Match Preview – Sheffield United (A)

Tottenham travel to Sheffield this week in the hope that the result will be a trip to Wembley. The second leg of the Capital One Cup Semi-final is here, and with a 1-0 advantage to take into the game, Mauricio Pochettino will hope that his side will make it into the illustrious final.

Venue: Brammall Lane

Kick-Off: 7.45pm

Television Coverage: Sky Sports 1 HD

Stats (via BBC Sport)

Tottenham have won all three previous League Cup encounters with Sheffield United. In addition to their first leg victory earlier this month, Spurs won 2-1 at White Hart Lane in the third round in 1970 and 2-0 at Bramall Lane in the fourth round in 1990. However, they are winless in their last five visits to the Blades (D2, L3).

Spurs have not kept a clean sheet in their last 11 away games in all competitions. Tottenham have won 12 of their last 13 League Cup games against lower division sides – with their only defeat coming in the second leg of a semi-final against Burnley in 2009 which Spurs won on aggregate despite losing on the night. Spurs are vying to reach their first final for six years. They were runners-up in 2009 (losing on penalties to Manchester United), a year after winning it for the fourth time. All five of Andros Townsend’s goals this season have come from penalties

Opposition Focus

The Blades have won five of their last six League Cup home games against higher division opposition. They are in the semi-finals for the first time in 12 years. They lost 3-2 on aggregate to Liverpool in 2003 – their only previous appearance at this stage. They have beaten five Premier League clubs in the last 12 months: Aston Villa and Fulham in last season’s run to the FA Cup semi-finals, and West Ham, Southampton and QPR this season. The Blades have only lost three of their 21 cup games under Nigel Clough. They have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven league and cup games

Team News

Nabil Bentaleb is still away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. His Algerian side face Senegal on Tuesday evening, with coverage on EuroSport 1 from 5.45pm. Tottenham winger Nacer Chadli still remains on compassionate leave after the death of his father last week. Mauricio Pochettino confirmed in his pre-game press conference that Michel Vorm will remain in goal for the tie, despite his blunder against Leicester City in the FA Cup.

Predictions

Starting XI – Vorm, Walker, Vertonghen, Fazio, Rose, Stambouli, Mason, Townsend, Eriksen, Kane, Soldado

Score – Sheffield United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Agg. 1-3)
*Tottenham to progress to the final

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