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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Boring Blues unlikely to blunt sharp Blades

Sheffield United are the division's top first-half scorers

Sheffield United and Leon Clarke (left) could be smiling after their game at Hull
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Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 5.30pm Saturday

Boring Birmingham have scored fewer goals as a team than Sheffield United hotshot Leon Clarke has on his own, an equation that ought to add up to only one outcome at Bramall Lane.

Clarke took his seasonal tally to 12 on Tuesday night with a hat-trick in a shock 5-4 home defeat against Fulham.

Birmingham, meanwhile, have managed to find the net just nine times all season and have failed to score in five of their last six.

Pundits love telling us that anyone can beat anyone in the Sky Bet Championship - a pointless claim, because it’s so obvious - but it’s incredibly hard to make a case for Birmingham.

It’s also not easy to talk down odds of 8-13 about the hosts.

Eight wins, 18 places, 21 points and 22 goals separate these two and even allowing for that extraordinary defeat to the Cottagers during the week, Chris Wilder’s men have to be the wager.

If you don’t fancy piling into 8-13 consider taking the 5-4 that United win in a game featuring under 3.5 goals which gives you four winning scorelines to play with, or the 8-5 that the Blades are leading at half-time and at the final whistle.

United are the top first-half scorers in the division with 17 goals - Birmingham’s total first-45 haul is a mere five.

The hosts’ one minor headache is rebuilding a midfield around someone other than Paul Coutts, who has broken his leg.

But that should be less of an issue against a side like Birmingham, whose midfield are so uninventive that it shouldn’t prove too costly.

Birmingham, spearheaded in attack by former Blades favourite Che Adams, have managed one point out of a possible 27 on the road, have lost each of their last three away games 0-2 and haven’t scored more than one goal in a game since beating Bristol City 2-1 on August 12.

Recommendation
Sheffield Utd-Sheffield Utd double result
1pt 8-5 Coral, Ladbrokes

Bet on this game at soccerbase.com


Team news
Sheffield United
Midfield linchpin David Coutts is out with a broken leg.

Birmingham
David Davis is out while Craig Gardner and Stephen Gleeson are doubts. Carl Jenkinson, Maxime Colin, Jason Lowe and Isaac Vassell are injured.

Key stat
Sheffield United have not drawn a game in 27 outings.


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Birmingham, meanwhile, have managed to find the net just nine times all season and have failed to score in five of their last six
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