Sheffield United: Duo hope to be fit for Friday’s derby

John Lundstram hopes to be fit for the Steel City derby: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
John Lundstram hopes to be fit for the Steel City derby: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Sheffield United hope both Mark Duffy and John Lundstram will be declared fit for Friday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday.

Despite being omitted from the squad which knocked Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup last weekend, Duffy is expected to be available for selection after travelling to Portman Road.

Mark Duffy also missed the game at Ipswich Town

Mark Duffy also missed the game at Ipswich Town

Fellow midfielder Lundstram (inset) also missed the third round tie although, having sustained a knock against Derby County five days earlier, it remains unclear if that was a precautionary measure.

Chris Wilder, the United manager, will be desperate for both to receive the all-clear after seeing his team affected by a series of selections issues in recent weeks. Paul Coutts is expected to sit out the rest of the season with a fractured leg while David Brooks, who was named man-of-the-match against Wednesday in September, has been diagnosed with glandular fever.

Wilder remained predictably tight lipped when asked about Lundstram and Duffy following the 1-0 win over Mick McCarthy’s side but did admit: “I think everyone understands why we didn’t take any unnecessary risks. We had a couple of knocks and, with the games we’ve got coming up, it wouldn’t have made any sense to do that.”

United will enter the derby seventh in the Championship table - nine places above Wednesday - and only a point behind Leeds, who occupy the fourth and final play-off berth.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder

“What the senior players do sets the tone,” Wilder said. “At Ipswich, we made changes but they didn’t switch off. We go full tilt, whether it’s a friendly at Stocksbridge, in Marbella or an under-23’s game.”