McGoldrick remains fitness doubt for Sheffield United

David McGoldrick is a major doubt for Sheffield United as they prepare to host Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The Republic of Ireland international has missed the last two matches with a muscle injury and, at his press conference on Thursday morning, Blades boss Chris Wilder was not optimistic about McGoldrick’s chances of being fit for the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

Fellow striker Billy Sharp is suspended and will serve the second game of a three-match ban but on-loan Everton midfielder Mo Besic returns to contention having been unable to play against his parent club last weekend.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker is closing in on a first-team comeback as he returns to training this weekend but he is not in contention for Bramall Lane.

The Brazil international has been sidelined with a calf injury since the opening match of the season on August 9.

Forwards Sadio Mane (dead leg) and Divock Origi (ankle) have both recovered and trained this week but midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri is out with a calf problem

Sheffield United provisional squad: Henderson, Basham, O’Connell, Egan, Norwood, Stevens, Baldock, Fleck, Lundstram, Robinson, Mousset, McBurnie, Besic, Moore, Freeman, Osborn, Jagielka, Stearman.

Liverpool provisional squad: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Kelleher, Gomez, Lovren, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Milner, Lallana, Brewster, Elliott, Origi.

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