SPURS struggled to edge past Sheffield United in the opening leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals. Will it be more straight-forward here? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews the match for us.
Sheffield United v Tottenham | Wednesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
My word Sheffield United are impressive. FA Cup semi-finalists last season, they turned up at White Hart Lane last week in the semi-finals of this competition with most people expecting them to find it very difficult. To escape with just a one goal defeat keeps them in the mix for a League Cup final berth.
Nigel Clough's side deserve huge respect after beating five Premier League sides in just over a year but it would be criminal if Spurs let this slip now. The North London club are 1/8 with Paddy Power to reach the final and 20/23 best price with BetVictor to win at Bramhall Lane.
Sheffield United have made a habit in their encounters with Premier League opposition of sitting deep and soaking up pressure. Those five victories came with an average possession of just 38% (as low as 25% against Fulham at the start of last year) and on Wednesday night they'll need to more pro-active as they must score to stay in the tie.
How will they cope with the cultural and psychological change to their game approach? In League One they play more like that and find themselves outside the play-off zone.
I'm happy to take a punt on this new mindset upsetting their giant-killing rhythm on Wednesday night and it playing very much into Spurs' hands.
Spurs knocked out lower league opposition by more than one goal in the Third and Fourth Round and I think we could been in for a similar scoreline in this match.
I'll be bold here and back Tottenham -1 on the Asian Handicap at 6/4 with Bet365. I feel safeguarded with the fact I'll get my cash back if Spurs win by one goal, but feel enlivened by the prospect of seeing them capitalise on Sheffield United's tactical headache and the attractive payout that that will bring if a wider win arrives.
Sheffield United v Tottenham – Tottenham -1 Asian Handicap (6/4 Bet365)