Sheff Utd v Rochdale preview

Date published: Friday 9th December 2011 2:51

Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson is expected to resist the temptation to include James Beattie in his squad.

Beattie recently returned for a second stint at Bramall Lane following his release in the summer from Rangers and is currently working on his fitness.

But the 33-year-old has been battling illness and a calf strain this week and may have to wait longer for his second debut.

Wilson has no new injury or suspension problems, but on-loan defender Marcus Williams will play his last match before returning to parent club Reading.

Defenders Johnny Ertl and Lecsinel Jean-Francois both appeared for the reserves in midweek. The former is continuing his comeback after an eight-month injury lay-off due to cruciate ligament damage.

Midfield pair Kevin McDonald and Ryan Flynn are also pushing for recalls after appearing for the second string.

Rochdale manager Steve Eyre has no new injury worries.

Pim Balkestein has returned to Spotland after undergoing the first stage of rehabilitation from groin surgery with parent club Brentford.

The centre-back has resumed light training, but the clash comes too soon for him.

Shin splints vicim Joe Widdowson made his comeback for Dale reserves in midweek but is not expected to be involved.

Midfielders Joe Thompson (thigh) and Simon Hackney (abdominal) remain long-term absentees, alongside Scottish defender Marc Twaddle (back).

Dale were out of action last weekend following their elimination from the first round of the FA Cup and have a record of one win in their last eight League One matches.

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