Emirates FA Cup Third Round – Bramall Lane – Sunday 6th January 2019 – KO: 14:00
The Bees return to FA Cup action this weekend as they feature in the third round for the first time in 11 years.
Darren Currie’s men travel to Bramall Lane to face Championship side Sheffield United on Sunday as they hope to cause an upset and book their place in round four.
Barnet go into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Boreham Wood on Tuesday afternoon in the Vanarama National League. A fantastic strike from Ephron Mason-Clark on 68 minutes gave the Bees the lead before Bradley Ash converted from the spot five minutes from time as the points were shared at The Hive London.
Tomorrow’s match will also mark the first time the Bees have faced Sheffield United in a competitive fixture.
Manager: Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder took charge of the Blades in 2016 and made an immediate impact by guiding his side to League One promotion in his debut season, taking them up as champions with 100 points. In their first year back in the second tier, he led them to a 10th placed finish but this time around, they sit third, comfortably in a play-off spot.
Wilder began his managerial career at Alfreton Town in 2001 and lasted one season but it was an impressive year to say the least. They won the Northern Counties Football League Premier Division, League Cup, Presidents Cup and the Derbyshire Senior Cup.
Halifax Town was his next destination but left to become assistant manager at Bury six years later.
He then took charge of Oxford United in the same year, guiding them to Conference Premier play-off glory in 2010 before resigning in 2014.
Before the Blades, Wilder spent two years at Northampton Town. His first season in charge saw him face the difficult task of steering the club from relegation. However, the following campaign told a completely different story, The Cobblers topping League Two with an impressive 99 points that year.
Wilder also played for Sheffield United over two separate spells. He began his senior career with the Blades before moving to Rotherham United in 1992 following loan spells at Walsall, Charlton and Leyton Orient. He made over 100 appearances for the Millers before going on to play for Notts County and Bradford City prior to his return to Bramall Lane in 1998. During his second spell, he was loaned out to Northampton and Lincoln before joining Brighton in 1991. He hung up his boots two years later whilst at Halifax Town.
One to Watch: Billy Sharp
With 16 league goals to his name this season, it’s no surprise that Billy Sharp is the one to watch ahead of this weekend’s encounter. The tally means that the striker has reached double figures in all four seasons since he embarked on his third spell back at Bramall Lane.
The 32-year-old, who has bagged five goals in his last four games, became the leading goalscorer in English league football this century on Tuesday.
The Championship’s joint-leading scorer this season is on fire at the moment and will be hoping to replicate his form in the FA Cup this weekend.
Last Season’s FA Cup Form:
Sheffield United began last season’s FA Cup campaign with a third round tie away at Ipswich Town. Nathan Thomas bagged the only goal of the game on 25 minutes as the Blades won 1-0 at Portman Round.
It was a similar story in the next round as the Sheffield side beat Preston North End 1-0 at Bramall Lane. This time it was Sharp on the score-sheet as he converted from the penalty spot with 10 minutes remaining as the Blades reached the fifth round for the first time in four years.
They bowed out at the next hurdle, though. A trip to Premier League Leicester City was where their run ended after a 66th minute Jamie Vardy looping header sealed a 1-0 victory for the Foxes.
Sitting third in the Championship with 47 points to their name, United find themselves only two points away from the automatic promotion places.
The Blades have also clinched three wins in their last five games. A 2-1 defeat at home to fellow play-off chasers West Brom was quickly followed up with a 1-1 draw away at strugglers Ipswich Town. They returned to winning ways four days later though, clinching a 3-1 victory over Derby County at Bramall Lane. They then welcomed Blackburn Rovers in their next game where a goal from David McGoldrick and a Sharp brace helped them to a convincing 3-0 win. They go into this weekend’s match off the back of another 3-0 win, this time away at Wigan Athletic on New Year’s Day.
Last 5 games: LDWWW
The Bees will be wearing their change kit of all Blue. Sheffield United will be in their Red & White striped shirts, Black shorts and White socks.