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Bramall Lane (ATT 19,163) 15th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: E Ilderton

Sheff Utd Sheffield United vs Tranmere Rovers Tranmere

Sheffield Utd v Tranmere preview

Last Updated: 15/12/12 2:27pm

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McAllister: Set to continue in midfield

McAllister: Set to continue in midfield

Team news ahead of Saturday's League One clash between Sheffield United and Tranmere Rovers at Bramall Lane.

The hosts will be without Kevin McDonald for the visit of the league leaders.

The midfielder limped out of last week's 3-1 win at Carlisle with an ankle injury following a heavy challenge and is yet to recover.

The Irishman is still struggling with swelling so the games over Christmas are a more realistic return date, with David McAllister primed to fill in against Rovers.

The cold weather has restricted the Blades from training over the last couple of days, so they will have to wait until Friday to assess hamstring victims Tony McMahon and Dave Kitson, with boss Danny Wilson not expecting them to be available.

Mark Howard (thigh) and Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) are back in training, but this match comes too soon for the duo, who have both been sidelined for lengthy periods of time.

Wilson's side, who are unbeaten at home in the league this season, will go above this weekend's opponents if they can win and will top the table if Doncaster fail to beat Coventry.

"Confidence-wise it will do us the power of good if we can win," Wilson said. "But it's a tough game, Ronnie has done remarkably well."

The visitors have been rocked by the news that Ben Gibson is unlikely to feature for the rest of his loan spell ahead of their top-of-the-table clash this weekend.

Teenage defender Gibson, who has been borrowed from Middlesbrough, has been struggling with a mysterious injury for a while and did not feature in the 2-2 draw against Portsmouth on Saturday.

A specialist has subsequently discovered Gibson's injury is an abductor problem and the centre-back faces up to two months on the sidelines.

While Rovers boss Ronnie Moore concedes a few of his other players are carrying knocks, the squad is likely to be similar to the one which drew with Pompey.

There are a host of players on the sidelines, though, with captain James Wallace (knee), striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (broken metatarsal) and winger Abdulai Bell-Baggie (knee) all long-term injury victims.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet League 1

Sky Bet League 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 93
2 Brentford 42 87
3 Leyton Orient 42 80
4 Rotherham United 42 79
5 Preston North End 42 79
6 Peterborough United 42 67
7 Swindon Town 42 60
8 Milton Keynes Dons 42 58
9 Port Vale 42 57
10 Walsall 42 56
11 Sheffield United 41 56
12 Bradford City 42 50
13 Bristol City 42 50
14 Coventry City 42 49
15 Crawley Town 40 49
16 Gillingham 42 48
17 Oldham Athletic 41 47
18 Colchester United 42 46
19 Tranmere Rovers 41 46
20 Notts County 42 43
21 Carlisle United 41 43
22 Crewe Alexandra 42 43
23 Shrewsbury Town 42 41
24 Stevenage 42 39