Doncaster Rovers v Sheffield United: Rovers must keep tabs on returning hero Billy Sharp

Billy Sharp

Billy Sharp

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Doncaster Rovers will go some way to ending their recent derby drought against Sheffield United today if they can stop Billy Sharp from hitting the net.

With seven goals in his last ten games, Sharp has been the Blades’ shining light during a trying period for them.

And not just that. He likes scoring in this game.

Sharp has scored in this fixture the last three times he has played in it, netting for United in their 3-1 win at Bramall Lane earlier in the season and for Rovers in both meetings in 2010/11.

That 2010 clash, a 2-0 win for Rovers at the Keepmoat, was the last time the Blades lost to their near neighbours.

Since then Doncaster have failed to get one over their big city rivals in six attempts - and the Rovers camp are only too aware of the threat posed by returning hero Sharp.

“He’s scored 14 goals and has five assists - he is pivotal to them,” said boss Darren Ferguson.

“His strengths are in the box. He wants to get in the box and he’s a good finisher.

“He’s a good player but the lads here should know all about him. I’d be surprised and disappointed if they didn’t.

“But, of course, we’ll do our homework and highlight where he is good.”

Midfielder Harry Middleton added: “Billy’s been here a long time and everyone knows what he’s all about. He scores goals.

“Even if he’s not playing brilliantly he’s always a threat. If you switch off for half a second he’s going to punish you.

“He’s not the only one though. They’ve got good players, we know it’s going to be a tough game.”