It was a blockbuster bout in the initial tie of the FA Cup fourth round between Wrexham and Sheffield United, with the Racecourse Ground producing more twists and turns than a Hollywood script in a 3-3 stalemate — befitting then that their onlooking co-owner Ryan Reynolds was gripped by the spectacle on the terraces.
Red Dragons boss Phil Parkinson has previous in the cup competitions with lower-league clubs, famously guiding then fourth-tier Bradford City to the League Cup final in 2013 and then carrying the club to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 2014/15, beating Chelsea along the way. He certainly hasn’t lost any of his mojo.
He will have his sights firmly set on gaining promotion to the football league this season, with Notts County threatening to derail their ambitions in the fifth tier, but the club certainly won’t pass up on the chance to try and produce a famous victory at a ground that’s looking likely to host Premier League opposition next term.
Indeed, Sheffield United are currently flying high in the Championship, sitting 10 points safe in the second automatic promotion place. But, Paul Heckingbottom will be keen to build on his side’s late recovery against Wrexham — netting in the dying embers — and avoid a David-who-fought-Goliath upset.
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Sheff Utd vs Wrexham match stats
Oliver McBurnie has been a threat from the skies all season in South Yorkshire and it only took him two minutes to break the deadlock from a corner in the reverse fixture last month. Indeed the Scotland international has had more shots from headers in the Championship this season than any other player (28).
Paul Mullin was one of the marquee acquisitions brought in by Reynolds and Rob McElhenney after he opted to drop down a division and represent the Welsh club. Having bagged 32 goals in all competitions during his maiden campaign, Mullin is once again Wrexham’s top scorer this season with 28 goals — the second-most in the National League — including eight in the FA Cup.
He showed the full range of his scoring repertoire in last month’s fixture, and he will be hoping to do so again on Tuesday to blunt the Blades.
Prior to their meet late last month you would have had to have gone back nearly two decades for the last time they locked proverbial horns. In 2004, Neil Warnock oversaw a 3-2 win at the Racecourse Ground in the League Cup. Andy Gray scored a brace either side of Phil Jagielka’s finish, with Craig Morgan and Chris Llewellyn getting the goals for Wrexham that day.