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Peterborough were seemingly on course to claim their first three points in 2022, when they held a two-goal advantage away at Birmingham City on Tuesday night heading into the final five minutes. However, two strikes in three minutes from George Friend and Scott Hogan forced Posh to settle for just a point at St Andrew’s.
Darren Ferguson accused his players of ‘losing their composure’ in the latter stages, but he was still able to take positives from the game and that result at least ended a run of three successive league defeats.
Peterborough remain 22nd in the Championship standings, but there are only two points separating them from Reading, who sit one place above them, just outside the relegation zone having played a game more.
Ferguson is yet to address their defensive frailties, which have been one of their major downfalls this campaign. Posh have conceded a league-high 53 goals so far and they have kept only one clean sheet in their last 16 league matches since the start of October.
After playing three of their last four games away from home, Peterborough will be keen to return to London Road this weekend where they have accumulated 16 of their 20 points this season.
Victory against Sheffield United and defeat for Reading at Queens Park Rangers would see the Posh climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since mid-November.
Peterborough full-back Dan Butler has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, while winger Idris Kanu has joined Northampton Town on loan for the rest of the season.
Ferguson has dismissed rumours linking star forward Siriki Dembele with a transfer away from the club and insisted that he missed the draw at Birmingham due to injury; the 25-year-old therefore remains doubtful for Saturday’s contest.
Callum Morton impressed when he came off the bench to make his debut for Posh in midweek and the West Bromwich Albion loanee could be handed his first start in attack ahead of Jack Marriott, who may see his minutes managed as he has only just returned from a four-month layoff with a hamstring problem.
Jorge Grant will likely replace Kwame Poku in the number 10 role, while Josh Knight will be hoping to start in the back three ahead of Frankie Kent.
As for Sheffield United, they will be without Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Morgan Gibbs-White due to a knee injury, while Enda Stevens and Lys Mousset are both fitness doubts for the weekend.
Heckingbottom is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup, though goalkeeper Adam Davies – who joined the club from Stoke City earlier this week – could be handed his debut ahead of Wes Foderingham.
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Midfielders John Fleck and Sander Berge will be hoping that they can force their way back into the first XI ahead of Conor Hourihane and Iliman Ndiaye, while Oli McBurnie and David McGoldrick will be competing with Brewster and Billy Sharp for a place up front.
Peterborough United possible starting lineup:
Benda; Knight, Edwards, Beevers; Mumba, Taylor, Norburn, Burrows; Grant; Morton, Clarke-Harris
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Davies; Basham, Egan, Robinson; Bogle, Hourihane, Norwood, Berge, Norrington-Davies; McGoldrick, Brewster