Monday, May 23
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May 14, 2022 at 3pm UK at Bramall Lane
Sheff Utd
1 - 2
Nott'm Forest
Berge (90+1')
Fleck (29'), Robinson (44'), Norwood (53'), Baldock (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Colback (10'), Johnson (71')
Worrall (34'), Zinckernagel (43'), Spence (44')

Preview: Sheffield United vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sheffield United vs. Nottingham Forest - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sheffield United play host to Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their Championship playoff semi-final having won their final three games of the regular season.

Although Forest finished five points in front of the Blades, the visitors lost some momentum during the concluding week as they narrowly missed out on automatic promotion.

Match preview

With Fulham to come on the final weekend, Sheffield United could never feel safe when it came to securing their place in the playoffs, particularly with more than one team having the opportunity to prevent them from achieving their target.

However, any concerns that Paul Heckingbottom and the club's supporters may have had soon disappeared as the Blades went 3-0 ahead versus the champions within 25 minutes, effectively ending the game as a contest.

Enda Stevens put the result beyond any doubt soon after the break, and it left Sheffield United to turn their attention to their upcoming playoff tie with Forest.

The Yorkshire outfit would have probably preferred to have Luton Town as their opponents, something which was due to materialise until Hull City's dramatic last-gasp equaliser versus Forest on Saturday.

Nevertheless, the odds suggest that Forest will have to be defeated at some stage for one of the other three teams to earn promotion, and Sheffield United will hold no fear after putting together a three-match winning streak, scoring eight goals in the process.

In sharp contrast, an otherwise remarkable regular campaign for Forest ended with a whimper, Steve Cooper's side falling short in their quest for the top two after defeat to Bournemouth.

Having selected the same starting lineup for much of the run-in, it came as no surprise when Cooper made sweeping changes for the trip to Hull, a 1-1 draw not being the worst result for a team which featured players requiring game time.

The disappointment will come from taking the lead in added-on time through a Brennan Johnson penalty, only to allow Hull to go straight up the other end to get back on level terms.

Although Cooper would have been quick to put the lapse in concentration to the back of his mind, it should only sharpen the focus within the Forest camp ahead of a game with opponents who have suffered just one home defeat since the start of November.

Despite having ended the season with the third-best attacking record, Forest have scored more than once on just one occasion in their last five outings.

Sheffield United Championship form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Nottingham Forest Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Cooper will hope to have Steve Cook, Ryan Yates and Jack Colback all available with the trio all dealing with minor injury issues over the past 10 days.

Barring any further fitness problems, Cooper will line up with his tried-and-trusted team with Johnson and Sam Surridge returning in attack.

Lewis Grabban and Keinan Davis are all expected to remain on the sidelines, with Max Lowe injured and ineligible to face his parent club.

Having witnessed Sheffield United thrash Fulham last time out, Heckingbottom may show preference to selecting the same starting lineup.

While George Baldock is an option at right wing-back, he has not featured since April 18 and will likely remain on the substitutes' bench.

Billy Sharp is unlikely to come back into contention as he continues to deal with a calf injury.

Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Osborn, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; Berge; Ndiaye, Gibbs-White

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Samba; McKenna, Cook, Worrall; Spence, Garner, Yates, Colback; Zinckernagel; Johnson, Surridge

We say: Sheffield United 1-1 Nottingham Forest

All of the momentum is with Sheffield United after their demolition of Fulham and it is difficult to see the Blades being defeated on Saturday afternoon. However, some of this Forest team are well-rested, something which could prove pivotal if they have to chase the game during the closing stages.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Championship Table
3Huddersfield TownHuddersfield4623131064471782
4Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest4623111273403380
5Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd4621121363451875
6Luton TownLuton462112136355875
8Blackburn RoversBlackburn461912155950969
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom461813155245767
11Queens Park RangersQPR46199186059166
12Coventry CityCoventry461713166059164
13Preston North EndPreston461616145256-464
14Stoke CityStoke461711185752562
15Swansea CitySwansea461613175868-1061
17Bristol City461510216277-1555
18Cardiff CityCardiff46158235068-1853
19Hull City46149234154-1351
20Birmingham CityBirmingham461114215075-2547
RPeterborough UnitedPeterborough46910274387-4437
RDerby CountyDerby461413194553-834
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Premier League Table
CManchester CityMan City38296399267393
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382251169402971
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381610125757058
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham38168146051956
8Leicester CityLeicester381410146259352
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381215114244-251
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38156173843-551
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381310154462-1849
12Crystal Palace381115125046448
14Aston Villa38136195254-245
17Leeds UnitedLeeds38911184279-3738
RNorwich CityNorwich3857262384-6122
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