Sheffield United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Last updated : 27 January 2015 By @blades_mad1889

Andros Townsend's second half penalty was enough top give Tottenham Hotspur a first leg lead if only a slender one but with away goals rule coming into effect at the semi-final stage it is imperative that Blades don't conceed again - though do need to find at least one goal from sometime to force extra-time and possibily penalties. United come into the game on back of a 1-1 draw at Preston North End in the 4th round of the FA Cup where Nigel Clough rested 8 players from the side which lost at White Hart Lane. The draw forced a replay and will be played next week where the winners will host either Cambridge United or Manchester United in the next round.

Diego De Girolamo scored his first goal for Sheffield United as last season's FA Cup semi-finalists earned a fourth-round replay with a 1-1 draw at Deepdale. Preston began the brighter and Paul Gallagher opened the scoring on 19 minutes but Italy under-20 international De Girolamo struck midway through the second half for the Blades. Former United striker Gallagher, who scored twice to help defeat Norwich in the last round, fired home a brilliant 30-yard free-kick to give the hosts the lead.

North End then had a great chance to double their advantage on 40 minutes as Kyel Reid's cross from the left picked out Neil Kilkenny who opted to knock across goal rather than shoot from six yards. United, who face Tottenham in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday, almost levelled after 53 minutes but De Girolamo saw his effort cleared off the line by Calum Woods. But Nigel Clough's side found an equaliser on 68 minutes as substitute Jamie Murphy cut back for De Girolamo to strike home left-footed from eight yards.

The Blades are likely to recall the eight players who were missing from the defeat in London a week ago with Ryan Flynn (Achilles) doubtful and could be replaced by the returning Craig Alcock. Over the course of last weekend the Blades brought in three new faces with Kieron Freeman and Paul Coutts arriving from Derby County and defender John Brayford from Cardiff City. However only Freeman isn't cup-tied from the list of new signings.

Our opponents Tottenham Hotspur were dumped out of the FA Cup by the hands of Leicester City who won 2-1 at White Hart Lane leaving the Londoners with only the League Cup to concentrate on in domestic cup comeptitions. Though they are still gunning for a european finish and are still involved in the Europa League.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is still without Algerian Nabil Bentaleb who is away on International duty, playing in the African Cup of Nations whilst keeper Michel Vorm is likley to retain his place despite handing the Foxes a injury-time winner last Saturday.

Blades-Mad Prediction: Sheffield United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

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