Blades belief comes from hot home record against Tottenham
Tottenham have one win in seven matches against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane since 1975, yet Coral make Mauricio Pochettino’s men strong odds-on 4/5 favourites for victory in 90 minutes in their Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.
Spurs are also a massively short 1/10 to qualify from this tie and face the winner of Chelsea v Liverpool at Wembley on March 1st. The Blades, meanwhile, have been giant-killers in cup competitions under Nigel Clough, losing just twice in major domestic knockout match-ups since he took over.
Sheffield United, with the boisterous Bramall Lane Kop behind them, are 7/2 to turn this tie around and win without resorting to extra time. They are 11/2 to qualify for the final. A draw, meanwhile, is an 11/4 chance.
Since they took a slender advantage over the Blades, Tottenham lost in the FA Cup to Leicester City. Winger Andros Townsend has converted penalties both of their previous two matches, however, and is a tempting 11/4 chance to net again anytime.
Another danger for Clough and co to worry about is Harry Kane. Spurs’ leading marksman has scored three in as many away starts, so is even-money in the anytime market and should return to the XI alongside Christian Eriksen. Pochettino will assess the fitness of winger Nacer Chadli, who has been on compassionate leave, and Michel Vorm should once again start in goal.
Rotation is also likely to be theme for hosts Sheffield United, though Scottish forward Marc McNulty has three in his last four home appearances, and that makes him great value at 11/4 to net anytime. New arrival John Brayford, who previously had a successful loan spell at Bramall Lane, is ineligible, however.
Clough could do with more with ex-Everton attacker Jose Baxter and winger Jamie Murphy. Both are 7/2 chances in the anytime market. There’s also a potential battle of players named Ben Davies here. The Blades utility man returned to the squad for an FA Cup fourth round draw with Preston North End last time out, while Tottenham’s Welsh left back played in the first leg.
That subplot aside, history favours Sheffield United but, following a weekend of domestic cup shocks, Spurs are likely to take a team ranked 46 places below them in English league football seriously. Back big guns Tottenham to win, but both teams to score at a fabulous 3/1.