Southampton return to Carabao Cup action on Tuesday night, visiting Championship side Sheffield United in the third round of the competition.
Sheffield United vs Southampton
Carabao Cup – third round
Tuesday 21st September, 7.45pm BST
Referee: John Brooks
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Wade Smith
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
WHICH KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
It’s a return to the away strip of yellow shirts with blue sleeves, blue shorts and yellow socks for Saints on Tuesday night.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Saints will be hoping to continue their record of reaching at least the fourth round of the competition in all but two of the last eleven seasons when they face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
At this round in particular, you have to go back to 2008 for the last time Tuesday’s visitors fell at this early hurdle (3-1 defeat to Rotherham away from home).
The Blades have reached the third-round stage for the second time in three seasons, proving to be an upturn in fortunes after not making to that round since the 2008/09 season.
A visit to the fourth round will be only the second time the club has done so in 14 years - the previous occasion being a semi-final defeat to Spurs over two legs in 2015 – after being knocked out at the third round stage in 15 of their last 19 ties at this hurdle.
Jack Stephens suffered a set-back to his strong start to the season as he was forced off during the first half of Saturday’s draw at Manchester City, meaning he’s unlikely to feature at Bramall Lane.
Attacking duo Theo Walcott and Stuart Armstrong are also unlikely to make their comebacks on Tuesday night as both remain out with muscular injuries.
Sheffield United could be without fourt key players for the visit of Saints, with Sander Berge picking up a hamstring injury on Saturday and Morgan Gibbs-White cup tied.
Amongst the long-term absentees for Slaviša Jokanović’s side are centre-back Jack O’Connell (knee surgery) and Oliver McBurnie (metatarsal fracture).
Slaviša Jokanović: “We need to arrive to any game with an intention or a motive to win the game. It’s one of the competition where we’ll compete.
“We cannot come into our own home, in front of our own people, thinking about anything else. We’ll have all respect for any team, but we’ll try and do a better job and try and do a better job in order to get a victory.”
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “Especially in defence it’s obvious we have developed our game. But we have also not won [yet]. We need in this moment the punch to kill off an opponent and this is what is missing.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day so there is time and I am absolutely happy with the level we are playing at the moment. “
ONES TO WATCH
Billy Sharp: The veteran striker marked his 300th appearance for the Blades with a goal at the weekend, as Sharp continues to be the go-to man in attack.
Coming up against his former employers, the 35-year-old will look to exploit what could be a changed defensive line-up for Saints.
Nathan Tella: Another youngster who is sure to shine when given an opportunity; Tella certainly produced in the last round of the competition with a well taken goal in the 8-0 demolition of Newport.
With competition fierce for Premier League places, the 22-year-old will be looking to prove his worth to manager Ralph Hasenhüttl on Tuesday night.
Billy Sharp 3
Egan, Osborn, Gibbs-White, Ndiaye 2
Fleck, Berge, Freeman, Brewster 1
Billy Sharp 3
Hourihane, Gibbs-White 2
McBurnie, McGoldrick, Ndiaye, Gordon 1
Mohamed Elyounoussi 4
Armando Broja 2
Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Walker-Peters, Tella, A. Armstrong 1
Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse 2
Redmond, Walker-Peters, Adams 1
HEAD TO HEAD
Sheffield United: 25
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
March 2021: Sheffield Utd 0-2 Saints (Ward-Prowse, Adams)
December 2020: Saints 3-0 Sheffield Utd (Adams, Armstrong, Redmond)
July 2020: Saints 3-1 Sheffield Utd (Adams x2, Ings)
September 2019: Sheffield Utd 0-1 Saints (Djenepo)
December 2014: Sheffield Utd 1-0 Saints
DID YOU KNOW?
- The only victory Sheffield United have claimed over Saints in the last five meetings came in the same competition at the quarter-final stage. Marc McNulty scoring the winner.
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