We look ahead to Wednesday night's league gameGILLINGHAM V SHEFF UTD
Sky Bet League One
MEMS Priestfield Stadium
Wednesday 19 February
Danny Kedwell and Matt Fish are Peter Taylor’s only definite absentees for the visit of Sheffield United.
Kedwell is now recovering from a hernia operation while Fish is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a knee ligament injury.
Ryan Inniss though could make his debut having signed on loan from Crystal Palace.
Chris Whelpdale (ankle) could make a return, while Elliott Hewitt has served his one match ban following his sending off at Stevenage.
Connor Smith is fit after being substituted at Carlisle due to injury.
As for the Blades they will welcome back Billy Paynter and Elliott Whitehouse after the duo were ineligible for the cup win over Forest having already played in the competition for Doncaster and York respectively.
Nigel Clough has no fresh injury or suspension concerns.
Despite the fact Sheffield United were involved in a tough FA Cup game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, which the Blades won, Peter Taylor says that confidence will count for nothing if the Gills start well.
Speaking to the club website he said: “The lads have trained very well and we’ve had two good weather days so it’s really helped.
“They are a good team; we always knew that Nigel Clough going there they were going to improve so we know it’s a hard game. They had a great result on Sunday but if we start better than them and make them a bit nervous then the weekend’s match goes out of the window.
“We need to make sure we are extremely positive for the game, we have a lot of respect for them having beaten Fulham and Nottingham Forest.”
The Gaffer – Nigel Clough
Clough, son of legendary Nottingham Forest boss Brian, took the reins at Bramall Lane in November having been sacked as Manager at Derby a month earlier.
United remain in the bottom four of Sky Bet League One but have had a fantastic run in the FA Cup and will play either local rivals Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton Athletic in the Quarter Finals.
As a player Nigel played under his father at Forest before joining Liverpool in 1993. A spell at Man City followed before finishing his career with over 300 appearances as Player/Manager for Burton Albion, leaving the Pirelli in 2009 with the club top of the Conference.
At Derby he cemented the club’s position in the Championship over a four year stint, but was dismissed late last year following a 1-0 defeat to local rivals Forest.
The Skipper – Michael Doyle
The 32-year-old midfielder began his career at SPL giants Celtic but failed to make a league appearance and, in order to gain first team experience, joined Danish side AGF Aarhus before joining Coventry City on a permanent deal in 2003.
Michael played in over 250 games before signing for the Blades in 2011, via a short loan spell at Leeds United.
One to Watch – Chris Porter
Porter is the club’s top scorer in all competitions, adding two more to his tally on Sunday with a brace in the last minute of normal time against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
Prior to that the forward had only scored twice in his last 14 games, having joined the club in the summer of 2011 from Derby County.
The Blades – the season so far
United appointed David Weir as their new Manager in the summer, but after a disappointing start to their season which saw a return of just one win in 13 competitive fixtures, he was sacked and replaced by former Derby boss Nigel Clough.
Under his stewardship United have looked a tougher outfit to beat and on visiting Priestfield having lost just once in their last six matches.
In the cup competitions, United’s only interest is in the FA Cup where they will take on either local rivals Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton after defeating Nottingham Forest 3-1 at Bramall Lane over the weekend.
In the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy the Blades were eliminated at the second hurdle following a 1-0 home defeat against Hartlepool, and in the Capital One Cup United lost 2-1 in the first round after being defeated by Burton.
The sides last met earlier this season when goals from Danny Kedwell and Cody McDonald sealed a fantastic 2-1 win at Bramall Lane.
Chris Porter equalised on 19 minutes to make the scores 1-1, but McDonald restored the Gills advantage shortly after the interval which the visitors did well to hold on to.
In total the teams have met on 21 occasions – Gills edge the head to head statistics with eight victories. Sheffield United have seven to their name, and the other six games have ended in a draw.
Current Form (last six games in all competitions):
Gills: LWLWLW (9 points)
Sheff Utd: DDLWWW (4 points)
Gills have won their last three straight home fixtures – their last coming in an entertaining but nail biting 3-2 triumph against Port Vale.
To record a fourth straight win the hosts are priced at 2/1, with an away win delivering odds of 13/10. A draw delivers a return of 12/5.
For Cody McDonald to score the first goal and the hosts win 1-0, Sky Bet are offering odds of 30/1.
Amine Linganzi is 20/1 to net the opener, with Joe Pigott at 7/1 to score first for the second successive game.
To create your account and place your bet for the game, visit Sky Bet.
Referee – Brendan Malone
Assistants – Neil Hair & Nick Hobbis
Fourth Official – Carl Brook