Blades outsiders for cup win at Preston

Nigel Clough's  Sheffield United face Preston for the third time this season. Photo: Blades Sports Photography
Nigel Clough's Sheffield United face Preston for the third time this season. Photo: Blades Sports Photography
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Sheffield United have regularly defeated Premier League opposition in cup competitions in recent times so in theory they should be capable of getting the better of League One Preston as the pair face-off in the FA Cup fourth round.

However, the bookmakers aren’t reading too much into the Blades’ cup pedigree so they’ll head to Deepdale as BetVictor’s 5/2 outsiders while North End are 6/5 with Paddy Power to get through at the first attempt and it’s 12/5 at bet365 for the tie to require a replay.

When the pair met at the same venue earlier in the campaign, the league clash ended in stalemate and a repeat of the 1-1 scoreline from that contest is a 6/1 shot at betway. Alternatively, Ladbrokes offer 13/4 about any score draw, Skybet mark 4/1 against the teams playing out two even halves and in Stan James’s ‘draw no bet’ market, Nigel Clough’s team are available at 7/5.

Bet365 chalk United up at 3/4 to remain in the competition one way or another by avoiding defeat but optimists don’t have to cast their minds very far back to build a case for a Blades success. Just a fortnight ago, Clough’s charges defeated North End, albeit at Bramall Lane, and plenty of fans will subsequently fancy them to replicate that result.

Another 2-1 victory comes in at 12/1 courtesy of BetVictor, Stan James quote any away triumph by a one-goal margin at 19/5 and it’s 13/2 ( for United to again come out on top despite an inconclusive first half.

Chesterfield were drawn away at Derby County and as the Rams are riding high towards the Championship’s summit, the Spireites will make the short trip to Pride Park as Ladbrokes’s 11/2 underdogs.

William Hill price the home side at 4/7 to end Chesterfield’s cup run, it’s 16/5 with BetVictor for Paul Cook’s side to bag another bite of the cherry by holding County to a draw.

In the handicaps meanwhile, Chesterfield benefit from a goal start at odds of 7/5 (bet365) and it’s 18/1 at Paddy Power for them to stun Derby by shading it 1-0.

A solitary strike just six minutes from time condemned Barnsley to a defeat at Doncaster and bookmakers are tipping the Tykes to suffer another away reverse as they travel to promotion-chasing MK Dons in League One.

BetVictor make the hosts odds-on, 13/20 favourites to claim the points at stadium:mk where Danny Wilson’s side are Stan James’s 9/2 chances and it’s 14/5 at bet365 to finish all square.

The latter would be a decent outcome given the strength of the Dons on their own patch and Barnsley are 7/2 with Paddy Power to earn a respectable point in a score draw.

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