Chris Wilder confirms star player set to return for Sheffield United against Newcastle United
Heading into the season restart, Chris Wilder had a full Sheffield United squad to choose from.
However, star midfielder John Fleck got injured in the final minute of their last friendly.
Then key defender Jack O’Connell got injured on Monday in training.
Both players missed the poor 0-0 draw at Villa on Wednesday night, although they were cheated of a win due to the VAR official bottling it and failing to intervene after the technology failed to tell referee Michael Oliver that the ball was over the line in the keeper’s arms.
A win would have taken them fifth and only two points off Chelsea in fourth, instead they are sixth and four points adrift of the blues.
Speaking after the game though, Chris Wilder said John Fleck is set to be back on Sunday and he is waiting on O’Connell.
John Fleck is an automatic starter and arguably the star player for Sheffield United, he has started 25 Premier League games this season, scoring five and getting two assists, completing 24 of those matches and only subbed in the other due to injury.
Jack O’Connell had played every single minute of their league season until last night, so little doubt Sheffield United would be stronger with this pair back in the team.
Little doubt for me as well that Lys Mousset is their best striker, only 10 PL starts this season but five goals, plus he is very quick. He just got a short run out from the bench against Villa, so he could well start as well on Sunday.
I think Newcastle are in for a tough task on Sunday and I think barring injuries, Sheffield United will benefit from having that match at Villa to get them going again. Here’s hoping Steve Bruce has Newcastle’s players up to speed.
Chris Wilder speaking to Yorkshire Live:
“(It was a) Huge blow for both of those [John Fleck and Jack O’Connell] to be missing,
“It’s a difficult one from my point of view.
“We are not a Man City who can pick a team an hour before kick-off.
“We have to work on stuff, we have to organise stuff to put plans in place to compete, so that coming out [advance news that the two players were going to miss Villa] was disappointing.
“Fortunately, they are contact injuries and not soft tissue injuries.
“The commitment of both players – Flecky goes in for a challenge at Hull City in the last minute and I am looking at him thinking you can’t do that, but he trains and plays in that way and that’s taken him though his period at Sheffield United.
“Jack O’Connell collided in the last minute of a session on Monday.
“I believe Flecky will be back for Sunday, Jack we are just waiting on.”
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