Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has backed on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson to shine against Liverpool on Saturday.
The Blades face the daunting task of hosting a side that has won its last 15 Premier League matches stretching back to last season, and who have already opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table this time around.
Liverpool boast two of last season’s three Golden Boot winners in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who shared the accolade with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the trio all scored 22 Premier League goals.
Henderson will be the man tasked with keeping the Reds at bay and Wilder believes his young goalkeeper is up to the challenge.
“Liverpool’s forward three have been unbelievable for the past couple of years,” said Wilder. “In terms of the quality they’ve got, the mobility and way they interchange, we’re going to have to have an unbelievably great day to keep the ball out of our net.
“Our goalkeeper is going to have to make saves, we understand that, but I feel we have the best young goalkeeper in the country.”
Henderson played a key role in helping the Blades win promotion to the Premier League last season during his loan spell at the club.
The 22-year-old is highly regarded at Old Trafford too, after signing a new contract until 2022 this summer prior to rejoining Wilder’s side on a second season-long deal.
“He’s an outstanding goalkeeper. He will rise to the occasion I’m sure, and he, like all the other players, will relish the opportunity of going go toe-to-toe with Liverpool on a level playing field,” said Wilder.
“He will have to make some big saves and I’m sure he will do when the time comes. He enjoys the big occasions. I love him as a personality, he’s got something different and something about him.
“He knows this year, not just in this match but throughout the season, that he is going to have to come up with some big saves at big times – not only for us to help us in what we are trying to do in this division, but also for his individual career as well.”
David McGoldrick is a major doubt for the Blades. The Republic of Ireland international has missed the last two matches with a muscle injury and Wilder is not optimistic about his chances of being fit.
Fellow striker Billy Sharp is suspended but on-loan Everton midfielder Mo Besic returns to contention having been unable to play against his parent club last weekend.
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