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Can League One Champs Sheffield United challenge for Premier League promotion this season?

Wednesday 27th September 2017
After Sheffield United's 4-2 Steel City Derby win over bitter rivals Sheffield Wednesday, many are discussing whether the Blades can push for promotion.

Chris Wilder's men have made a great start to life back in the Championship. The Yorkshire side stormed to the League One title last season and have carried on the momentum. They are in fourth place after nine games, just two points from the top.
Many are saying the Blades are neither strong nor deep enough to maintain their form. On the other hand, nobody predicted Huddersfield Town would carry on their great start and be promoted. Look what happened there.

United have Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman in goal. He is a very talented young goalkeeper who has adapted well to the Championship after some valuable experience on loan at Wycombe Wanderers last season.

Wilder also fields a strong defence. He likes marauding fullbacks. On the right, it is usually George Baldock or Kieron Freeman. On the opposite side it is Edna Stevens or Danny Lafferty. The boss tends to rotate on both sides to maintain freshness.

In central defence, Wilder has gone for the talented Jack O'Connell alongside Jake Wright or Spurs loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers. They also have strength in depth in this position with the likes of Richard Stearman and Ben Heneghan, who are both new signings, fighting for their place.

In midfield, the rotation moves between John Fleck, John Lundstrum, Chris Basham, Paul Coutts and Samir Carruthers. Mark Duffy and Nathan Thomas are options for the wing positions.

There is also much excitement, not just from Sheffield United fans but the whole of the Football League, for youngster David Brooks, who has broken into the Sheffield United first-team this season. He joined the Blades from Manchester City in 2015. He was the player of the tournament in Toulon in the summer, as the young Three Lions defeated Ivory Coast on penalties to bring home the trophy. Wilder pulled the plug on Brooks's proposed loan move to Chesterfield, signalling his intent to play the youngster.

Up top, the Blades certainly have goals. Fan favourite and captain Billy Sharp is a proven goal scorer in the Championship. The line boasts a good blend of youth and experience. Clayton Donaldson, Ched Evans and Leon Clarke are great options who have been around the Football League for many years. Young Caolon Lavery can also be called upon if needed.
There is no doubt Sheffield United have a good squad with great options. They play well together as a team, important over a 46-game season. They have certainly started well. It will be intriguing to see how able they are to maintain their early season form and whether they can fight for promotion.
Harry Mail

A big Hull City fan from Manchester. Keep an eye on leagues across Europe, the MLS and non-league in England.

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