The Boro only came up through the League Two play-offs last season, although Gary Smith’s side have been the surprise package of the division and now have an outside chance of reaching England’s second flight – something that would be a historic achievement.
Stevenage haven’t fluked their way into the top six this season and are slight favourites to establish a first leg advantage, with the bookies offering 8/5 (bet365 £200 free bets) that the home side beat the Blades as they did last November.
On that occasion, it was a 2-1 win for Boro and an identical scoreline can be backed at 9/1 (BetVictor), with Sheffield United having wobbled badly in their last three games to cede second place to local rivals Sheffield Wednesday.
Danny Wilson’s side will have felt low after that setback and it will be interesting to see how they recover in the play-offs, although they wear the tag of promotion favourites coming into Friday night’s match.
It is no good playing for a draw in the play-offs and the Yorkshire side can be backed at 2/1 (Betfred bookmaker) to return home with a victory which would put them on the verge of reaching the play-off final.
We should note that 17 points separated these two teams in League One at the end of the regular season, although perhaps that is something that puts more pressure on United considering that promotion was a clear aim at the start of the campaign, while sixth place was a bonus for Stevenage.
The simple fact is that the home side have list just one of their last 14 games which was a surprise 3-0 thrashing at Tranmere, although they come into this match with three wins from their last four games including a 6-0 thrashing of Yeovil Town.
Stevenage haven’t had a prolific goalscorer this season although Chris Beardsley has managed double figures and can be backed at 7/1 to score the first goal of the campaign, with the Blades hoping that the evergreen Richard Cresswell can fire them to victory.