Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second-Leg
Venue: Bramall Lane – Wednesday, January 28 – 19:45
Match odds: Sheffield United 7/2 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham 17/20
Sheffield United host Spurs in the second-leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tonight with a place in the final at Wembley up for grabs.
The tie is perfectly poised after Spurs earned a narrow 1-0 victory in the first-leg last week but the Blades know they need to attack a lot more than they did at White Hart Lane.
Andros Townsend converted the winning penalty in the 74th minute after Jay McEveley was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball in the box, but Sheffield United defended well throughout and limited Spurs to just five shots on target.
Nigel Clough will have been pleased with what he saw but he knows his side must now attack Spurs if they are to reach Wembley for the second year in succession after facing Hull City in the FA Cup semi-final last term.
Sheffield United home record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 9 – Drawn 4 – Lost 3
That will suit Spurs as they will look to counter-attack at every opportunity and Mauricio Pochettino’s side always look most dangerous when they can hit teams on the break.
Tottenham were knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester on Saturday as they conceded two late goals against the Foxes, and so the League Cup has become even more important as the club look to win their first trophy in seven years.
Tottenham’s away record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 7 – Drawn 4 – Lost 4
Sheffield United earned an FA Cup replay with Preston North End after drawing 1-1 on Saturday but the home fans will hope to see off the challenge of Premier League opposition once again, and will take confidence from their 1-0 win against Southampton in the fifth round of the competition.
This will be the the fourth meeting between the two sides in the League Cup and Spurs have won all three of the previous encounters, including last week’s 1-0 victory.
The game will be Tottenham’s first away from home in the League Cup this season. Their last loss away from home in the competition came against Norwich in October 2012.
Sheffield United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/L/D
Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: L/W/W/W/L
Key Stat: Spurs have not won at Bramall Lane in their past five attempts, spanning 25 years. Their last win at Sheffield United came in the League Cup in 1990.
Key Player: Jamal Campbell-Ryce – The 31-year-old winger has scored four goals in his last five and was the Blades’ main threat last week. He will give Spurs left-back Ben Davies plenty to think about.
Sheffield United vs Tottenham Prediction: Sheffield United 1–1 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs to advance to the final on aggregate but they will find it tricky at Bramall Lane.