Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has warned his side not to underestimate the threat posed by Oldham at Boundary Park today.
United, sixth in the League One table, start as favourites in the game, which sees them take on opposition who have tasted victory just once all season.
But Oldham, who yesterday confirmed the signing of experienced striker Ricardo Fuller, have only lost one game more than United and have drawn four of their last five.
And Adkins, a veteran of League One combat after spells in this division with Scunthorpe and Southampton, said: “They’ll have threats, and the last thing we will ever do is underestimate opposition.
“I went to watch them against Doncaster Rovers last month [a 1-1 draw] so I’ve seen them live, and we’ll also have studied reports and video footage on them, too.
“They might change without Michael Higdon, who can’t play against us, and their new manager [David Dunn] will want to stamp his authority on the team.
“We’ll concentrate on what we want to do, of course, and that includes trying to keep a clean sheet. That’s one of the priorities.”
Higdon has scored twice in his four games for Dunn’s men since joining on loan from United, and Adkins added: “I like Higgy. He’s got a great attitude and he’s a good player, but we’ve got a lot of forward options at the club and this was a good chance to get him playing football; scoring goals against other teams, and taking points off other teams.”
Higdon may be directly replaced by Fuller, the 35-year-old who penned a three-month deal yesterday subject to Football League and FA approval.
The former Stoke and Portsmouth striker’s signing has been part-funded by Oldham’s Playershare scheme, which allows fans to contribute to player arrivals.
Director Simon Brooke said: “We’re delighted Playershare funds have been able to help fund the signing of a player of the calibre of Ricardo.
“As always we’d like to thank every fan that has contributed to the Playershare fundraising efforts.”