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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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30 January 2018 Venue Bramall Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

Wilder set for Freeman boost

30 January 2018

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Chris Wilder has revealed that Kieron Freeman is edging ever closer to a return to first-team, but insists the Blades must be patient in the rehabilitation of David Brooks following a bout of glandular fever.

Freeman won't be involved against Aston Villa, but Wilder says the outlook is looking much brighter for the former Derby County man.

He remarked: "We've got no fresh issues, we're in good nick and came through the FA Cup tie unscathed and with the correct result.

"Kieron (Freeman) needs some games to get his match fitness back up to the levels required. He's been out for a long time and it was a nasty injury.

"We've had a few serious contact injuries this season, but we're delighted Kieron will soon be back and pushing for a place in the team.

"He faces a real fight with George (Baldock) for a shirt though. George is such a good kid, he drives the game forward and has loads of energy to get up and down the wing.

"Those two, pound for pound will be excellent competition and I believe they are two of the best wing-backs in the division on their day."

Meanwhile, the progress of Brooks will be much slower and will have to be monitored to avoid potential setbacks.

Wilder added: "David (Brooks) is training full-time now, but it might take quite a while to get him back up to playing 90 minutes because it's a serious medical issue he's overcoming.

"He can only do a set amount of minutes per game, he will possibly play for 15-20 minutes for the U23s next week and gradually that will be built up over the coming weeks."

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Match Reports

Blades 0-1 Villa - report

30 January 2018

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United were cruelly denied a deserved share of the spoils, by a last-gasp goal at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening.

Robert Snodgrass settled the contest in the final minute, which was harsh on the Blades, who had the better chances throughout much of the contest, with Jack O'Connell hitting the woodwork early on.

For the televised clash against Villa, Wilder reverted back to the team that won at Norwich, with Leonard and Evans making their home debuts in the Blades engine room. Donaldson, who scored twice in the corresponding fixture, was named amongst the substitutes, along with Holmes.

The Blades were characteristically quick out of the blocks and came so close to opening the scoring in the sixth minute, with O'Connell rattling the crossbar with a header from Evans's pinpoint corner. With the Blades still on top, Clarke then tested Johnstone, but Chester had already taken the sting out of the effort.

Villa threatened on the break, but Johnstone continued to be tested, with Baldock stinging his palms following a swift counter led by Fleck. The chances dried up as the half hour came and went, but the tackles continued to fly in from both teams.

In the 41st minute, Wilson almost sent Bramall Lane into waves of delight, but a superb acrobatic effort went inches wide after Clarke had nodded Baldock's cross back into the six-yard box. The Manchester United loanee was then booked, harshly, for a nudge on Hutton.

At the start of the second-half, Basham was carded for a foul on Adomah. Villa were enjoying their best spell of the game and Grealish thought he had bent home the opener, but the ball went narrowly wide of the far post.

United, having forced a flurry of corners, had a first attempt of the second period with an advanced Baldock having a shot tipped over by Johnstone. With 23 minutes left, Donaldson and Lundstram took the places of Wilson and Leonard.

Wilder made his final change by introducing Holmes for his United debut, with Evans the man to make way. Snodgrass tried to claim an injury having lost possession and Fleck draw another smart save from Johnstone.

In the 90th minute, the Blades were dealt the cruellest of blows, as Villa took the lead. The ball was worked out to SNODGRASS, who cut inside Stevens and bent an effort into the far bottom corner.

Four minutes of injury-time were signalled, but the Blades were unable to find a goal their endeavours deserved, despite having a couple of last-gasp corners.

Blades: Moore, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck, O'Connell, Basham, Clarke, Wilson (Donaldson 67), Leonard (Lundstram 67), Stearman, Evans (Holmes 74).
Unused: Sharp, Duffy, Lafferty, Eastwood.

Villa: Johnstone, Chester, Snodgrass, Hogan (Davis 81), Grealish, Hourihane (Onomah 76), Bjarnason, Hutton, Terry, Elmohamady, Adomah (Jedinak 86).
Unused: Taylor, Whelan, Tuanzebe, Bunn.

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