Match Preview | Sheffield United vs. Cardiff City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
On the touchline for Sheffield United this weekend will be Paul Heckingbottom, who was appointed in November 2021, following the departure of previous boss Slaviša Jokanović.
During his playing days Heckingbottom made 419 league appearances for the likes of Darlington, Norwich City, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley.
In management, Heckingbottom has been caretaker manager of Barnsley, whom he guided to EFL Trophy glory in 2016, before earning promotion to the Championship by beating Millwall in the League One Play-Off Final, which saw him earn a permanent role.
Heckingbottom has also had managerial roles at Leeds United and Hibernian, before his move to Bramall Lane in July 2020 as U23s head coach.
After Chris Wilder departed in March 2021, Heckingbottom took interim charge until the end of the campaign, before being named as permanent manager the following season.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYER
Sheffield United’s most dangerous player so far this season has been joint top scorer Iliman Ndiaye.
The dynamic playmaker has 13 goals this term, whilst also contributing with eight assists.
Ndiaye boasts a goal every 271 minutes, with a shot accuracy of 57%.
The attacking midfielder also has international experience, having made seven caps for Senegal, including featuring in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
PREVIOUS MEETINGS | CITY’S RECORD
City’s first ever meeting with the Blades was back in March 1922, with the Bluebirds claiming a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane.
On the scoresheet for City that day were strikers Kenneth MacDonald and Joe Clennell, the latter ending the campaign with 13 goals in all competitions.
Since then, the Bluebirds have been victorious in 25 meetings with Sheffield United, with 20 ending in a draw and the Blades claiming victory on 31 occasions.
In the reverse fixture at Cardiff City Stadium back in November, the visitors recorded all three points, with George Baldock’s second-half goal proving the difference in a tight contest.
CLUB CONNECTION | TOMMY DOYLE
This weekend could see former City loanee Tommy Doyle face off against the Bluebirds.
The midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan in the Welsh capital from Manchester City, making an impression during his time in a City shirt.
Doyle made 19 league appearances and scored twice, with his goals coming against Huddersfield Town and Stoke City.
Signing for Sheffield United on loan in July 2022, Doyle has since made 25 league appearances and has scored three goals.