The Chalkboard: Wilder’s striker selection headache is a blessing in disguise

Sheffield United take on fellow Championship title-chasers West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday in what could be a season defining clash for both clubs.

With so much on the line for the Blades, Chris Wilder has to get his tactics and team selection right, but given the good form of so many in his squad he has some tough calls to make.

On the chalkboard

In Billy Sharp, David McGoldrick and January loan signing Gary Madine, Wilder has three in-form forwards to pick from. 26-year-old loanee Scott Hogan bolsters these options further. There’s an argument for each of these strikers to get the nod in the starting XI.

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The partnership between 33-year-old club captain and top goalscorer Sharp and 31-year-old McGoldrick has been prolific all season. However, last time out, Hogan and Madine worked extremely well together. What’s more, the two loanees are something of an unknown quantity together, so could take the Baggies by surprise. 

Whoever Wilder goes with, the Blades stand a good chance of putting goals past Darren Moore’s inconsistent defence. That being said, it’s still a headache for the United manager, but not one that he’d be better off without.

A blessing

In title chases, the side with the best quality squad depth is often the one that prevails. When it comes to their attacking contingent, the Bramall Lane club absolutely have that strength in depth.

Whilst it may mean plenty of difficult selection problems for Wilder to solve between now and the end of the campaign, his plethora of high-class attacking options is a blessing. Having that kind of firepower at his disposal could be what fuels Sheffield United into the Premier League.