Paul Heckingbottom’s side are fourth in the current Championship standings and can move up to third, whilst also closing the gap on the automatic spots with a win in the West Country. City meanwhile are just below mid-table and the best they can hope for from the next match-day is a move up to ninth. The two teams are separated by ten places in the league table and there is a seven points difference between them.
United are into their second year of Championship football after their relegation from the Premier League in 2021 after finishing bottom. The club is one of several clubs who are in receipt of parachute payments, which has allowed them to keep hold of their better players.
Anel Ahmedodzic is their only permanent signing this summer but they have recruited wisely with the loan additions of Manchester City pair James McAtee and Tommy Doyle. Ciaran Clark, who has a vast amount of experience in the Premier League with Aston Villa and is on-loan from Newcastle United is there, along with Red Khadra.
As a result of their impressive transfer business, as well as their ability to keep hold of the likes of Sander Berge, who was linked with a move to Chelsea, as well as the recent performances of Iliman Ndiaye has made them a tough outfit to crack. Ex-Sheffield Wednesday defender Pearson still has a property in the city of Sheffield and believes the red side have pressure on them to succeed.
“We know what we’re capable of,” said Pearson to BBC Radio Bristol ahead of the mid-week clash.
“Sheffield United are doing very well again and they are one of the sides who have the capabilities and the spending power to put together another campaign. The expectation levels for them are pretty high.”
City’s transfer business was considerably different to their opponents, as they did not pay a transfer fee for their four summer arrivals. Kane Wilson, signed on a free from Forest Green Rovers, was the only player they had to exchange a fee for and that was compensation. Mark Sykes, Kal Naismith and French goalkeeper Stefan Bajic all arrived after their contracts had expired.
Pearson, whose job it was to reduce the wage bill whilst remaining competitive, believes that despite the difference in resources, his side are capable of claiming a scalp.
He said: “It’s eleven lads against eleven lads when they go out there on Tuesday night. I don’t worry too much about that. We’ll see how we will shape up and I’d expect us to play on the front foot.”