1pt Hull to beat Sheffield United in the FA cup, 15/8 William Hill or 9/5 Ladbrokes, PaddyPower and CentreBet (Saturday 14th February 3pm ko)
I don’t usually like to get too involved with betting on cup competitions but after looking at this fixture, I had a long list of reasons to back Hull. Firstly, Hull should go into this match with confidence and morale high, whereas the opposite will be true for their Yorkshire rivals. After a great start to the season, Hull hit a poor run of form and began to slide down the table. However, this slide seems to have been stopped and they have now lost just one of their last four. Last weekend’s draw at Stamford Bridge will have been a big boost to confidence and the players were rewarded with a week’s training in the warmth of Dubai. This trip should have further boosted morale and boss Phil Brown will hope for a positive response. Brown did the same thing this time last year and was rewarded with a six game unbeaten run that helped them kick on and achieve promotion. Training in the sunshine has also had other benefits as it has accelerated the recovery of Jimmy Bullard, Anthony Gardner and Nick Barmby from injury, all three are expected to be involved on Saturday.
Hull lost at Bramall lane last April which robbed them of a chance of automatic promotion and forced them to endure the torture of the play offs.  Brown spoke of revenge in a pre match interview:
“We are now away from home against a Championship team that stuck a little spanner in the works last year”.

“We are still smarting from that one because they weren’t too nice to us in defeat, shall we say”.

“There was no love lost after the game. They may have been gloating a wee bit because they knocked one of the wheels off our trolley”,

“We have got a score to settle and hopefully we will do that”.

I was surprised to see Premiership Hull available at such a big price and part of the reason is possibly Brown’s tendency to rotate his squad in cup competitions. However, I do not think this will be too big a factor in this case at all. There are not many superstars at Hull and many of the players in the squad are of a similar standard. Therefore, making changes to the line up does not affect them too much, especially as those coming into the side will be eager to impress. Brown rotated the squad against Newcastle in the last round and managed to knock the Geordies out on their own turf. I am only expecting one or two changes anyway, especially considering this is a Yorkshire derby and that Brown has been talking of settling scores.
Sheffield United are a side with just one win from four in the Championship and that was an injury time winner against whipping boys Southampton. Last weekend’s derby defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday was the first time in ninety five years that Wednesday had completed the double over them. It has not gone down well and boss Kevin Blackwell is a man under pressure:
“I would say without question it’s been the hardest week since I’ve come back. It’s the lowest point of my career since I’ve been here”.
“So much good has been undone by one game. People have been dwelling on the Sheffield Wednesday game, like I have done. I had nothing to eat for three or four days”.
“I just apologise to the fans. It was something we didn’t set out to do and it hurts greatly. I couldn’t speak to anybody for four or five days. This is the first time I’ve spoken to the press because it’s taken me that long to get over it. It hurts badly.”
It was the second home game United had lost in a row and to make it worse, they were both local derbies. Upon closer inspection of Sheffield United’s results this season, a clear pattern emerges. The Blades do not seem to be able to compete against stronger opposition and have performed terribly in nearly every big game this season. As well as losing two big local derbies at home to Sheffield Wednesday and Doncaster, United have also managed just one win in seven games against top six sides. They are fifth in the league only as a result of beating bottom half opposition on a regular basis.
Most clubs would be quite happy to be sitting fifth in the league but United fans are not keen on Blackwell or his long ball style of football. He expressed disappointment this week that the fans have not been more supportive. I think it is starting to affect the players too and especially at home where they are under pressure to perform. United have picked up more points away from home this season and they have now won just two of their last eight home games. Both of these victories were against bottom half opposition. Yet another example of Sheffield United performing poorly in big games was their Carling cup exit to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger virtually fielded a youth team but that did not stop the Blades being ripped to pieces in a 6-0 humiliation.
Along with the several negatives I have mentioned above, Sheffield United are further hindered by selection problems ahead of this cup tie. Star striker James Beattie was sold in the January transfer window and his replacements, Jamie Ward and Arturo Lupoli, are both cup tied. Fellow forward Darius Henderson is suspended leaving Blackwell with limited options in attack. Defender Leigh Bromby is also cup tied whilst Captain Chris Morgan, Gary Speed, Ugo Ehiogu and Derek Geary are all injured.
With several positives for Hull and even more negatives for Sheffield United, I think Phil Brown’s men rate a very good bet to progress to the next round.
Minimum price to take – 13/8
By The Oracle
To Visit The Oracles site click here ===> soccer betting tips
0saves
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Tagged with:

Filed under: Sports Betting Tips

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!