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Preview: Sheffield United vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups
13/12/2021 14:22:37

Sheffield United had been scheduled to play Queens Park Rangers on Monday evening knowing that victory will get the club back into contention for the Championship playoffs.


However, a number of coronavirus cases in the visitors' squad has resulted in the game at Bramall Lane being postponed.


We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Queens Park Rangers


Such has been the turnaround of Sheffield United's fortunes that they are probably the favourites heading into this contest. Nevertheless, QPR should not be written off because of one defeat, leading us to predict a highly-competitive draw being played out at Bramall Lane.


Match preview


Regardless of their previous form this season, Sheffield United parting company with Slavisa Jokanovic after their victory away at Reading felt like a risk at the time.


However, as it stands, the decision made by the Blades' hierarchy looks fully justified, Paul Heckingbottom starting his reign with victories over Bristol City and Cardiff City.


Sheffield United required their latest opponents to be reduced to 10 men before prevailing in style, but the Yorkshire outfit can now class themselves as one of the form teams in the division.


Billy Sharp has netted in both games with Rhian Brewster also contributing a welcome goal, although it is Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Morgan Gibbs-White who continues to have the biggest influence in the final third.


Even though their run of clean sheets ended at three games in South Wales, Heckingbottom can take nothing but positives into a fixture against opponents who are now regarded as rivals for the playoffs.


QPR went into their game with Stoke with the opportunity to remain in third position and move closer to the top two, who had shared the spoils between each other when they met two days earlier.


However, Mark Warburton's team were well beaten by the Potters, who became the first team to prevent the London side from scoring in the Championship since March 13.


Warburton will not necessarily be too downhearted with his team having previously been on a six-match unbeaten streak, but the setback has put the Hoops under increasing pressure from the chasing pack.


Just 10 points separate QPR and 18th-placed Preston North End, and although there is little to no danger of Warburton's side dropping that far down the table, a couple more defeats in succession would change the mood at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.


Team News


Given the level of their second-half performance at Cardiff, Heckingbottom may see no reason to make any changes to his Blades XI.


Brewster is missing through injury, while John Fleck remains out of contention despite making a welcome return to training after collapsing against Reading on November 23.


While QPR forward Lyndon Dykes has been making progress in his recovery from an ankle injury, the Scotland international will not be considered for a starting role.


However, a couple of alterations could be made with midfielder Luke Amos and striker Andre Gray both pushing for recalls, Andre Dozzell and Charlie Austin the players at risk of dropping down to the substitutes' bench.


Sam Field is expected to remain at left wing-back if Moses Odubajo and Albert Adomah are not deemed fit enough to start.


Sheffield United possible starting lineup:

Foderingham; Basham, Egan, Davies; Bogle, Norwood, Hourihane, Stevens; Gibbs-White, McGoldrick; Sharp


Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:

Dieng; Dickie, Dunne, Barbet; Kakay, Dozzell, Johansen, Field; Chair, Willock; Gray

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