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(UK time) 06:13:14

League One

10 May 2012

Stevenage v Sheff Utd: home side can steal first leg advantage

The Boro can gain a solid footing ahead of return playoff date at Bramall Lane

Stevenage v Sheff Utd: home side can steal first leg advantage

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Stevenage will meet Sheffield United on Friday night for only the third time in the clubs’ history, and being unbeaten in the previous two matches, Stevenage will fancy their chances at 6/4.

Gary Smith’s men are in a rich vein of form, winning four of their last five matches, though the only game they didn’t succeed in in this time was against Sheffield United, where a 2-2 draw was the result.

The stalemate is priced at 9/4 for Friday’s game, which will interest some punters in light of the sides’ most recent encounter.

Alternatively, some may invest in the third place Blades breaking their duck against sixth-finishing Boro, for which they are attributed a 9/5 price to do.

It is worth noting that Stevenage have found the net twice in each of their previous meetings with United, so may be worth investment at 6/4 to score two or three times on Friday.

They opened the scoring in both league clashes too, so will see support at 1/1 odds to be the first team to score in this week’s tie, whilst the home side can be backed to beat United 2-1 again at 9/1.

More cautious punters could back a Stevenage win in a game where both teams score, which would have reaped returns in their earlier Broadhall Way meet, and is a very tempting 9/2 shot.

The visitors are the league’s leading goalscorers meanwhile, but will be without top scorer Ched Evans for their playoff campaign, and could instead turn to Richard Cresswell to provide their cutting edge.

Former Stoke striker Cresswell notched when these sides met less than two weeks ago at Bramall Lane, and is an 11/2 chance to get the opener on Friday night.

Meanwhile, goals tend to be spread throughout the Stevenage side, though seven-goal striker Chris Beardsley could prove a value option at 6/1 to break the deadlock.

Alternatively, stalwart Darius Charles is available at 10/1, and his physicality is sure to cause United problems.

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