Sheffield Utd v Torquay preview

Date published: Friday 2nd December 2011 9:48

James Beattie could make his second debut for Sheffield United by playing some part against the Gulls.

The 33-year-old returned for his second spell at Bramall Lane last week, but has been out of action since his release from Rangers at the end of last season and is battling to build up his match fitness.

Manager Danny Wilson has a welcome selection dilemma with regards his strikers as Richard Cresswell is expected to return to contention following a stomach upset.

Chris Porter partnered the in-form Ched Evans up front in last week’s win at Chesterfield, but both Cresswell and Beattie could be included in Wilson’s plans.

But Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is expected to be sidelined for several weeks due to knee cartilage damage. The on-loan Wolves winger, who had just shaken off a hamstring problem, is scheduled to have surgery this week.

Versatile defender Johnny Ertl is pushing for a return to the starting line-up. The Austria international made his first appearance of the season as a late substitute last week after eight months out with cruciate knee ligament damage.

Damon Lathrope will miss Torquay’s trip to Blades through suspension.

The midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season during the 0-0 draw at Port Vale last weekend, incurring an automatic one-match ban.

He is likely to be replaced in the middle of the park by Eunan O’Kane, who was himself banned last Friday at Vale Park.

Defender Brian Saah has been sidelined until the new year with a groin injury and will not be available for selection for manager Martin Ling, while winger Lloyd Macklin has joined non-league Salisbury on loan until January.

Ling will include young striker Ashley Yeoman in his Gulls travelling party that makes the long trek to Bramall Lane.

The forward netted for the club’s reserves in midweek and has impressed the Plainmoor boss with a succession of excellent displays for the second-string.

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