Sheffield United: Will tonight's Carabao Cup tie between The Blades and Southampton prove to be as bad tempered as the last time?
Tonight’s Carabao Cup third round tie between Sheffield United and Southampton will be only the second time these two clubs have met in the competition.
The first of those proved to be a bad-tempered affair, with the rival benches clashing throughout 2014’s fixture at Bramall Lane, which the hosts won 1-0. That saw them reach the last four of the tournament, where they were edged out by Tottenham Hotspur.
The Star’s James Shield identifies some of the major figures set to be involved this time around and analyses some of the statistical trends surrounding the contest. (Kick-off 7.45pm)
The Possible Teams: United - Foderingham, Bogle, Lopata, Basham, Norrington-Davies, Hourihane, Norwood, Brunt, Freeman, Burke, Brewster. Southampton - Forster, Bednarek, Valery, Walker-Peters, Stephens, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Walcott, Long, Broja, Redmond.
The Referee: John Brooks will oversee the game, assisted by Gary Beswick and Wade Smith. Anthony Taylor is scheduled to be the fourth official. Brooks has taken charge of three matches so far this season, issuing no cautions during Stevenage’s draw with Swindon but three when Blackburn Rovers beat Hull City last week.
The History Lesson: United have won 25 of their 58 competitive fixtures against Southampton, who will make the journey north hoping for their 21st victory over Slavisa Jokanovic’s employers. However United have lost all of their last four clashes with Southampton. Those were all staged in the Premier League.
The Last Time Out: Although United have failed to beat Southampton since, they did knock their rivals from Hampshire out of the competition when they locked horns in the quarter-finals seven years ago. Then managed by Nigel Clough, Marc McNulty’s strike proved enough to seal United’s progress. Southampton had Florin Gardos sent-off during the closing stages.
The Former Player: Che Adams spent two years with United, before joining Birmingham City in 2016. He scored 15 goals in 55 appearances for the South Yorkshire club, with two of those efforts coming during the second leg of their semi-final against Spurs in this competition six years ago. Adams, now a Scotland international, moved to St Mary’s for a reported £15m fee in July 2019 and has netted 13 times since.