Sheffield United vs Preston Preview – FA Cup Replay

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There’s a chance for one of these League One sides to make it into the FA Cup Fifth Round tonight, and Kyle Goldsmith previews Preston’s trip to Sheffield United…

Sheffield United will look to bounce back in the cup as they face Preston in an FA Cup Fourth Round replay at Bramall Lane tomorrow night.

After defeat against Tottenham in their Capital One Cup semi-final, the Blades recovered with a 2-0 victory over Swindon in League One at the weekend. They currently sit 6th in the table, 8 points and two places behind their opponents for tomorrow’s game. United have struggled to score goals this season in the league, and this has been their main problem. In fact, the Blades have scored the least goals in the top ten of the third divison. They do however have the fourth best defence in League One. The real problem for them however has been the inconsistency. Brilliant away wins at Doncaster and Colchester have been countered by disappointing home defeats against Bristol City and Barnsley. A real plus for them has been the cup runs which I have already covered in another article, and the Blades will look to carry this on.

Meanwhile their opponents tomorrow have scored more goals and conceded the same amount. They are well in the chase for promotion and this could be the year that the Lilywhites finally return to the Championship for the first time in four years. However, Preston are known for having an awful play-off record, having got to the play-offs nine times but they have never been promoted via this route. It would be great to see another of the founding members return to the second tier.

Key Men

Sheffield United – Jamie Murphy

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It is hard to pick Sheffield United’s key player so the player chosen is Jamie Murphy. He is a man in-form after his two goals against Swindon at the weekend and will hope to carry this on tomorrow evening.

Preston – Joe Garner

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Since arriving from Watford to his boyhood club in 2013, Garner has scored 29 goals in 67 games for the Lilywhites including some brilliant goals. One that sticks in the memory is his brilliant goal against Rotherham in last seasons play-offs at Deepdale. Preston would love for him to provide another like that tomorrow night.

Last meetings

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So far this season the teams have met three teams, with the last obviously being the original tie. In the league, Sheffield United beat Preston at Bramall Lane in December whilst getting a draw at Deepdale in August. After this game, could these two sides meet again in the play-offs?

Fact

Preston have won just one of the last nine games between the sides.

Prediction

I think Sheffield United will just scrape the game 2-1. They are a better side in cups and Bramall Lane is a big advantage. Preston will give it a good go but I think they’ll just miss out on the Fifth Round.

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