Spurs v Sheffield United: Can Tottenham Blunt the Blades?

tottenhamTottenham host Sheffield United on Saturday looking for their first win in four league games. Over that period, the club have picked up just two points via draws against Watford and Everton and are now desperate for a morale-boosting win.

It won’t be easy: The Blades have been impressive on their return to the Premier League and currently sit in sixth position. Chris Wilder’s men have been tight at the back but can Spurs breach that defence and claim a much-needed three points?

Team News

Obviously the big news this week is that Son Heung-Min has seen his red card overturned and is available for selection on Saturday. Sonny was clearly incorrectly sent off late on at Goodison on Sunday but is back and, two goals against Red Star in midweek suggest he’s in the right frame of mind.

Elsewhere, the contributions of Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon offered big positives on Wednesday but there are some injury issues to run through. Aside from long-term absentee Hugo Lloris, there are continued doubts over Erik Lamela and Jan Vertonghen but we will have to wait for Mauricio Pochettino’s press conference to find out more.

On Wednesday night, Lo Celso, Dele Alli and Sonny were substituted but it’s not believed that injury played a part in any of those decisions.

Match Odds

The form guide may point to Sheffield United but Spurs are the red hot favourites for this game at best industry odds of 10/17 with SportNation and VBet. The draw is the next available option at a top price of 33/10 with Unibet while the same bookmaker has the best numbers on an away win at 21/4.

The Blades were too sharp for Burnley last weekend as they cruised to a 3-0 win and that result makes it two wins, two draws and one defeat in their last five. Two big victories over Red Star Belgrade have given Spurs’ form guide some respectability but those league results have been poor. Few spectators, neutral or otherwise, would be surprised if Sheffield United came away with a result and if Tottenham do take the points, it’s likely to be tight.

Other Side Bets

harry kane

Harry Kane

Harry Kane takes up his usual place at the top of the first goalscorer betting and you can pick up our main striker at best odds of 14/5 with Unibet and 888Sport. Behind Kane, Son Heung-Min fired in a double against Red Star on Wednesday and he can be claimed at a top price of 5/1 with Unibet and 888Sport once again.

We should probably mention Troy Parrott who has been quoted by many bookies, including Black Type who go 17/4, but it’s doubtful that the young Irishman will even make the bench.

Other, more certain starters include Lucas Moura at best odds of 21/4 with Unibet, Dele Alli at 15/2 with BetFred, Christian Eriksen at 17/2 with 888Sport and Giovani Lo Celso at 9/1 with Unibet.

Sheffield United finally get a mention through Oliver McBurnie at 9/1 with Black Type while Billy Sharp is just behind at 10/1 with Betway.

Games involving Sheffield United haven’t produced too many goals so far this season. The philosophy under Chris Wilder seems to be focused on defence first and clearly it’s been working for them. We shouldn’t expect a goal fest but should we start by taking Both Teams to Score at best odds of 5/6 with SportsNation and VBet?

Based on the scoring stats, Under 2.5 goals may be a better option at 11/10 with BetFred. That bet is frequently above Even Money and these teams will need to drastically alter their scoring trends for it not to come in.

Talking of goals, a modest 1-0 win for Tottenham can be backed in the Correct Score markets at 27/4 with 10Bet. Meanwhile, the pessimists among us can take the same scoreline in Sheffield United’s favour which is on offer at 31/2 with 10Bet once again.

Dangerman

We’ve seen that Oliver McBurnie carries the lowest price of any Sheffield United player in the individual goal scorer markets so is he the obvious dangerman? The Blades have scored 12 league goals in 11 games so far this season but McBurnie has only been responsible for one of those efforts.

A bigger concern for us would be Billy Sharp who has found the net on 90 occasions during his second spell with the Blades but while he has the greater experience, the striker has also scored just once so far this season.

While we’ve been considering the goalscorers, it’s worth noting that Sheffield United have conceded just eight goals in 11 league games so far this season. That’s one less than Liverpool and an equal lowest for the EPL – along with Leicester City – so perhaps the real issue for Spurs lies in the defence and goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Head to Head

sheffield unitedWhile we haven’t played Sheffield United in the league since 2007, this is a historic fixture and Saturday’s game will be the 91st meeting between the two clubs. It all dates back to 1901 and one of the most important matches in our history.

The FA Cup Final of that year saw Tottenham come through to take the trophy as a non league club. We were the last to do so and that’s a record that should stay in place on a permanent basis.

Overall, those 90 previous games show 36 wins for Spurs, 28 for Sheffield United and there have been 26 draws.

Verdict

Form suggests that if we are going to win on Saturday, it won’t be by a wide margin. Sheffield United are tight at the back and while they’ve risen to sixth, they don’t score many themselves. It all suggests a low scoring game and we’ll start by taking Under 2.5 goals at that 11/10 price with BetFred.

Will we come out on top? We’ll hedge slightly by looking at the Winning Margin market. Betway give you an option to nominate a margin for either side and we’ll take One Goal at 8/5. In a rare show of optimism, we’ll back Harry Kane to open the scoring at that 14/5 figure with Unibet. While a 4-0 home win would set us up nicely for the international break, a scrappy 1-0 via a Kane penalty will do.

Best Bets:

  • Harry Kane to score the first goal at 14/5 with Unibet
  • Under 2.5 goals at 11/10 with BetFred
  • Winning Margin – One goal on either side at 8/5 with Betway

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