Author: Tony MacDonald
2016/17 League Cup
Published: 12:38 23/01/2015
Tottenham Hotspur travel to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday 28th January, we preview the game from a betting perspective using recent trends and form to unearth some value bets.
Tottenham go into the second leg with a slender 1-0 lead to protect after Andros Townsend's late penalty proved decisive at Whitehart Lane. Spurs had been frustrated by the League One side before Jay McEveley's needless handball in the 74th minute gave them a spot-kick, which Townsend duly converted.
Blades fans will be hopeful that their side can still claim another big cup scalp after already beating West Ham and QPR this season, but looking at the match odds in the top right (mobile users scroll down) it's Spurs who are favourites in the betting.
Who Will Win?
The first leg was much closer than anticipated which sets up the second leg nicely as the tie is very much still alive. With a home advantage the underdogs will be hoping to cause an upset, while Tottenham will need to be more decisive in the final third.
In recent years, Bramall Lane has not been a happy hunting ground for the Lillywhites who were beaten 2-1 in the Premier League on their latest visit back in 2007 and have not had success there in five attempts since 1976.
Remembering that away goals only count after extra-time has been played, a 1-0 home win on the night is the only scoreline that would see this tie go to a penalty shoot-out and that could be Sheff Utd's best route into the final. They did a good job of restraining Spurs until conceding a penalty and a repeat performance could be enough to make it a late night for spectators.
Obviously Spurs have the pedigree to succeed here, but their record at the venue is offputting and given that they could only muster a 1-0 last week, the Sheff Utd/Draw Double Chance at 13/10 with bet365 looks an interesting bet.
Will There be Goals?
Sheffield United have scored at least twice in each of their last five home matches against Tottenham and will be hoping that trend continues to overturn the deficit. Spurs will be targeting another clean sheet to see them into the final, but had conceded 9 goals in the five games prior to the first leg and have not recorded back-to-back shut outs since August.
Still, this is likely to be a cagey game with what's at stake and with that in mind punters may be willing to take a chance on there being Under 2.5 goals. The fact that the home side need to score could leave them exposed at the back as the game wears on, so a bet on Both Teams To Score could also be considered.
Who Will Score?
Marc McNulty started up-front at Whitehart Lane with Stefan Scougall in the hole and it could be a similar set up in the return leg. Jamal Campbell Ryce has been in good form, but with more of the action taking place on the left flank as Kyle Walker gets forward, Jamie Murphy may find a few more opportunities coming his way if he can get in behind.
Emmanuel Adebayor has only scored two goals in 14 games this season and failed to take his chance to impress last week. Harry Kane remains the most apealing First Goalscorer selection given what he's achieved so far this season, while Christian Eriksen will be a handful for the likes of Ryan Flynn and Chris Basham to deal with and will be a popular Anytime Goalscorer selection.
Correct Score Prediction:
Sheff Utd 1-1 - 6/1 bet365