Sheff Utd v Hartlepool preview

Team news ahead of the League One clash between Sheffield United and Hartlepool United at Bramall Lane.

Last Updated: 28/12/12 at 17:38

Neill Collins: Fitness race

Neill Collins: Fitness race

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Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson will be without Shaun Miller and Neill Collins.

Miller was ruled out for the remainder of the season on Friday after it was announced the striker suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in their Boxing Day win over Scunthorpe.

Defender Collins will also be out for up to two months after sustaining a triple fracture to his cheekbone. The former Leeds man underwent surgery immediately after the game.

Defender Tony McMahon will also be missing for the Blades as he serves a one-match suspension following his fifth yellow card of the season against the Iron.

Goalkeeper Mark Howard (thigh) and defender Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) are working their way back to fitness but are unlikely to be risked against a side with just one win all year.

Beleaguered Hartlepool's injury problems are easing as they prepare to make the daunting trip to League One table toppers Sheffield United.

John Hughes' side, who prop up the division, have won just one game all season and none since the Scot took the reins from Neale Cooper in November.

However, Pools were able to include Nathan Luscombe (knee), Simon Walton (hamstring), Peter Hartley (conjunctivitis), Evan Horwood (groin) and Luke James (tonsilitis) for the 3-0 defeat to Carlisle.

Midfielders Luscombe and Walton were unused substitutes while teenager James came off the bench as Hughes eased his absentees back into action.

Goalkeeper Andy Rafferty is still on the sidelines due to an operation he had on his knee over the summer.

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