THE BIG MATCH
There is Yorkshire pride at stake as Sheffield United welcome Bradford City tonight.
It is the first of two home cup ties against lower division opposition for United this week and Blades boss Danny Wilson told www.sufc.co.uk that:
"It certainly keeps the season bubbling having these two cup matches in a week. These games will give everybody a lift, cup games are exciting! From our point of view it keeps everybody bubbling along and if we can get two wins in the games then that would be fantastic."
Wilson's side are handily placed in the division and the manager is looking to use the cup games as a springboard for his side to press forward from:
"It is a quarter of the season gone now, we have got a good understanding of this division, of what it is going to take. It is now up to us to push on from here."
Loan duo Matt Phillips and Billy Clarke are expected to play in their last fixture with the Blades before returning back to parent club Blackpool. Clarke could be partnered up front by Welsh international forward Ched Evans. Left back Marcus Williams should be fit after shaking off a knock he received at the weekend.
Bradford boss Phil Parkinson will give Simon Ramsden just a second start in over a year with the defender now fit after a terrible run with injuries.
Parkinson told www.bradfordcityfc.co.uk: "It is great for him because he's had a long road to get to this stage in his recovery. He is in a lot better place mentally than he was when I first came into the club. He feels he is ready for this opportunity.
"He played in the reserve fixture last week and got 60 minutes under his belt, so he will come back into contention. The next stage of his development is to give him some time at first-team level. Simon's return will certainly be a boost for everyone at the club."
Parkinson added: "It is a big game for us. We've done great in this competition so far. I don't think we really got the full credit we perhaps deserved for our result over Huddersfield . If you look at their results this season it shows you what a great achievement it was to get through. That result gave us a terrific lift, and now we've got to try and do it again at another tough place. We've got to go there and deal with their [Sheffield United's] attacking threat, but equally, we know that they have some weaknesses that we have to look to exploit."
With Kyel Reid suspended after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Cheltenham, Jack Compton looks set to start on the left wing. Sheffield-born striker Ross Hannah is also tipped for a place but Andrew Davies serves the second game of his four match suspension.
KEEP AN EYE ON
Former Manchester City team-mates Lee Bradbury and Uwe Rosler meet as managers as AFC Bournemouth welcome Brentford. Bradbury is looking forward to the reunion with an old friend he holds in high regard.
He told the Daily Echo: "Uwe is a good guy. He is eccentric and very organised. He comes across as quite serious but is really good fun. He has got Brentford playing good football and they are sniffing around the Play-Offs. He has done a good job since taking over there and knows what it takes to be successful because he had a good playing career.
"It should be a good match. Brentford look to play now Uwe has gone there and his philosophy is rubbing off on his players."
Home wins over Hereford and Yeovil, have taken the Cherries through to the quarter-finals and midfielder Marc Pugh believes this is where the competition starts to hot up.
He told www.afcb.co.uk: "This is where the competition starts to get serious. None of the teams left will be easy to play, but it's a great opportunity. We definitely fancy our chances if we can get through to the semi-finals. We've started really well in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and hopefully we can continue that in tonight's game. It will be a tough game but I don't see why we can't beat them.
"Not many players can look back on their careers and say they played at Wembley, and everyone here wants the chance to play there."
ELSEWHERE IN THE AREA QUARTER-FINALS
In the Northern Section Crewe Alexandra are the only other npower League 2 side left in the draw and Dario Gradi's men face a tricky challenge as they travel to Oldham Athletic (7pm).
In an all League 1 tie at Spotland Rochdale welcome Preston North End with new arrival Dean Holden missing the game as he is cup-tied. North End boss Phil Brown has no new injury concerns but strikers Iain Hume, Neil Mellor and Jamie Proctor will all be absent, with Juvhel Tsoumou set to continue up front. In the other tie Chesterfield take on Tranmere Rovers.
The Southern Section is guaranteed at least one npower league 2 area finalist since six teams from that division battle it out on the other quarter-finals.
At the County Ground Swindon Town welcome AFC Wimbeldon and just up the A420 Oxford United host Southend just four days after the teams met in the league. Paul Sturrock's side won that meeting to stay top of the division thanks to Ryan Hall's stunning winner. Sturrock can recall defender Bilel Mohsni after suspension while Oxford are without Michael Duberry after the defender suffered a groin strain.
The final tie sees in-form Cheltenham Town take on Barnet at Whaddon Road. Cheltenham will be without on-loan goalkeeper Jack Butland, who is away with the England Under-21 team. while Barnet are likely to be without injured defenders Daniel Leach and Anwar Uddin.
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