Walsall v Sheffield United: Back the hosts to leave it late

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The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy might not seem like the most glamorous competition to some, but try telling that to fans of Walsall and Sheffield United as we hurtle towards the regional quarter-finals.

Neither side have reached the final of this competition, so the opportunity to add a new title to their honours list this season won’t be sniffed at.

As the League One rivals prepare to do battle, we have searched out the three best bets to have on the action in the West Midlands.

Walsall to win @ 13/8

Hopefully back-to-back wins have kicked the Saddlers into life, having endured a torrid first nine months of 2014.

Those victories over Chesterfield and Notts County, before a hard-fought FA Cup draw against local rivals Shrewsbury have signalled that there is plenty of fight left in Dean Smith’s side.

Sheffield United may sit eight places above Walsall, but with a Capital One Cup quarter-final, and a promotion push in the pipeline, there may be bigger fish to fry for Nigel Clough, with squad rotation a real possibility.

With the hosts triumphing in two of the last three meetings at Banks’s Stadium, we are going for a home win.

Most goals in the 2nd half @ 21/20

These two sides love nothing more than a late goal barrage. Of Sheffield United’s 13 goals scored away from home in League One this season, 11 have come in the final 30 minutes.

Throw in that seven of Walsall’s nine goals in front of their own fans have come after they have had their half-time oranges, and you have a very solid looking bet.

Tom Bradshaw to score the last goal @ 5/1

The former Shrewsbury man has wasted no time in adorning himself to the Saddler’s faithful, netting nine times already this season.

He has been potent in recent weeks in particular, bagging seven goals in his last eight appearances.

Incredibly every one of his strikes have come in the second half of matches, and with five of those rounding off proceedings, there is only one bet to be on here.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.