United We Stand

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For safety reasons...
Image: Effervescing Elephant/flickr

Don’t confuse this with some soppy call to arms or anything. OK, do. It’s a big game up at Bramall Lane tomorrow – for both teams – and a victory will do wonders for the prospects of the winner. Sheffield United looking to topple their city rivals in the hunt for automatic promotion; and Boro’ gunning for the last playoff berth. A script that most Hollywood writers couldn’t quite manage to produce.

In League One terms, tomorrow’s game will be most unusual in that the ground will most probably be full. With the hosts speedily selling their allocation, it is now all ticket for the Boro’ contingent too, thus denying casual passers-by from joining the 86-strong following from Hertfordshire.

It’s the penultimate game of the season and the last away game of the season. This doesn’t, of course, take into consideration any potential playoff game (we’re not the type of blogger that likes to jump the gun here). But it has certainly whets the appetite and the number of blue balloons and confetti – paid for by the esteemed gentlefolk of Stevenage FC – gives an extra edge to the occasion. We didn’t have ’em at Spurs!

As well as “taking it one game at a time“, we also think reports of Sheffield United’s death – if you can call a striking crisis that – are greatly exaggerated. You might even say that it’s a load of old toffee ( (c) Gary Smith 2012) to be acute. But we’ve proven there’s nothing to fear this season in the results that have got us this far. One more magic trick and we could be guaranteed top six by the Sunday morning hangover.

There was a time we were piss poor on the television. Remember some dire games against the might of Farsley Celtic and Altrincham on Setanta? But that doesn’t appear to be such an issue these days. Given the exploits of recent seasons, the players show no great nerves in front of, say, a capacity White Hart Lane crowd or the ITV cameras. Perhaps the latter is knowing the coverage keeps cutting to a cat food ad?

And while we remember, yesterday we saw a butterfly. It’s wings were red and white with a black trim. It must be a sign. So. Not for the first time this season and not for the last, hope being the prominent emotion, will Boro’ step out of the proverbial and into the proverbial at Bramall Lane. And if we win, no doubt we’ll all go back post haste to The Proverbial for a light sherry to celebrate. Or Jäger.

With foresight that puts weathermen to shame and the prospect of unchanged line-ups, the Team Tarot:

Team for Sheffield United

* Image: Mark Hawksworth

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