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Match Previews

Preview: Sheffield United (H)

31 December 2012

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Sheffield United will be the first opposition to visit Keepmoat Stadium in 2013...

...and in this top of the table clash, Dean Saunders’ men will be looking to get both the bragging rights as well as the points on the board to keep the pressure on Tranmere Rovers.

Rovers are currently level on point with the Blades, with a game in hand, and victory would potentially see Dean Saunders men reach the League One summit having played a game less.   

The game on Tuesday will be the twelfth time the sides will have played in Doncaster in the League and Rovers will be aiming to improve on a record that has only seen them lose twice on home turf. 

Last time the two teams met, at the Keepmoat, in 2010 Rovers were to be victorious thanks to two goals in the first half, which the visitors just couldn’t recover from. 

Rovers set off at quite a pace, with Martin Woods flashing a shot wide after just 41 seconds on the clock and within a minute of that James Coppinger forced Steve Simonsen into a fine low stop. 

It was Coppinger who did the damage with the opening goal on 33 minutes, he played an exquisite one-two with Billy Sharp before curling home in confident fashion from just inside the box. With three minutes still to the break, Rovers were to get a second and inevitably it had to be that man Sharp who scored his first goal for Rovers against his hometown club. 

John Oster released Joseph Mills down the flank and his cutback found James Hayter who slammed a shot goalwards only for Steve Simonsen to make a fine stop, but the ball fell invitingly for Sharp to smash home the rebound.  Unfortunately for the striker though he was to be replaced minutes later as he left the field with a hamstring injury. 

The visitors struggled throughout the game and only Mark Yeates could really leave the game having a shot on target for the team from Sheffield. Neil Sullivan was a match for anything he had to offer in what was a quiet afternoon for the veteran ‘keeper.

Team News:
James Coppinger will be available for selection after Dean Saunders recalled the midfielder from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest. Striker Iain Hume is back in contention for the game after sitting out against Preston due to his loan terms.

Robbie Blake missed the Preston game after he picked up an injury in training and manager Dean Saunders is hoping he will recover in time for the visit of the Blades.

Chris Brown and Martin Woods will definitely miss out.

Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson will be without Harry Maguire, Shaun Miller and Neill Collins.

Miller has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after the striker suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in their Boxing Day win over Scunthorpe.

Defender Collins will also be out for up to two months after sustaining a triple fracture to his cheekbone. 

Defender Maguire will miss the game after picking up his fifth booking of the season.

Breezy, and feeling much colder everywhere compared to today. There will be sunshine and showers throughout the day.

Delays at the Lakeside Shopping Village roundabout due to ongoing roadworks. Access to the stadium via the Middlebank roundabout.

Rovers Player:
Live and exclusive coverage of Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield United at Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday 1st January 2013 will be available on Rovers Player from 2.45pm. Contact the commentary team via our official Twitter feed @drfc_official throughout the afternoon. 

Rovers Player is the official online video service for all things Doncaster Rover. Sign up now for access to premium Rovers content without the premium price tag. Click HERE for more details or to sign up.

For tickets call the Ticket Office on: 01302 762576

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