Cagey first leg as Forest visit Blades
Sheffield United welcome Nottingham Forest for the first leg of their Championship semi final tie at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
The match will take place in a nice slot building towards the FA Cup final, and in that they should gain greater exposure than it possibly would otherwise.
The Blades have been on a tremendous run in the second tier since Paul Heckingbottom replaced Slavisa Jokanovic in the dugout at the back end of 2021, and they have been particularly impressive at home.
Morgan Gibbs-White, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, is their star man and he has built a strong understanding with Iliman Ndiaye at the top of the pitch over the course of the season.
Steve Cooper was unfortunate to miss out on the Manager of the Season award, having taken over Forest when they were rock bottom earlier in the season, the Reds ended up coming close to automatic promotion but slipped to fourth on the final day.
We have seen just how good Forest can be in the FA Cup this season, knocking out Arsenal before comprehensively dispatching Leicester City as well, and arguably having the better of the game in a 1-0 loss to Liverpool.
Cooper has lost in the play-offs in the last two seasons with Swansea City, in the semi finals in 2019/20, and final in 2020/21, both to Brentford, going one better this time around would see the Reds make their long awaited return to the top-flight.
Djed Spence, Brennan Johnson and James Garner are amongst the key names for the visitors, although has improved virtually every single player in the squad to give them a great chance of promotion, if they can gain a foothold in the tie in the first leg.
Taking this one back to the City Ground can take priority as the Blades are bound to fly out of the blocks in front of their home faithful.
United beat champions Fulham 4-0 on the final day to confirm their spot in the play-offs, potentially forcing Cooper to be a little more pragmatic heading into this one.
Blades have scored in seven of ten.
Blades have conceded in four of ten.
Blades have seen both teams score in three of ten.
Blades have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
Forest have scored in eight of ten.
Forest have conceded in five of ten.
Forest have seen both teams score in three of ten.
Forest have seen over 2.5 goals in three of ten.
Post bet chat Marcus's Tips:
2-1 Forest, much the better team.