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With this fixture having initially been postponed at the turn of the year, Wilder finally gets to renew acquaintances with his ex-employers on Tuesday with the stakes having risen considerably in recent weeks.
Wilder has had the desired effect at the Riverside Stadium, collecting 33 points from his 17 Championship fixtures, but it has only been enough to establish a one-point lead in the playoff race.
Although inconsistency has recently become a factor, Boro have enjoyed an excellent seven days, following an FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur with a hard-fought 2-1 success against promotion rivals Luton Town at the weekend.
Duncan Watmore‘s sixth Championship goal of the campaign ultimately proved key and although just four points separate Boro to 11th-placed Preston North End, they will instead be looking ahead as they bid to move into fourth position by taking advantage of a game in hand.
However, their away form must improve over the next two months with Boro having won just four of their 16 matches on their travels, none of which have come in 2022.
Heckingbottom will likely be taking a more positive approach to matters, but conceding a last-gasp equaliser to Nottingham Forest on Friday night felt like a considerable blow.
While Billy Sharp yet again got on the scoresheet with his 13th strike of the season, Sheffield United are becoming too reliant on the veteran and playmaker Morgan Gibbs-White.
The Yorkshire outfit are currently on a seven-match unbeaten streak at Bramall Lane, their last defeat on familiar territory coming all the way back on October 30.
Heckingbottom must decide whether to hand a second start to Femi Seriki, who made his first Championship start last week in the absence of George Baldock.
With Baldock expected to remain sidelined with a knee issue, Seriki will hope to keep his spot, but Ben Osborn or Alan Norrington-Davies may switch from the left flank.
Heckingbottom will also give consideration to starting either Oliver McBurnie or Daniel Jebbison alongside Sharp.
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After both started among the replacements against Luton, Watmore and Andraz Sporar could return to the Middlesbrough XI.
Barring any fitness issues, they may prove to be the only alterations made by Wilder, who prefers a settled side over rotation.
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Davies, Egan, Robinson; Seriki, Norwood, Berge, Osborn; Gibbs-White; McBurnie, Sharp
Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Lumley; Djiksteel, Fry, McNair; Jones, Crooks, Howson, Tavernier, Taylor; Watmore, Sporar