Sheffield United should be confident they can beat Tottenham

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Sheffield United's impressive Cup record under the tutelage of Nigel Clough provides plenty of reason for followers of the League One club to be confident their side can topple Tottenham Hotspur over two legs when the two teams meet in the first instalment of their Capital One Cup semi-final clash at White Hart Lane this evening.

The Blades boss boasts an incredible record in both domestic cup competitions since taking over at Brammall Lane in October 2013, losing just one of the 17 matches played in either the League Cup or FA Cup.

Even more impressive is the fact that since the start of last season, Sheffield United have beaten five Premier League opponents, with West Ham United and Southampton both already seen off in this year's run to the final four.

The other victims in the form of Aston Villa, Fulham - now a Championship side - and Queens Park Rangers, have also been subjected to giant killing defeats against Clough's men over the past 18 months, and tell an important part of the fairytale story that appears to have more substance than a flukey run of luck for the plucky underdog.

And, as they lie just two games away from a prestigious Wembley final showdown against either Chelsea or Liverpool on March 2, the massive incentive for players to write their names into the South Yorkshire club's folklore means supporters will be hoping they can all collectively rise to the occasion again and see off Mauricio Pochettino's rapidly improving Spurs side.

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"The biggest enemy when you're at a Premier League ground is nerves," explained Clough, with quotes taken from The Express. "That can work against you, but in the big games we didn't show any nerves. That's been a nice part of it.

"That we go there, that we're relaxed, that our preparation stays the same, that we don't do too much with the players but that they're aware of the magnitude of the game - that's the biggest thing you can pass on. The less thinking time they can have about it the better."

With seven victories from their past ten games the third-tier side will be well aware of the challenge they face, and will hope to learn from last year's FA Cup semi-final humbling against Hull City, which ended in a 5-3 defeat at Wembley.

"We are aware of how good they are, but we don't go into too much detail, otherwise we would be shaking before we even get onto the pitch," he added. "We want to get to Wembley.

"At the very least we want a fighting chance for the second leg to make it as difficult as we can in every single way for them."

Whilst Sheffield United's inability to translate their recent knockout form into league success remains a big frustration for a very vocal fanbase, tonight in north London the fans will be united in their support for the Blades as they attempt to get one over Tottenham.

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