Can Sheffield United find League consistency?

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Sheffield United continued their fine run in cup competitions last weekend, accounting for Premier League QPR in the FA Cup third round on Sunday but the Blades have struggled to transfer that kind of form consistently to League One.

Boss Nigel Clough will be hoping that can change this week as his side look to tighten their grip on a play-off place but it won’t be easy given that United come up

against promotion-chasing Preston.

Nevertheless, the Blades have been well backed in the wake of their Loftus Road triumph and they’re bet365’s 6/4 favourites to get the better of North End, who are BetVictor’s 2/1 underdogs.

Clough’s troops are winless in six in the league and four of those matches have finished all square.

This one is 11/5 (Stan James) to follow suit and it’s 15/4 via bet365 to be a score draw at Bramall Lane, where William Hill offer odds of 11/2 about a 1-1 scoreline.

Understandably cautious home supporters can back their team at 7/10 in’s ‘Draw No Bet’ market but many will feel that the confident boost gleaned from last weekend’s result can have a positive impact and for those fans Ladbrokes mark 31/10 against a Sheffield United success by a one-goal margin.

More accurately, BetVictor go 10/1 about a 2-1 scoreline and in what looks set to be a tight affair, betway’s 19/4 for Clough’s side to emerge victorious following an even first period could prove popular.

Sheffield Wednesday came close to stunning Premier League champions Manchester City in the FA Cup but their performance at Eastlands hasn’t impressed bookmakers so the Owls are BetVictor’s 27/10 outsiders to collect a maximum haul at Nottingham Forest (11/10, Stan James).

The corresponding fixture last term proved inconclusive and this one is 12/5 at Skybet to follow suit, although a repeat of the 3-3 scoreline from that contest is considered pretty unlikely at 90/1 (BetVictor). There’s more chance of a 1-1 stalemate, rated at 11/2 by Paddy Power and bet365 chalk a score draw up at 7/2.

Wednesday however, have won their last couple in the league while Forest are really struggling at present so a case can be made for Stuart Gray’s men at 21/2 via BetVictor, to grab the only goal for the third Championship match on the bounce.

Rotherham have shared the spoils in five of their last six league matches, a sequence the Millers are 13/5 via Stan James to extend as they travel to promotion-chasing Brentford; Steve Evans’s charges though, are 3/1 (betway) to go one better at Griffin Park.

Elsewhere, BetVictor price Barnsley at 31/20 to see off League One’s bottom club Yeovil,

Chesterfield are 19/20 courtesy of Skybet to overcome Port Vale and bet365 quote 12/5 about Doncaster returning from Oldham three points better off.

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