SHEFFIELD UNITED welcome Nottingham Forest to Bramall Lane on Friday night and Sam Ingram (@SamIngram_) is on-hand to share his best bet.
Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest | Friday 4th March, 19:45 | Sky Sports
Mirroring the same form in the last six games (W3, 2D & 1L) as each other, Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest now line up to derail the other’s promotion push. Only three points separate Forest and the playoffs, with a solitary point the gap between The Blades and Luton Town in sixth.
Before Sheffield United slipped up against Millwall last time out, a head-turning run has more than edged them into the conversation for the playoffs.
Six wins from eight is one thing, but conceding just one goal during that timeframe suggests that this is a well-drilled side equipped for the business end of the competition.
Eyebrows were raised when Paul Heckingbottom took the reigns, but after Sheffield United’s start to life in 2022, fans are envisaging a swift return to Premier League football.
It’s a similar story in Nottingham. A change of personnel in the dugout after a poor start to the season has Steve Cooper’s Forest very much on the cusp of the playoffs. This year, Forest have won six from eight games alongside two Premier League scalps in the cup.
Goals at a premium?
Cooper’s men can’t quite brag a defensive record like their Friday night opponents in 2022, but conceding just five in eight since the turn of the year isn’t far off.
Given either side’s knack of shutting the opposition out, I find myself scouring the ‘under’ goal markets for some value. Sheffield United to win or draw, as they have done in each game at Bramall Lane since the end of October, coupled with under three goals, provides an evens selection which is tempting.
In 2022, 3/11 Sheffield United fixtures have ended in over 2.5 goals, only one of which came on home soil – a 4-0 pummelling of Swansea.
For Forest, 50% of fixtures since the turn of the year has seen under 2.5 goals, something you would expect to go close away in Sheffield. On the Tricky Trees’ travels this season, that figure jumps to 62% of games where under 2.5 has banked for punters – the fifth-highest total in the Championship.
It’s close, but I’m more confident in siding with Sheffield United under the lights, backed by home advantage.
Forest will arrive with personnel that can hurt the resolute Blades backline, but any goalscoring chances in United's box may be few and far between. The Sheffield United double chance angle echos that train of thought, with a hard-fought draw being a result both sides would likely take before a ball is kicked.
Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest – Under 3 Goals and Sheffield United Double Chance (1/1 Bet365)