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Sheffield United extended their impressive unbeaten home run to 12 matches when they played out a goalless draw against Bournemouth last weekend.
The Blades suffered a 2-1 defeat against the Cherries earlier this season but they managed to hold on for a point this time around, which keeps them clinging on to a playoff spot.
Paul Heckingbottom‘s men have endured an inconsistent run of form in recent weeks, winning, drawing and losing three games each in their last nine, but this run has been enough for them to climb up to sixth in the table, two points clear of Blackburn Rovers in seventh and four points behind Huddersfield Town in third.
United’s defensive resilience at Bramall Lane has been one of the key factors to their success during their unbeaten home run, as they have kept 10 clean sheets and conceded only twice since mid-November.
The Blades will be confident of more success on Friday against Reading, who they have beaten nine times in their last 10 meetings including the last six in succession. They have also won seven of their last eight league games on Good Friday, including a 1-0 away victory against the Royals back in 2009.
Sheffield United attackers Billy Sharp, Rhian Brewster (both hamstring) and David McGoldrick (thigh) have all missed the last three games due to injury, and the trio could be absent again on Friday, with Morgan Gibbs-White set to support Oli McBurnie again up front.
Defensive quartet Jack O’Connell, Charlie Goode, Chris Basham and Jayden Bogle all remain sidelined with knee injuries.
Heckingbottom is unlikely to make too many changes, if any, to his starting lineup, but the likes of Conor Hourihane, Ben Osborn and Jack Robinson – who all began on the bench last time out – will be hoping to force their way into the first XI.
As for Reading, they are set to be without star midfielder John Swift for the next two to three weeks after he limped off with a calf injury against Cardiff.
The Royals will also be without Alen Halilovic (thigh), Dejan Tetek (hamstring), Yakou Meite (ankle) and Andy Rinomhota (knee) due to injury, with the latter two ruled out for the rest of the season.
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The absence of Swift will likely see Ovie Ejaria return to the first XI, operating just behind striker Lucas Joao, while Tom Dele-Bashiru will be hoping to start ahead of either Danny Drinkwater or Josh Laurent in centre-midfield.
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Foderingham; Davies, Egan, Uremovic; Baldock, Fleck, Norwood, Berge, Stevens; Gibbs-White; McBurnie
Reading possible starting lineup:
Nyland; Yiadom, Morrison, Holmes, Rahman; Dele-Bashiru, Drinkwater; Ince, Ejaria, Hoilett; Joao