A poor finish to the campaign saw Sheffield United win just one of their last eight matches and subsequently they only managed to finish fifth in a campaign that they had hoped would yield automatic promotion.
The Blades can still get to the Championship of course, via the play-offs and bet365 rate Chris Morgan’s charges at 11/4 to come out on top over the course of the end-of-season mini-tournament.
Potentially, three games stand between United and that goal, starting with a double-header against Yeovil and Stan James make the Blades 11/10 to secure a first leg lead as the pair lock horns at Bramall Lane this evening.
The Glovers are 3/1 with bet365 to put themselves firmly in the driving seat in the tie while BetVictor mark 5/2 against it finishing all square, a quote that’s surprisingly high given the number of stalemates United have recorded on their own patch this term.
With that in mind, a goalless affair at 9/1 via Skybet might attract neutral punters, who might also fancy Stan James’s 9/2 for scores to be level at the end of each half and for home supporters, the same firm quote Morgan’s troops at 8/15 in the ‘draw-no-bet’ market.
Given the Blades’ strong away record the tie wouldn’t be over if they failed to prevail tonight but a victory would certainly put them in pole position to get to the Wembley final and Ladbrokes chalk Sheffield United up at 29/10 to come out on top by a one-goal margin.
Home fans can also back their side at 7/1 (BetVictor) to shade it 1-0 and in what looks set to be a close affair, William Hill price Morgan’s men at 9/2 to emerge victorious despite going in on level terms at the break, at which point it’s 7/4 with Paddy Power to be 0-0.
In terms of goals meanwhile, Stan James offer 5/2 about United winning without conceding any and at the other end BetVictor rate Dave Kitson and Chris Porter at 5/1 and 13/2 respectively to grab the first.
Following the defeat at Peterborough last time, Sheffield Wednesday face a nervous final day of the campaign but the Owls’ fate remains in their own hands and they know that victory against Middlesbrough will guarantee their safety.
BetVictor have installed Dave Jones’s side as 20/23 favourites ahead of the Hillsborough showdown, which is 7/2 (BetVictor) to end in a potentially disastrous defeat for Wednesday and Skybet go 5/2 about the Owls claiming a point, which won’t necessarily be enough to
keep them up.
Boro however, have a dismal away record and have endured a torrid 2013 in which they have won only three league fixtures so Jones’s team should be able to get the job done. Bet365 mark 15/2 against them nicking it 2-1 and it’s 2/1 at Paddy Power for Wednesday to
be in front after 45 and 90 minutes.
Finally, Barnsley probably need to return from Huddersfield with a maximum haul if they are to avoid dropping into League One and BetVictor rate the Tykes at 23/10 to overcome the Terriers, Betfred’s 13/10 chances and it’s 12/5 (bet365) to be inconclusive.
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