Goals likely to flow later in the contest
Sky Bet League One
Sky Sports 2, 2.15pm
After four games of the Sky Bet League One season, Chesterfield were in the top five and Sheffield United were bottom.
Both clubs’ fortunes have changed dramatically since then, though, and Chris Wilder’s Blades are 8-11 favourites to inflict a seventh straight league defeat on the Spireites today.
Wilder’s men have been rattling in the goals, with 22 in their last six league and cup outings, but Chesterfield haven’t scored in any of their last six league defeats.
The Spireites have enjoyed a break from their League One struggles in the last week, beating Colchester 2-1 in the FA Cup and Crewe 2-0 in the EFL Trophy.
Both of those clubs are in League Two, however, and Chesterfield supporters must be worried about the prospect of slipping into the fourth division themselves.
Forward Jay O’Shea, who scored in both of the Spireites’ cup wins, is optimistic that they can “kick on” but the market suggests it will be back to losing ways for the hosts today.
Sheffield United have won eight of their last 11 games, drawing the other three. Those stalemates include creditable draws at promotion rivals Scunthorpe (2-2) and Bradford (3-3) and they pose a serious goal threat, with striker Billy Sharp netting five in his last three league appearances.
Chesterfield concede plenty of late goals – their last three league games have been 0-0 at half-time before Scunthorpe (3-0), Charlton (1-0) and Coventry (2-0) stormed to victory.
Any weary legs in the home defence could be punished by the visitors’ rampant attackers and it may be worth backing the second half to feature more goals – a bet that has copped in seven of the Blades’ last 11 games.
Second half to have more goals
2pts 21-20 general
Right-back Liam Graham is away with New Zealand. Ched Evans should return against his former club but Sam Hird (hernia) is still out.
Strikers Matt Done and Leon Clarke returned in the EFL Trophy win over Grimsby and Caolan Lavery is also pushing for a start up front.
Sheffield United have taken 27 points from a possible 33 since August 2