Friday, 7.45pm, Live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD

UNITED are 2.06 favourites for Friday's first leg of the League One semi-final play-offs but have hit a ropey run of form at the wrong time.

Since Danny Wilson's sacking, caretaker boss Chris Morgan has tinkered with players and formations but the bottom line is seven points taken from their last 24 possible in the division doesn't exactly inspire.

Yeovil trade at 3.85 for victory at Bramall Lane and have been the surprise package this season, gaining 77 points and finishing a club best fourth place. The Glovers picked up 34 points on the road during the regular campaign and head into the play-offs as underdogs.

Backers of the draw at 3.65 should have a good chance to trade in-running. The Blades collected far too many stalemates on home soil in 2012-2013 with 11 while Yeovil will be keen to take the game to the second leg at Huish Park.

This should be a classic case of trying to minimise risk in Yorkshire and to keep the home team quiet for as long as possible – as they have all the pressure on them.

Morgan's side are second favourites to gain promotion at 3.70, which might possibly be out of my price remit to take on sides. At juicier prices I would be more inclined to back them via penalties and few goals – which would be a second-leg bet.

United have choked before in the play-offs, notably in the Wembley final last year against Huddersfield.

Yeovil are 4.75 for promotion and are the outsiders of the four, simply because of their name. Manager Gary Johnson has built an excellent team that really play for their boss and his message will be they have nothing to lose.

The Blades are without a win in four games (drawn two and lost two) and over the final 10 matches of the League One season, only Stevenage (8) and Tranmere (7) picked up fewer points than United (10).

For those seeking the under 2.5 goals bets, Opta reveal Sheffield United have failed to score in three successive matches and have failed to find the net in five of their last eight outings.

The League's leading marksman with 23 – Paddy Madden – will be the starting point for any first scorer bet but Opta point out the Irishman has failed to find the net in his last four games. Yeovil's James Hayter is in better form, hitting three goals in his last five.

Johnson's side were 2-0 winners at Bramall Lane thanks to a double from Madden, although Sheffield United were woeful under then boss Danny Wilson. Town played well at Huish Park in September in their first meeting but were seen off 1-0 by the Blades.

With both meetings hitting the under 2.5 goals market during the season, I see this as a perfect game for that bet and even the under 1.5 goals. Johnson used a 4-5-1 earlier in the campaign against United and revealed it's tough to go with a 4-4-2 against such a strong and disciplined side.

The home team can use the strong-arm tactics and certainly have experience. They are usually difficult to break down but do have a chronic lack of goals. They seemed best under Wilson when using the flanks and whipping in crosses to Dave Kitson so I am sure width will be at a minimum.

Madden will be popular at 6.20 to score first and his chances will have to come via the counter-attack but he is an expert finisher with a killer instinct. Hayter is 8.0 and the no scorer price of 9.20 is surely a trading option if the match pans out how I think.

Kitson is outright favourite at 5.70 which might be a little short considering the hosts' lack of goals. Neil Collins scored from a corner during the Yorkshire side's 1-0 win at Huish Park and it might be worth looking at set-piece scoring options for the centre-backs, with Collins a massive price at 36.0

Recommended bets

Back under 1.5 goals @ 3.85
Back under 2.5 goals @ 2.0
Back 0-0 @ 10.0 and 1-0 @ 8.0
Back HT draw @ 2.12
Back Neil Collins first scorer @ 36.0

Milesey (Betfair)

  1. Sean Ireland 7 years ago

    Ill be on the home victory as Yeovil have a defensive crisis at the minute with skipper Jamie McAllister (ankle), Byron Webster (hamstring) and Dan Burn (ankle ligaments) who were all missing last week when they were beat 3-2 by relegated bury…only time this season Bury have scored 3 against anyone,honestly cant see Sheff utd not scoring in this game.

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      Sean, I wouldn’t read too much into results after teams have clinched a play-off spot. Don’t imagine Yeovil were trying a leg last week.

  2. Sean Ireland 7 years ago

    Its the players missing that interests me,Sheff utd don’t give much away and with the defenders for Yeovil missing I see a narrow home win,maybe to 0.

    • Milesey 7 years ago

      Half Time

      ENGLAND: League One – Play Offs

      Sheffield Utd 0 – 0 Yeovil


      ENGLAND: League One – Play Offs

      Sheffield Utd 1 – 0 Yeovil

      Back under 1.5 goals @ 3.85
      Back under 2.5 goals @ 2.0
      Back 1-0 @ 8.0
      Back HT draw @ 2.12



    • Sean Ireland 7 years ago

      Sheff utd a narrow win to 0 as predicted, well said mystic sean.

  3. gunner 7 years ago

    i will be on my home town sheff utd to do me proud and do sheffield proud come on you BLADES :)

  4. Chris Guy 7 years ago

    Will be on Collins

  5. John 7 years ago

    Who is Collins?

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      John, Collins is a Blades centre-half.

  6. Chris Guy 7 years ago

    All tips looking good although there’s only one I’m interested in. Come on Collins. First and last for me.

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