The Saints have been suffering a huge decline in fortunes, however a win at Bramall Lane this evening can see them reach the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
We expected Southampton to return to winning ways against Premier League strugglers Burnley last weekend, however the south coast side made it four defeats from four and need to bounce back should they wish to reach the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
Should the Saints suffer defeat tonight, they will certainly be in huge trouble ahead of an extremely busy month which includes clashes with Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Arsenal were one of the sides beaten by Southampton on the way to this stage of the competition, the 2-1 win at the Emirates part of an excellent run which included eleven wins from twelve games.
Things have turned sour of late however. It is entirely understandable losing to the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, however it is poor to suffer defeat at Turf Moor against a Burnley side who until recently appeared to be destined for a swift return to the Championship.
Sheffield United will be in high spirits coming into this encounter, the Blades looking to reach their second major cup semi-final of the year following their FA Cup exploits where they lost to Hull City in the semi-finals at Wembley.
Nigel Clough will also be confident that United can reach the last four of the competition, having steered his side to an impressive win over West Ham on the way to the quarter-finals.
Nevertheless, Sheffield United’s recent form is hardly much better than Southampton’s with their only wins in the last four weeks coming in the FA Cup early rounds. They have been held to stalemate in all but one of their last four league matches and are struggling to stay in the hunt for automatic promotion to the Championship.
This match looks set to be decided by a one goal margin, however Sheffield will be expected to get on the goalsheet at some stage. It would be hugely disappointing for the Saints if they can’t find a way past a team some 44 league places below them however, so expect a Southampton win with both teams scoring.
Our betting tips
Southampton win, both teams scoring – 888sport 31/10
Over 2.5 Goals – Betfred Evens