Author: Tony MacDonald
2016/17 League Cup
Published: 11:54 19/01/2015
Sheffield United head to Whitehart Lane to face Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday 21st January, we preview the game from a betting perspective using recent trends and form to unearth some value bets.
Four-time League Cup winners Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-final after beating Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United and will be looking to reach their first final of the competition since losing on penalties to Manchester United in 2009. Sheffield United have never made it to the final of this competition, but having beaten Mansfield Town, West Ham United, Leyton Orient and MK Dons to set up this tie, the League 1 outfit may fancy their chances of claiming another Premier League scalp.
The match odds in the top right of this page (mobile users scroll down) unsurprisingly show Spurs as clear favourites, but that does give Blades fans a good chance to cash in should their side record what would be a memorable League Cup upset.
Who Will Win?
In 70 meetings to date, there isn't a huge difference in the head to head stats with Tottenham leading on 30 wins compared to Sheffield United's 21, while 19 games between the sides have ended as draws.
However, the fact remains that United are currently operating two tiers below Spurs and Nigel Clough does not have the same quality in personnel as Mauricio Pochettino has at his disposal. Even when these sides have been competing at the same level, Sheff Utd have struggled for results at Whitehart Lane, their most recent win there coming in the 1991/92 season.
This game looks like being Tottenham's to lose and it would be a major surprise if they did not justify Betfred's best odds of 4/11, which looks a banker to add to your mid-week football acca.
Will There Be Goals?
Spurs haven't kept a clean sheet since holding Manchester United to a 0-0 draw between Christmas and New Year and have conceded 9 goals in the five games since that bore-draw. Sheff Utd had been finding the net well enough prior to a blank in Saturday's 1-0 defeat away to MK Dons and put 3 past QPR in the FA Cup recently.
Blades also found the net against West Ham in the Capital One Cup second round, so there is a case for backing Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals, or combining either of those bets with your match odds selection to boost your potential returns.
Who Will Score?
Given the way that Harry Kane has been banging in the goals this season, few punters will pass up Betfred's best odds of 7/2 in the First Goalscorer market. The 21-year-old has been a revelation for Spurs this season with 18 goals in 26 appearances, including 3 from 3 in the League Cup.
Those looking to play the Anytime Goalscorer market may be drawn to 15/8 shot Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder has already notched 8 times this season and will be standing over every free-kick within shooting distance, so has to be of interest if starting the game.
Jamal Campbell-Ryce netted twice against QPR and was on the score-sheet in United's 2-1 win over Preston two games back, so could be a viable long-odds alternative to the likes of Michael Higdon and Jose Baxter for those of you fancying the underdogs to score first.
Correct Score Prediction:
Tottenham 3-1 Sheff Utd - 12/1 Betfred