Cork Soccer: Egan and Hourihane in the mix in first Premier League game back

Cork Soccer: Egan and Hourihane in the mix in first Premier League game back
Cork duo Conor Hourihane, left, and John Egan on Ireland duty. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

BISHOPSTOWN'S John Egan and Bandon's Conor Hourihane could feature in the first Premier League game in the post-Covid season.

Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane scores. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire. 
Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane scores. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire. 

The Irish internationals' teams clash at 6pm today, live on Sky Sports with Egan a certainty to be in defence for the Blades, though midfield playmaker Hourihane was in and out of the Villa line-up earlier in the campaign.

United boss Chris Wilder knows the magnitude of his side’s game at Aston Villa as they restart the Premier League.

The Blades travel in the first game back after a three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the eyes of the world on what is a new era of football.

Wilder said: “First game back is going to be a little bit different, what we understand is the magnitude of the game, the coverage of the game.

“You can’t get away from the fact that possibly Villa-Sheff Utd was a Championship game last year and would possibly have been seventh or eighth on Match Of The Day and now it is 6pm on the TV and worldwide coverage.

“From our point of view we want to put on a good show and make sure we play well. Players will naturally want to play well and we want to do that as a football club.”

Sheffield United's John Egan reacts during a Premier League match at Bramall Lane in February.
Sheffield United's John Egan reacts during a Premier League match at Bramall Lane in February.

The Blades are in a great position with 10 games to go, with the prospect of Champions League football still a distinct possibility.

They could move up to fifth with three points at Villa Park, but Wilder will not allow himself to get distracted by talk of Europe.

He said. “Are we going to talk about Villa or what? It’s the first game up. Is there any chance to talk about that? Because that’s all I am looking at. I am not looking at anything else.

“If it gets to the situation where we are one or two games out and we are still in a fantastic position then we will possibly talk about that.

“But at the moment we have quarter of a season to go near enough. I am sure that you have seen the fixture list as such as I have seen it, there are some incredible challenges in front of us.

“We have got to control what we can control and that is our own performances and results and if we are still there with a couple of games to go then we will look to turn a good season into a memorable one.”

Provisional Villa squad: Reina, Nyland, Steer, Guilbert, Engels, Chester, Konsa, Mings, Taylor, Elmohamady, Luiz, Nakamba, Targett, Grealish, McGinn, Trezeguet, El Ghazi, Hourihane, Jota, Lansbury, Samatta, Vassilev.

Provisional Sheff Utd squad: Henderson, Moore, Baldock, Egan, Basham, Jagielka, O'Connell, Stevens, Berge, Besic, Fleck, Freeman, Lundstram, Morrison, Norwood, Clarke, McBurnie, McGoldrick, Sharp, Mousset.

More in this section

Sponsored Content