Sheffield United vs SouthamptonEFL Cup, KO: 19:45 Sep 21, 2021, Bramall Lane
SHEFFIELD UNITED finally seem to have turned the corner under Slavisa Jokanovic but their revival will face an acid test against Premier League Southampton in this League Cup tie.
The hangover from last season's relegation lasted a long time for the Blades as they won just once in their first five games under new gaffer Jokanovic.
But a League Cup win against Derby sparked them back to life and they head into this tie on the back of a five-game unbeaten run. The goals have started to flow again, with 11 scored across their last three, so Sheffield United will be confident of springing a cup shock.
But Saints also head into the tie full of belief after busting many coupons, including mine, by holding Manchester City to a 0-0 draw at the Etihad on Saturday.
That was a second successive dreary stalemate for Ralph Hasenhuttl's men but they can score goals as well and smashed eight past Newport County in the last round of the cup.
Saints are unbeaten since losing their Premier League opener at Everton but four of those games have been draws and they will need to rediscover their killer instinct to see off the Blades.
How the bookies view it
Despite their recent upsurge, Sheffield United are the outsiders at a best 14/5 with SBK while Southampton are 17/13 at VBet. Given Saints' run of draws this term, the stalemate will appeal to punters at 23/10 with Betfair. To qualify, the Blades are 13/10 at BoyleSports while Southampton are 4/7 with the same firm.
Recent head to head
Southampton have won their last four games against Sheffield United, including a 2-0 victory on their visit to Bramall Lane last season (below). But the Blades had gone three unbeaten before that and won 1-0 at home when these sides last faced off in the League Cup back in 2014.
Players to watch
It's hard to predict how strong a team each manager will pick as they might prioritise the league over cup ties. But Jokanovic has a lot of players out through injury so is limited in how many changes he can make. Midfielder Iliman Ndiaye scored twice in the 6-2 win over Peterborough and may start after being left out at the weekend. He's 9/2 with Paddy Power for anytime scorer.
Hasenhuttl (below) shuffled his pack for the last round of the cup and Armando Broja scored twice in that rout of Newport. The on-loan Chelsea kid could start again and he's 5/2 with Bet365 to score.
Anything else catch the eye?
The goals have been flying in with Sheffield United of late, with 17 scored across their last three games and both teams to score landing each time as well. So I'm going for BTTS here at evens with SportNation while over 2.5 goals is 8/7 at SBK.
I'd expect Saints to field a weakened time so I'd be surprised if either side strolled to victory. A one-goal winning margin for either team pays 13/10 at McBookie.
This EFL Cup match between Sheffield United and Southampton will be played on Sep 21, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Sheffield United vs Southampton prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.