Sheffield United are a tough proposition for Manchester United this coming weekend.
The Blades occupy fifth place in the Premier League, one point ahead of us, and hold home advantage for the fixture.
Key to their success is their mean defence, with just nine goals conceded in 12 matches.
Manchester United loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson has been an integral part of this. However this weekend he is not available to play as per the terms of his loan agreement.
This is a positive for us as it potentially unsettles the Blades’ backline, and this is a match in which every small advantage will count.
Who will step in?
Sheffield United’s replacement for Henderson is experienced stopper Simon Moore.
Moore, 29, was the Blades number one before Henderson signed at the start of last season and has remained back-up.
He joined the club in 2016 from Cardiff City and helped the club win promotion from League One.
An online report from Tribal Football in 2013 quoting The Sun’s print edition even claims Manchester United looked at signing Moore at the time while he was at Brentford. He soon after joined Cardiff.
Moore has played twice this season in the Carabao Cup but has not had a chance in the Premier League with Henderson an ever present.
This means he has not played a competitive game for two months with his last appearance on September 25.
We have seen through the years how goalkeepers turn on the style against Manchester United in one off games. Brad Friedel for instance used to turn into Peter Schmeichel against us and revert to type against everybody else.
So we can’t assume that Moore will be a weak link at Bramall Lane on Sunday, but there is a chance he will be, and Manchester United need to shoot early and often to try and catch him cold.
History with Solskjaer
Moore has never played in the Premier League and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a say in this, twice.
He was a back-up at Cardiff City in 2014 when Solskjaer was appointed as manager.
Solskjaer decided to send him out on loan to Bristol City for the rest of the season, deeming him surplus to requirements.
This year his decision to send Henderson on loan to Sheffield United has also impacted Moore negatively.
At the weekend he finally has a chance to play his first ever Premier League game.
That could lead to some nerves United can exploit, but Moore should have plenty of motivation to make his one game stint a success before Henderson takes over again.
- Nicolas Tagliafico the latest left-back linked to United
- Luton defender shares what it’s like trying to stop Marcus Rashford
- Manchester United fans react to Eric Bailly’s performance
- Solskjaer picks out three Manchester United players for praise
- Jesse Lingard impresses amid uncertain United future