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Blades must beat Coventry to keep up League One promotion push

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 11, 2015

Sheffield United v Coventry City

  • League One
  • Sunday, December 13th
  • Kick-off: 12:00 GMT
  • Bramall Lane, Sheffield
  • Live on Sky Sports 2

Blades need to do better at Bramall Lane

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Sheffield United v Blackpool - Bramall Lane

It’s almost two months since Sheffield United won a league game at home, and that has to change if Nigel Adkins is to deliver on his brief of getting the Blades promoted.

The Steel City side started the weekend six points off the League One play-offs, but their Bramall Lane opponents Coventry City are in the thick of that race for going up automatically.

Coral offer a tempting 9/4 on Tony Mowbray’s men beating their hosts in Sheffield, while the inconsistent Blades look a little short for victory at 6/5. Four of the last seven head-to-heads have been draws, and that is the same price as a Sky Blues win.

Armstrong exploits count in Coventry’s favour

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Coventry City v Peterborough United - Ricoh Arena

Newcastle United loanee Adam Armstrong may be giving Adkins sleepless nights, as the visiting striker has 13 goals in 17 league games. It’s not wonder Coventry’s temporary teenage talent is 5/4 in the anytime market.

Armstrong is better value at 5/1 to strike first. Backed up by other Sky Blues loan signings Jacob Murphy, who enjoyed a prolific scoring run of six in five in November, and Joe Cole, Mowbray has goals and guile aplenty.

Norwich City-owned Murphy is a 7/4 anytime scorer shout, while ex-England man Cole, who has been borrowed from one of Coventry’s West Midlands neighbours Aston Villa, is a terrific 3/1 chance in that market.

Sharp must live up to his name for Blades

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Burton Albion v Sheffield United - Pirelli Stadium

Leading marksman Billy Sharp apart, punters looking a proven scorer against the Sky Blues in Sheffield United ranks shall struggle. Adkins has certainly coaxed the best out of this target man in his career to date, so Sharp represents an alternative to Armstrong at 5/1 to fire in the opener.

Jose Baxter, Matt Done and another Adkins acolyte in Martyn Woolford are other key Blades players in attack, but none have ever netted when previously paired with Coventry.

Such stats can only be changed by this supporting cast, though, while Che Adams’ suspension could not have come at a worse time. There’s just enough in Sheffield United to suggest they’ll score, but the value bets are all on Mowbray’s men with the Sky Blues a tasty 21/5 to win with both teams finding the target.

Related

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Coral’s top tip : Armstrong is a fabulous 5/1 to open proceedings at Bramall Lane and give the Blades a torrid time against Coventry.