Tottenham Hotspur vs Sheffield United
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Referee: Andre Marriner
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Tottenham Hotspur transfer their Carabao Cup disappointment into Champions League qualification hopes, as they face an already relegated Sheffield United on Sunday evening.
Spurs were in action against Manchester City last weekend in the Carabao Cup final, although ‘action’ is a strong word in Tottenham’s case. Like in any match, City dominated the possession and chances created, and though Spurs did well to reach the last ten minutes without conceding, they would have had to take it to penalties to have a chance of victory and their first trophy in over a decade.
The somewhat shocking departure of Jose Mourinho shortly before the final made way for 29-year-old Ryan Mason to take charge and attempt to steer a deflated team back into the Champions League. The last-minute victory over Southampton was Mawson’s first game at the helm, but the task ahead still remains a tough ask: five games to make up five points between them and fourth place.
We’ve had a mixed bag of results for Sunday’s fixture since Sheffield United returned to the top-flight: a draw, a United victory, and a Tottenham victory – with ten goals across those three matches. The Blades haven’t been anywhere near as sharp as they were last season, so if we are to get a hefty scoreline it will probably be in Tottenham’s favour.
Having said that, United scraped a narrow 1-0 victory against Brighton last time out. This fifth win of the season won’t change the end result but may trigger a flow of hope that they can return to the Premier League next season. It’s not inconceivable that the vast majority of players at the club will be happy to stay on and fight for their place back in the top-flight, and this would surely only bolster their chances overall.
David McGoldrick is one particular player that fans would like to see remain at the club. The forward is not far away from making up half of United’s total goal tally this season and has managed to keep his head up in some tough times for the club. It’s difficult to see the 33-year-old pushing a move away from the Blades, so it will be interesting to see whether he features in the Premier League again.
Spurs are fortunate not to have a long injury list at this crucial stage of the season. Full-back Ben Davies has been out since March with an injury and remains unavailable.
On the other side of the defence, Matt Doherty has recovered from his injury and could make his first appearance under interim boss Ryan Mason.
Chris Basham has been out with injury since mid-March but looks to be close to a return to action, perhaps even this weekend. Paul Heckingbottom implied that Sander Berge is even more likely to feature on Sunday – an even more exciting piece of news given the Norwegian has been unavailable since 2020.
United’s injury list sadly remains extensive, however, with Oliver McBurnie, Jack O’Connell, Billy Sharp and Jack Robinson all on the sidelines.
Predicted Starting XIs
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Reguilon, Dier, Alderweireld, Aurier; Ndombele, Hojbjerg; Son, Lucas, Bale; Kane
Sheffield United (3-4-1-2): Ramsdale; Bryan, Egan, Baldock; Stevens, Fleck, Norwood, Bogle; Osborn; McGoldrick, Brewster
Score Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Sheffield United
The difference between a club with Mourinho in charge and a club with just about anyone else in charge was evident in Tottenham’s last league game. We should expect the Lilywhites to carry through this attacking eagerness and take all three points against bottom-placed Sheffield United.