Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Sheffield United
The Bluebirds will host Sheffield United at Cardiff City Stadium this coming Saturday. Steve Morison's side have won three of their last four, and will be hoping to continue that impressive form as the Blades visit the Welsh capital for a 3pm KO.
Cardiff City TV options
In respect of domestic streaming, the EFL has returned to the position as was prior to the pandemic when the live broadcast or streaming of any match in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is prohibited between the hours of 2:45pm-5:15pm on Saturday afternoons.
However, supporters in the UK can purchase a Monthly Audio Pass to listen in for just £5! For audio throughout the season, purchase an Audio Only Season Pass for £45.
This fixture is available to watch live on Cardiff City TV for supporters based overseas.
Overseas supporters can watch City’s match against Sheffield United live on Cardiff City TV by grabbing an International Match Pass for just £10! International Match Passes for the fixture begin before kick-off, with exclusive pre-match coverage presented by Cardiff City TV.
Opposition Focus | Season so far
The Blades, in their first season back in the second tier following two full campaigns in the Premier League, are currently sat in 13th place in the Sky Bet Championship table with seven wins, five draws and eight defeats from 20 matches.
They've recorded back-to-back victories going into Saturday's game with the Bluebirds, albeit one victory each for two different managers. Despite defeating Reading 1-0 two night earlier, Slaviša Jokanović was dismissed just six months into his three year deal on November 25th. Jokanović was replaced by former interim boss, and U23 manager Paul Heckingbottom, who signed a four and a half year contract to lead the Blades.
In his first match in charge permanently, Heckingbottom oversaw a 2-0 win over Bristol City last time out. The former Barnsley, Leeds and Hibernian man previously had a spell with United's rivals, Sheffield Wednesday, during his playing days.
Opposition Focus: Ones to watch
Now in his third run with the Club, 35-year-old Billy Sharp is United's current top goal-scorer for the campaign. In 20 appearances, Sharp has scored five times this term. The Sheffield-born forward began his career at Bramall Lane before making his name as part of a dangerous goal scoring duo alongside former Bluebirds loanee Andy Keogh at Scunthorpe United. Sharp quickly returned to his hometown club, but later went on to Doncaster Rovers, Southampton, Leeds United and a number of loan teams in between. His second return came in 2015, with Sharp going on to net over 100 competitive goals since. Morgan Gibbs-White is their second top goal-scorer this season, with four goals from 14 matches.
At the heart of their defence, Chris Basham, Ben Davies and John Egan pose a real challenge for any Championship attack. Egan has started all 20 Championship fixtures in 2021/22.
Midfielder John Fleck has been a key part of the Sheffield United setup for a number of seasons. He has played 18 times this term, but collapsed during their recent match with Reading. Thankfully, Blades boss Heckingbottom confirmed this week that Fleck is close to returning to training.
City & Sheffield United | Club connections
Greg Halford was signed by fellow former Blade Neil Warnock in January 2017. The utility man made 28 appearances for the Bluebirds across his 18-months in the Welsh capital, helping his side to promotion to the Premier League in 2017/18. Halford played in 12 Championship fixtures during that successful campaign, putting in a memorable performance in the Severnside derby triumph over Bristol City in February 2018. His only City goal came in the League Cup, against another of his former teams, Portsmouth. Halford's time at Bramall Lane was a single season, but he instantly became a key player for the team after arriving on loan from Sunderland. He appeared in 49 of the 56 competitive matches that season, scoring eight goals, including the only goal in the Play-Off Semi-Final, against Preston North End.
It is no surprise when mentioning these two teams that the aforementioned Warnock is immediately brought into the conversation. The 73-year-old guided firstly the Blades, and then 12 years later, the Bluebirds to the Premier League following second place finishes in the second tier. A last minute Anthony Pilkington equaliser in that promotion season of 2017/18 helped City gain a crucial point when these two teams last met.
Other players to have played for both the Bluebirds and the Blades include Nathan Blake, Simon Moore and Jeff Eckhardt.