Sports Betting Weekly

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United

When: Thursday, 22 January 2015 @ 01:45 (FINISHED)
Where: White Hart Lane
Having blown away Newcastle United with one of their most cohesive performances of the season in a 4-0 home win, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham will be extremely confident of navigating their way to a first League Cup final since 2009 against the only non-Premier League side left in the competition, Sheffield United.

The home team have scored nine goals in the cup this season and conceded just one, sweeping aside everything that has been put before them in the previous three rounds and have understandably been named as 4/11 favourites for the game against the League One promotion hopefuls and a miniscule 2/13 on to qualify over the two legs.

With a goal in each of the previous three rounds, man of the moment Harry Kane will again undoubtedly be key to Spurs’ chances of progression and is the favourite to open the scoring at White Hart Lane. However, with that price unlikely to create much of a buzz, there may be better value to be had on backing the England striker to bag two or more goals at enhanced odds.

Another man worth taking a look at for the home side is Roberto Soldado. Much like Andre Schurrle in our other semi-final preview, the Spain striker has mostly been confined to a bit part role in the Premier League this season but has a fine record in the cup with two goals in three appearances (one as a sub) and, as such, he may represent an interesting alternative to Kane at a more substantial price.

When we previewed Sheffield’s last League Cup game against Southampton, we backed Nigel Clough’s side to claim a battling draw, but in truth we underestimated their cup pedigree as they went one better and won 1-0 on the night. Although odds of 10/1 may dissuade people from backing them to claim another win against top tier opposition on Wednesday, the visitors are nothing if not resolute and may be in with a shout of keeping their hopes alive ahead of the reverse fixture.

Indeed, the Blades have conceded just twice in four League Cup fixtures this season – and with those two games both finishing 2-1, you can get 8/1 on a repeat scoreline at White Hart Lane, which would leave Sheffield United’s 11/2 chances of qualifying very much in the balance. With five strikes in the League and F.A. Cups this season, Michael Higdon is proving something of a cup specialist and if Sheffield are to score at the Lane, he or his fellow forward Marc McNulty look the men most likely.

Of course, with Tottenham’s flourishing attack pitted against Sheffield’s miserly defence, it looks very difficult to choose between over 2.5 goals at 7/10 and under 2.5 goals at 5/4, but with both sides scoring all but one of their League Cup goals this season in the second half, the 15/13 available on this one exploding into life in the second period looks a good way to balance our risk here.