League One play-off semi-final second-leg
Monday, 1.30pm, live on Sky Sports 1
SHEFFIELD UNITED are outsiders at 3.25 despite holding a slender one-goal advantage from Friday night's 1-0 success at Bramall Lane. The Blades have generally been better away from home this season, winning 11 games and drawing seven, which has suited their counter-attacking style.
Yeovil will be fairly happy with the scoreline going into the return leg and were lucky to get away with a couple of penalty decisions on Friday evening. The Glovers can be backed at 2.42 outright with their home record during the regular season after 13 wins and four draws heading into the match. Town only conceded 22 goals at Huish Park during the campaign.
The Blades are strong here at 1.42 and could be the type of team to grind their way to the Wembley final. Yeovil trade at 2.80 to qualify and are the outsiders of the quartet to win the play-offs – perhaps too big with just a goal to make up? Remember Sheffield United have failed in six previous attempts at the play-offs with no promotions.
Opta stats revealed before Friday night's game that Yeovil forward Paddy Madden (the League One top scorer) had failed to find the net in four games prior to the first leg. However, his constant running and hassling was good and he should be able to get a couple of chances on Monday.
Town's other forward James Hayter has hit three goals in his last six games and had a strike disallowed in the opening match. United's centre-backs Harry Maguire and Neil Collins were particularly good in dealing with the front pair.
Callum McFadzean scored the only goal of the tie so far and his impact from the bench was instant. I would imagine Dave Kitson will be the most popular for the Blades at around 6.0,but their play on Friday failed to suit him as United were going too long rather than hitting the flanks.
The Glovers have conceded just 22 goals in 23 games this season at Huish Park while Sheffield United have let in just 21 on their travels (scoring 25). The process in thinking that Yeovil will “have to go for it” is flawed in my opinion and I anticipate another close match.
Both matches in the regular season between the two finished under 2.5 goals with a win for each team. The key to a Yeovil goal will be them playing on the floor because if they pump it long Sheffield United will be suited to that.
The first leg was a rather bad-tempered affair with four bookings. Yeovil skipper Jamie McAllister was lucky not to receive a red card for his elbowing of Barry Robson (who was taken off with a rib injury) while several other hefty challenges made me dive for cover behind the sofa. United are good at the strong-arm tactics with their experience but Yeovil boss Gary Johnson has got the message to his players to stand up and “dish some out” too. Over 45 points will be the most interesting here if Monday's game is equally fiery.
The first leg wasn't an attractive game to watch and United's front two were far too isolated from their midfield. Chris Morgan's side went with the long ball too early and aren't blessed with a huge amount of creativity. Yeovil actually started to play better when they went a goal down.
However, the home team will not want to concede an early goal, as 2-0 down over the legs will be a tough ask against such a good defence. Hopefully a 0-0 up to half-time will be able to secure a green book to play with a Yeovil 1-0 and 1-1.
Back under 2.5 goals @ 1.90
Back HT draw @ 2.20
Back 1-1 @ 9.0 and Yeovil to win 1-0 @ 8.0
Back the draw @ 3.40