into Howson's role, bring Payero in and with Crooks there as well I think that looks like an energetic and purposeful midfield. It would also present Tav with the opportunity to pull strings and make the Team tick. Personally I think it could be the the ideal role for the lad and could be the position that he so far has failed to find.


Pedro de Espana
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@redcarred   As RR has said SKY TV and a host of international streaming.

Werder is usually good at finding a stream as is Malcolm.

Attached list of Providers, so there wills be lots of streams available.

https://www.livesoccertv.com/match/4039369/sheffield-united-vs-middlesbrough/


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Pedro de Espana
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Many thanks Andy for the Headliner. They have been coming thick and fast and you and OFB have done sterling work.   😎 

@redcarred  Unfortuanately RR, as much as I agree with your selection, I do not think we will see Payero starting or even getting early sub time unless we are winning a game comfortably.

Surely though there must come a time when even CW will see the need for more creativity from the midfield. Whether that is Payero or somebody else brought in whom he fancies!!! We cannot continue with only Jones as the real provider.


jarkko
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@many Thanks, mates. I will be able to see the match live via Viaplay here in Finland. Up the Boro!


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Original Fat Bob
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@pedro

Andy and I appreciate your thanks for the headliners but I’m afraid I’m taking the credit (or otherwise) for the Sheffield United game headliner! It’s Andy’s turn next !

OFB 


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Original Fat Bob
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Unsubstantiated repeat Unsubstantiated rumours that Boro game might be called off against Sheffield United 

Tav Howson Oluysanayo and a total of 17 affected by COVID including coaches and staff leaving only 14 fit in the squad.

This is probably a Xmas rumour !

Let’s see what develops !

OFB

 


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exmil
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@original-fat-bob: 4 hours ago Sky Sports were still advertising the live match.

Come on BORO.


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Original Fat Bob
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I don’t know who starts these rumours ?

OFB


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Original Fat Bob
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On Twitter now

quote 

🚨 | BREAKING: Middlesbrough are in talks with EFL to get their trip to Sheffield United postponed following a significant Covid outbreak at the club.

[@SkySports_Keith]

#Boro | #UTB

OFB


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Pedro de Espana
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@original-fat-bob   Sincere apologies OFB. The matches have come so thick and fast recently that I cannot keep up. 🤔


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Original Fat Bob
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I think this guy Sky Sports Keith has previous for rumours about Boro proven to be untrue!

OFB


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