Sheffield United will find themselves without the services of key man Billy Shapr as they head into the first round of the playoffs against Nottingham Forest as they look to regain their Premier League status from last season.
The Blades have enjoyed a good bounce-back season under new boss Paul Heckingbottom as they finished fifth in the Championship and have booked themselves a trip to the playoffs in order to get back to the top flight, just one season after facing relegation.
Will Sheffield United get promoted?
In the first round of the playoffs, they set to play Nottingham Forest who finished one place above them in fourth. However, unfortunately for Sheffield United, according to reports they are due to be without club legend and top goal scorer both this season (15) and in the club’s history (126), striker Billy Sharp.
Ahead of the crucial game, we have looked at two consequences of this potential season ruining injury.
Sharp prolific against Forest
That’s right, the Blades will be missing their best striker but also a striker who simply loves to score against Forest. In fact, he has scored seven goals in 16 appearances against the Garibaldi as well as contributing both a goal and assists against them this season, with both games ending in 1-1 draws.
The former Forest man, who spent a season there earlier in his career, has only scored more goals against Coventry, Derby, Bristol City, and Blackpool. Losing a player of his magnitude not only against Forest but against every team in the league this season will certainly hurt their chances of booking a place in the playoff final and maybe back in the Premier League next season.
Steep drop off
As well as Sharp, Sheffield United will be without the services of both Rhian Brewster and Ollie McBurnie and so they will have to rely on 34-year-old David McGoldrick to bag the goals during the most crucial part of their season.
There is a huge drop off in the talent that Sharp and McGoldrick, who is valued at £900k (as per Transfermarkt), possess, with Sharp racking up 15 this season while the latter only has two in his 19 appearances this season. He has also only managed to make nine starts while the other 10 appearances have come off the bench and his minutes per match average sitting at a disappointing 57 throughout the season.
He is also hitting under his expected goals this season which is 3.4 and of his 33 total shots only ten of them have been on target and has made as many fouls as he has committed this season with 15. (Infogol)
Winning the playoffs is always a hard task for any team but especially when you have lost your best striker and the next two behind him are also injured. While Sheffield United are a good team it might not be on the cards for them this season with the injuries.