Sheffield United duo to make return against Arsenal

Sheffield United are optimistic about receiving a double injury boost ahead of their Monday night showdown with title-contenders Arsenal, as manager Chris Wilder edges closer to fulfilling his wish for improved fitness within the squad.

Wilder has been vocal about his desire for more robust options amidst a series of recent injury setbacks.

Fortunately, the Blades look set to welcome back defender George Baldock and forward Ben Brereton-Diaz, providing a timely lift to their lineup, per The Star.

Brereton-Diaz, the Chilean striker on loan, has been sidelined since Sheffield United’s 5-0 loss to Aston Villa on February 3rd due to a hamstring injury, halting his promising start which saw him score twice in his first two Premier League appearances since joining on loan from Villarreal.

Meanwhile, Baldock has been absent from the squad since their December 30th loss against Manchester City. His impending return to fitness poses a significant dilemma for Wilder concerning the right wing-back position, especially given Jayden Bogle’s solid performances in Baldock’s absence.

Additionally, Brereton Diaz’s comeback adds another layer of decision-making regarding the team’s formation. While a 4-3-3 setup seems ideal for his role as a wide forward cutting in from the left, Wilder has reverted to a more traditional 3-5-2 shape in recent matches, partly due to the absence of several forwards.

Oli McBurnie marked his comeback from a recent calf injury with a late appearance as a substitute in the defeat against Wolves last Sunday. Meanwhile, Wilder is anticipating positive updates regarding fellow forward Cameron Archer’s fitness ahead of the Arsenal clash.

Archer, the former Aston Villa player, has been sidelined recently with a similar muscular issue.

On the other side, Arteta, Wilder’s counterpart at the Emirates, have also received significant fitness boosts leading up to Monday evening’s televised encounter at Bramall Lane: the potential return of Zinchenko and Partey to the squad. According to reports from the Evening Standard, both players are making dedicated efforts to ensure their availability for upcoming matches.

My opinion

Getting Brereton-Diaz back into the team will be a welcomed boost considering how explosive he looks when the game opens up. We’ve seen exactly what he’s about in his five appearances in all competitions for Sheffield United.

In his appearances, he’s had at least one moment where he’s managed to breeze past a defender and unleash a shot. On two of those occasions he’s found the back of the net, while two others he has come agonisingly close – particularly against Aston Villa for a chance to take the lead.

Baldock has been a huge miss in terms of his leadership, but with the form Bogle has been in since Wilder’s return I’m not sure how you fit the Greek international in. Perhaps if he had been available we would’ve seen him move over to the left?

Monday night, against Arsenal, is going to be incredibly difficult and I think everybody is fearing what the scoreline could read come 90 minutes. Getting a counterattacking player back such as the Chilean will only aid our hopes of producing a miracle victory against arguably the most in-form team in the Premier League.

Tags Ben Brereton-Diaz George Baldock