Sheffield United vs. Tottenham: League Cup Preview and Prediction

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Chelsea vs Liverpool: League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second-Leg

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Odds: Chelsea 8/13 – Draw 16/5 – Liverpool 9/2

Chelsea and Liverpool will lock horns once again as they meet for the second-leg of their League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge with a place in the final at Wembley at stake.

The first-leg ended all square at Anfield after Eden Hazard put the Blues 1-0 up from the penalty spot before Raheem Sterling scored a deserved equaliser for Liverpool, who will be kicking themselves that they didn’t get more out of the game after having 19 shots to Chelsea’s two.

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The Reds dominated large periods but Chelsea held firm and will fancy themselves to get over the line on home soil and combining that fact with their away goal, it makes them the slight favourites. But after the events of the weekend just gone, it shows that anything can happen – especially in a cup tie.

Chelsea’s home record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 14 – Drawn 1 – Lost 1

Liverpool haven’t lost since December 14 when they suffered a 3-0 league defeat against Manchester United, and since then they have gone on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

By Chelsea’s standards, the last month will be considered as an average and inconsistent return having won just three of their last seven in all competitions, drawing two and losing two, most notably a 4-2 defeat at home to League One Bradford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday – their first home loss of the season.

Liverpool’s away record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 8 – Drawn 1 – Lost 7

Jose Mourinho’s sides aren’t used to conceding too many goals in a game, so the 5-3 defeat at Tottenham, and the Bradford game, will almost certainly be in the back of their minds, so despite being at home, we could see a very similar game to the first-leg as Chelsea will look to keep it tight.

These two side have previously met six times in this competition, with Liverpool coming out on top three times to Chelsea’s two, with last week’s first-leg the first League Cup tie that has ended level between them.

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Liverpool triumphed 2-0 the last time these two met at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup, which came back in November 2011, so they will be hoping that history can repeat itself on Tuesday night.

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/L

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Liverpool are without a win in their last six games against Chelsea.

Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The young Englishman is Liverpool’s top goalscorer in the League Cup and his attacking flair causes concerns for any defence.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool – Chelsea to edge it and seal their place in the final.

Tottenham vs. Sheffield United: League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final First-Leg

Venue: White Hart Lane

Odds: Tottenham 1/3 – Draw 9/2 – Sheffield United 8/1

Tottenham Hotspur welcome cup specialists Sheffield United to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night for the first-leg of their League Cup semi-final.

The Blades have been incredible in domestic cup competitions in recent times and travel to London looking to beat a Premier League side for the sixth time in 12 months.

The League One outfit have already beaten West Ham United and Southampton in the competition this year and they also beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 in the FA Cup earlier this month.

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Spurs will need to be wary, though manager Mauricio Pochettino is ready to make plenty of changes, as this is the sixth game of nine in a hectic January for the Lilywhites.

Tottenham’s home record in League Cup: Played 3 – Won 3 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

Tottenham are unbeaten in nine at home and have beaten Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Newcastle at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup this season.

Sheffield United are chasing promotion to the Championship in the third tier of English football and have only lost two of their last eight in all competitions.

Sheffield United’s away record in League Cup: Played 3 – Won 2 – Drawn 1 – Lost 0

Blades manager Nigel Clough always gets the best out of his players for cup games and Wednesday night should be an intriguing tie.

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Spurs will be looking to put one foot in the final with a victory, while United will hope to still be in the tie by the time of the return leg next week.

This will be the first meeting between the sides in eight years and Spurs have only won one of the last five against the Blades.

Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: W/D/L/W/W

Sheffield United’s last five in all competitions: D/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Sheffield United have eliminated five Premier League sides from domestic cup competitions in the past 12 months.

Key Player: Roberto Soldado – The Spanish striker played well in last week’s 4-2 FA Cup win against Burnley despite missing a sitter and will look to end his goal drought by adding to his two goals in the League Cup already this season.

Prediction: Tottenham 2 – 1 Sheffield United 

League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final First-Leg

Venue: Anfield

Odds: Liverpool 12/5 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 23/20

Liverpool host Chelsea in the first-leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie at Anfield on Tuesday night and both sides come into the game in full confidence.

Liverpool have won their last three in all competitions and are unbeaten in eight since losing 3-0 at Manchester United in December.

Liverpool’s home record in League Cup: Played 2 – Won 1 – Drawn 1 – Lost 0

They haven’t lost at home since early November, but they were beaten by Chelsea on that day and have a poor record against Jose Mourinho’s team in recent times.

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The Blues beat them 2-1 earlier this season and all but ended their title hopes late last season in a 2-0 win back in April 2014.

Chelsea will be confident as a result and will look to take their attacking form from their 5-0 win at Swansea into the game on Merseyside.

Chelsea’s away record in League Cup: Played 2 – Won 2 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

A Chelsea win puts one foot in the final as they will be expected to win at home, so Liverpool must ensure that they remain in the tie come full-time on Tuesday evening.

Both sides will field strong lineups and Brendan Rodgers may bring Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana back into the side after they missed the 2-0 win at Aston Villa this weekend.

Jose Mourinho will be without Cesar Azpilicueta but Thibaut Courtois could return after missing the last couple of games with a finger injury.

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This will be the sixth time in history that these two have met in the League Cup. Liverpool have won three of the previous five meetings, with Chelsea winning two.

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/D/W/W/W

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chelsea haven’t lost to Liverpool in their last five meetings, scoring twice in the past four.

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Spanish striker scored the winner at Anfield back in November and looked back to his best as he bagged a brace at Swansea on Saturday.

Prediction: Liverpool 1 – 2 Chelsea