Sheffield United v Bristol City - Unwanted history means Chris Wilder will be taking FA Cup tie seriously

GIVEN that his Sheffield United players have a fair bit of history with Bristol City – and not all of it successful – Chris Wilder has emphatically vanquished any premature thoughts of reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals from his mind.
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageChris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder manager of Sheffield Utd. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The Robins have won on their last three visits to Bramall Lane, including twice during the tenure of Wilder.

The West Country outfit inflicted a rare home defeat upon the Blades in their promotion run-in in March, 2019.

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By common consent, tonight’s visitors are the last remaining big-city club not to yet experience Premier League fare – although it is not for the want of trying.

In the past, Wilder has spoken on the similarities between both clubs and it is why he is wary of making predictions as the Blades chase a place in the last eight for the third time in eight seasons.

Wilder, whose side have beaten League One outfits Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle in the previous two rounds, said: “It is another difficult tie against an established Championship club with a lot of really good players and they are always at the top of the division.

“We have an opportunity on Wednesday night, but I am not looking ahead of anything but Bristol City.

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“They have some really talented players and a strong group and it is a club who have been trying for a few years to get into the Premier League.

“With our journey in going through the Championship in double-quick time and landing in the Premier League, when you look at how difficult it has been for Bristol City given what they invested in the team and some incredible clubs in the Championship, it shows how difficult it is to get out of the division.

“They have players who have played against our club and they will fancy their chances just as much as we fancy ours to get through.”

Lys Mousset and Enda Stevens are available for the Blades, with Wilder admitting that he wants to get more out of the former in the final third of the season after a stop-start campaign.

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He said: “From our point of view, it is about getting to the bottom of his issues. There has to be a big push by the player now to participate and add something we know he has got. He understands our feelings.”

Meanwhile, Wilder has revealed that the club have contacted the police regarding some online abuse that his players have experienced this season.

High-profile instances of social media abuse towards players have been highlighted of late, with Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial all reporting racist abuse recently, while Premier League referee Mike Dean notified police after his family received a number of threats, including death threats, and abusive messages.

Wilder said: “I am not going to talk about it in detail, but there is ongoing stuff at our club with the police.

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“It is not football and it is not life, no-one should be able to get away with it.”

Last six games: Sheffield United LWWLWL; Bristol City LWWLLL.

Referee: R Jones (Merseyside).

Last time: Sheffield United 2 Bristol City 3, March 30, 2019; Championship.

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