PREVIEW: Villa v Sheffield United

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Mings hopes for promotion

Aston Villa will host Sheffield United at Villa Park for tonights live game on Sky Sports Football. A lot has been made about those above us having to come to Villa Park this season. Well, it’s upon us. Its time to step up Villa.

There has been a lot of talking throughout the season about Villa’s fortunes turning. Although we have had some ups during the season, we are yet to make a real impact on the playoff positions.

Villa are set for a decent crowd for this fixture and I always feel a good performance keeps people interested. Those fans who usually pick their games, want to attend more. Dean Smith will know that he needs the fans on side and this is the perfect chance to get them on board for a late push for promotion.

THE OPPOSITION

Wilder - Sheffield United managerA win for Sheffield United will see them go top of the Championship. Although it may only be temporary depending on the weekend results elsewhere, its a statement of intent. It certainly showcases how well United have done this season.

Chris Wilder has made the Blades a force in this division. They started strong last season but faded. There don’t appear to be any signs of that this time around though. United have picked up 24 points on the road so far this season. Only three other sides have managed to win more.

Wilder doesn’t like to rotate his team too much and prefers to stick with the same eleven when possible. They will look to control the game in our half and exploit the wings, particularly down the left. Sheffield United average 1.7 goals per game, with 0.9 of them coming in the penalty area.

ONE TO WATCH

Sharpe has 19 goals this seasonMy one to watch is Tammy Abraham’s golden board rival, Billy Sharpe. Despite the forward coming to the back end of his career, he is still scoring for fun. The 33-year-old has scored 19 in 24 so far this season. Impressive.

Sharpe is good at holding up the ball and doesn’t mind scoring with his feet or his head. If he was to have one weakness that would be being caught offside too much. But you could argue this is what you get when someone plays on the last line of the defence.

TEAM NEWS

James Chester is available for selection after training a couple of times this week. Jack Grealish is back training with a ball. He is getting close to a return but it is thought that Smith doesn’t want to rush his star man back.

Andre Green is available after recovering from a hamstring injury. Henri Lansbury and Axel Tuanzebe are still unavailable with no time frame on when they will return.

Sheffield United have no new injury concerns. Scott Hogan is unavailable as he can’t play against his parent club.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Venue: Villa Park
TV: Live on Sky Sports Football
Tickets: Available. Around 38,000 have been sold. Buy
Kick-off: 19.45
Officials: Tony Harrington (Referee), Timothy Wood and Shaun Hudson (Assistants), David Webb (Fourth official)

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