With Slavisa Jokanovic seeing his Sheffield United side get off to something of a slow start to their 2021/22 Championship campaign, having picked up just one point in their opening two league fixtures, the 53-year-old will be desperately hoping his Blades side can secure their first three points of the season on Wednesday evening.
However, fixtures will not come much more difficult this season than an away trip to West Bromwich Albion, with Valerien Ismael’s side looking to be scoring Championship goals for fun at present, having bagged five in their opening two fixtures.
As such, while United have not exactly been leaking goals, Jokanovic’s defence must nevertheless be at the very top of their game at The Hawthorns to ensure that their side have any hope of leaving West Bromwich with a positive result.
And, having recently secured the loan signing of Liverpool centre-back Ben Davies, a player whom the Serbian manager has already revealed will be part of his squad that makes the trip to West Midlands, it would very much seem as if Jokanovic could be in possession of a player who has the ability to be something of a game-changer the United backline.
While it is well known that, following his move from Preston North End to Anfield earlier this year, Davies failed to make a single appearance for Jurgen Klopp’s side, the defender nevertheless proved during his time with the Lilywhites that he is an extremely capable player in the second tier of English football.
Indeed, over his 19 Championship appearances last season, the £2.7m-rated man helped his side keep six clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 1.2 tackles, 4.3 clearances and winning 4.9 duels per game.
And, despite being only the third fixture of the Championship season, a positive result against one of Sheffield United’s main promotion rivals on Wednesday is extremely important for Jokanovic to achieve, as a win would send a real message to the rest of the competition that the Blades are indeed one of the contenders in the second tier.
As such, it would appear highly advisable for the 53-year-old to unleash Davies against West Brom, as the 26-year-old undoubtedly has the ability to help shore up the Blades defence against what is likely to be one of the most impressive attacking lineups in the Championship this season.