Goliath-slaying tour rumbles on for Sheffield United v Hull

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The last time Sheffield United had an FA Cup fixture to play they were in the midst of a nine-game winning streak. Since then they’ve won just three times in eight outings.

However, this entire FA Cup campaign has defied belief for the Blades. Having regularly dropped football onlookers jaw’s with their results against opposition better fancied than them they must now battle the odds again. This time, though, history is against them too.

Nigel Clough’s side face Steve Bruce’s Hull priced up as the 9/2 outsiders for a 90-minute victory, with the Tigers the 7/10 favourites and the draw available at 13/5.

In their proud history, Sheffield United have experienced their fair share of semi-final heartache, having lost their last four outings at this stage of the FA Cup.

Not many would have given them much chance of reaching this year’s penultimate hurdle. Any of their four ties against loftier opposition (Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forest or Charlton) could have seen the Blades bow out, yet their FA Cup train rumbled on. Sometimes, fate matters more than form.

Without hot-shot duo Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long – both cup-tied – Hull have had their most potent weapon ripped from them.

Two of their number – Curtis Davies and Matty Fryatt – have good scoring records in the competition to fall back on, but as one is a centre back and the other a rarely seen backup striker, the Blades will not be as wary.

Davies has scored the first goal in his last two FA Cup appearances (he’s 20/1 to do it again), while 7/4 anytime chance Fryatt has seven in eight in the competition.

Unfortunately for their side, the head-to-head record indicates a sorry day, with just two wins to their name in 17 meetings with the Blades, who are set for a second trip to Wembley.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.