Blades must win in battle to beat drop

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If the games at Crystal Palace and Scunthorpe could be described as crucial, the fact that Sheffield United lost both, leaving them five points adrift of safety, means that the visit of Derby can be upgraded to ‘must win’ for the Blades if they are to stand any chance of avoiding joining neighbours Sheffield Wednesday in League One.

United are yet to register a victory under Micky Adams, a record that is 6/4 with William Hill to fall in this one while a Rams triumph is quoted at 11/5 by Victor Chandler and Totesport offer a third consecutive home draw for the Blades at 23/10.

Both of those recent home stalemates have finished one each, a result rated by Ladbrokes at 11/2 ahead of this one, and the two matches were also goalless at the interval and indeed level at the end of each half, outcomes available here at 13/8 and 4/1 courtesy of Betfred and Stan James respectively.

Home supporters wary of the potential for it to finish all square can back Sheffield United ‘Draw No Bet’ at 4/6 with Paddy Power but, mercifully for Adams’ troops, the visitors are on a dreadful run of their own having won just once in 14 league games and optimists might consider 888Sport’s 11/4 for the Blades to edge a tight affair by a one-goal margin.

That’s what happened when the pair met at Pride Park and United are 8.0 (7/1) with Betdaq to again fire the game’s only goal against Nigel Clough’s side. Another victory ‘to nil’ meanwhile, is 11/5 (Partybets) and Coral mark 9/2 against a home win following an even first period.

Sheffield Wednesday ended a seven-match away losing streak by securing a respectable point at Bournemouth on Tuesday and the Owls are 12/5 with bet365 to earn another share of the spoils as they head to Carlisle.

The hosts are priced by 888Sport at 11/8 to be the latest team to send Gary Megson’s charges home empty-handed but travelling fans, now their side have stopped the rot, might fancy Victor Chandler’s 11/5 for the Owls to manage a first league win since early December.

Betfred price a 2-1 Wednesday success at 11/1 and Stan James cover a draw and an away victory at 4/7.

Boosted by the midweek draw at Leeds, Barnsley look overpriced at 3.0 (2/1) with Betdaq to overcome Norwich at Oakwell.

Doncaster, who salvaged a point against the Canaries on Tuesday, are a tasty 17/10 (William Hill) to register a triumph against Watford.

In League Two, leaders Chesterfield seem a home banker at 8/11 with bet365 as they tackle Morecambe. Coral quote Rotherham 2/1 to get the better of Burton.

Odds supplied by