FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Sheffield United

Competition: FA Cup – Manchester United  vs. Sheffield United 

Venue: Old Trafford – Saturday, January 9 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Man United 1/3 – Draw 4/1 – Sheffield United 8/1

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Sheffield United to Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday evening, with the Blades hoping to cause a major upset.

United manager Louis Van Gaal has been under immense pressure in recent weeks but he watched his side start 2016 in the right way as they beat Swansea 2-1 last Saturday.

That victory ended a winless run of eight in all competitions and the Red Devils will now expect to record back-to-back wins by booking a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

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Van Gaal is unlikely to make too many changes as he knows that Sheffield United will arrive at Old Trafford desperate to cause an upset.

The Blades started 2016 in disappointing fashion as they lost 3-2 at home to Peterborough, ending a run of four straight wins in all competitions.

They beat Worcester City and Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup to reach the third round and manager Nigel Adkins will now hope to guide his side to the fourth round for the fifth straight season.

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However, Sheffield United will need to end a run of six consecutive defeats against the Red Devils to have any success. They last won at Old Trafford in 1973 and so history isn’t on the visiting team’s side.

Key Points

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

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

Key Stat: Manchester United have won their last six games against Sheffield United in all competitions by an aggregate scoreline of 13-1.

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – The United captain got a much needed goal in the 2-1 win against Swansea last time out and will look to build on that with another impressive performance against the Blades here.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield United – This could be a tight game and one that is likely to be closer than Manchester United would like. Sheffield United have been very good in the FA Cup over recent seasons and will look to try and pile more misery on Louis Van Gaal. However, home advantage should allow the Red Devils to prove their quality by sealing the win.


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.

MLSGB FA Cup Fourth Round Predictions

This weekend sees a break from league action for those sides that are still in the FA Cup and we take a look at the fourth round fixtures to see how each team will fair.

Ben Ashton takes a stab at the possible outcomes of the action this weekend.

Here’s this week’s FA Cup fourth round predictions:

Friday 23 January 2015

Cambridge United vs Manchester United (19:55)

Manchester United faced a possible upset in the third round away at Yeovil Town but they came through that test comfortably in the end and I expect them to do so once again against a modest Cambridge.

Prediction: 0-2

Saturday 24 January 2015 (All kick-offs are 15:00 unless otherwise stated)

Blackburn Rovers vs Swansea City (12:45)

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Both sides have stuttered recently in the Championship and Premier League respectively and are both without a win in four which is why it’s likely to end all square.

Prediction: 1-1 (Swansea City to win the replay 2-0)

Birmingham City vs West Bromwich Albion

Birmingham have picked things up recently after a torrid start to the season which saw them record just two wins from the opening 15 games. But any side managed by Tony Pulis will be tough to beat and the Baggies should edge this Midlands derby.

Prediction: 1-2

Cardiff City vs Reading

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Neither of these sides can have much to brag about this season as they both sit in the bottom half of the Championship. A cup run could potentially light up an otherwise dull campaign for one of them. Narrow home win.

Prediction: 2-1

Chelsea vs Bradford City

If Chelsea fail to get past Bradford at home in the fourth round, it would go down as one of the FA Cup’s all-time greatest upsets. But it’s not going to happen and Chelsea will cruise into the fifth round.

Prediction: 4-0

Derby County vs Chesterfield

Derby’s priority this season will be gaining promotion to the Premier League and they’re doing a fairly good job of achieving that so far. Chesterfield themselves are in a battle for promotion too and this game presents the opportunity of a mini-upset but Derby should just have enough.

Prediction 1-0

Manchester City vs Middlesbrough

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City will be crushed after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in the league but they need to bounce back quickly. And what better opportunity than against a Championship side whose priorities are trying to gain promotion.

Prediction: 2-0

Preston North End vs Sheffield United

Preston are going well in League One despite going four without a win. They should have a slight advantage in the sense that Sheffield United had to play a League Cup game against Tottenham in midweek so they may be suffering from that. The Blades’ cup form has been excellent in recent times though and that should be enough to bring the game back to Bramall Lane.

Prediction: 1-1 (Sheffield United to win the replay 1-0)

Southampton vs Crystal Palace

If this game was due to be played six weeks ago, you’d expect a comfortable Southampton win, but Palace look revitalised under new manager Alan Pardew which will make for a tight game. However, the Saints should just edge it and Palace will be subjected to their first defeat under the new boss.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunderland vs Fulham

This is a game that Sunderland could probably do without given the fact they need to concentrate on Premier League survival. Fulham look to be safe in the Championship and a cup run would be a welcome bonus. But the advantage of being at home and having Jermain Defoe at their disposal should see Sunderland through.

Prediction: 2-0

Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City

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Tottenham have been playing well recently, despite a blip at Selhurst Park when they lost 2-1 to Crystal Palace. Leicester have also picked up a few points of late to give themselves a chance of escaping relegation, and that will be their number one objective this season. Spurs should go through without too many problems.

Prediction: 2-0

Liverpool vs Bolton Wanderers (17:30)

Brendan Rodgers has quietly but effectively set about turning Liverpool’s season around. The Reds could do with a good send-off for skipper Steven Gerrard who will be joining LA Galaxy in the summer, so they will be desperate to do well in the FA Cup. Bolton have also turned it around under Neil Lennon but getting a result at Anfield will be too much to ask.

Prediction: 3-0

Sunday 25 January 2015

Bristol City vs West Ham United (14:00)

Sam Allardyce hasn’t always prioritised the FA Cup, so it’ll be interesting to see how he approaches this game. Bristol City are flying high in League One and will fancy themselves to get at the Hammers. This should be an entertaining game.

Prediction: 1-1 (West Ham United to win the replay 2-0)

Aston Villa vs Bournemouth

Villa Park will be the most likely destination for a cup upset this weekend. But in truth, it wouldn’t be all that surprising. Bournemouth have been scintillating this season in the Championship, while Aston Villa have been very much the opposite in the Premier League. I fancy the Cherries to win this.

Prediction: 0-2 

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal

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Defensive stability isn’t something we normally associate with Arsenal in recent years, but with three consecutive clean sheets in all competitions they’re starting to look solid at the back, which is the main reason I don’t see Brighton getting anything from this game. Arsenal’s attacking threat isn’t bad either.

Prediction: 0-2

Monday 26 January 2015 (20:00)

Rochdale vs Stoke City

This fixture has all the makings of a classic FA Cup tie. On paper, it looks as though Stoke will comfortably sweep Rochdale aside, but I get the feeling it won’t be as easy as that. The magic of the cup should be there for all to see in this one.

Prediction: 2-2 (Stoke City to win the replay 3-1)

Who will make the fifth round of the FA Cup?

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