Sheffield United: Team news for Gillingham test

Chris Porter celebrates his goal at Colchester last weekend � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Chris Porter celebrates his goal at Colchester last weekend � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough is facing a selection dilemma after confirming he expects Chris Porter to be available for tomorrow’s League One fixture against Gillingham.

The centre-forward has not trained since scoring the winning goal during last weekend’s FA Cup success over Colchester.

But Clough, who worked with Porter at his previous club Derby County, said: “Chris should be passed fit to play. He was involved in a tackle on the edge of the box and his knee swelled-up.

“But we hope within the next 24 hours that it should settle down.”

Porter appeared destined to leave Bramall Lane when he joined Chesterfield on loan earlier this term. Clough, though, restored him to United’s starting eleven at the Weston Homes Community Stadium six days ago where he partnered fellow striker Shaun Miller in attack.

“We were aware before we came after talking to (coaches) Darren Ward and Chris Morgan that Chris Porter and Shaun Miller have played well in the past,” Clough, who took charge of United last month, said. “And they seemed to have an immediate understanding during the (Colchester) game and we scored three goals.”

United, who are 23rd in the table, should also have Neill Collins at their disposal after ordering a headband to protect a hematoma above his eye. George Long is poised to start after England coach Gareth Southgate indicated he will be temporarily released from the under-21 squad which faces San Marino in a UEFA Championship qualifier on Tuesday evening.

“We think George will be available to us,” Clough said earlier this week. “They played (Finland) on Thursday and he will comeback to train with us on Friday and then be available for Saturday.

“I think it is the same arrangement we have had in the past. We are grateful to the FA and Gareth Southgate for doing that.”

“Neill is a little bit of a concern with his head,” Clough added. “He trains fine during the week but he doesn’t head it.

“We try and protect him as much as we can. He might be wearing a protective headband on Saturday.”

*Twitter: @JamesShield1