Sheffield United team news: Chris Wilder struck with selection dilemma for Leeds United derby

Sheffield United boss Chris WilderSheffield United boss Chris Wilder
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder admits that he has a number of welcome selection dilemmas ahead of Friday night's derby at Leeds United - and has revealed his delight at his players 'raising their levels' during the club's climb to the top three of the Championship.

Wilder has a full pack to pick from minus Kieron Freeman and Ched Evans and has a number of options to consider ahead of his side's eagerly-awaited trip to Elland Road, while being mindful that the club's last three opponents have changed their system to match up with the Blades.

Wilder, whose side can go top with victory, said: "There are always selection issues because players want to play. And I am delighted with that.

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"The players are raising their levels, they are doing it themselves. Okay, playing at Shirecliffe (training ground) on a wet Wednesday morning is different to a full-house at Leeds on a Friday night in front of the television cameras. But they are still doing it.

"We have changed it up before and we might do it again. I know it creates debate and I understand that. The approach other teams are taking against us is a back-handed compliment.

"Managers will always respect us though, it's in a manager's make-up. Whether or not that rolls into players, I don't know."

On his options for Friday, he added: "(Richard) Stearman and (Caolan) Lavery are okay. Everyone other than Ched and Kieron is back out on the grass and training at full tilt."

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Wilder believes that opponents Leeds are a club geared up for promotion and while professing to be surprised that counterpart Thomas Christiansen made so many changes for Tuesday night's Carabao Cup game at Leicester City, he feels it is illustrative of where the Whites priorites lie.

He said: "That was a fantastic win by Leeds over Bristol City because look what they, City, did to Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup. It doesn't come any bigger than this.

"If you read the comments of their manager, and not in an arrogant way, they are geared up for promotion. They made 10 changes despite having a chance of getting into the quarter-finals.

"I thought they might have had a stronger team out there but it shows what their priority is."