Two automatic promotion rivals go head-to-head in the Championship as Leeds host local rivals Sheffield United at Elland Road on Saturday lunchtime with the hope of going five points clear of their nearest promotion rivals in third place in the table.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side took all three points away from Bramall Lane earlier this season after a late mix up between Sheffield United’s defender John Egan and goalkeeper Dean Henderson cost the Blades a point.
Both sides are in blistering form with three points absolutely crucial as we reach the final 10 games of the Championship season with Norwich seemingly unstoppable in first position.
As Norwich continue to pick up three points every week, Leeds and Sheffield United must get three points to keep the pressure on the Canaries. Four points separate Norwich in first and Sheffield United in third with Leeds sandwiched in between two points wither side.
A 3-0 win for Leeds against relegation threatened Reading was a comfortable trip to Berkshire with Pablo Hernandez gaining the plaudits for his brace on Tuesday evening. This victory extended Leeds’ unbeaten run to three matches making it five wins in the last six matches for the Whites.
Sheffield United are flying – the Blades have lost just once since the 14th December when West Brom took three points from Bramall Lane. Seven consecutive wins to nil at home and only one away defeat since the Nottingham Forest defeat back in November has put the Blades firmly in the promotion race.
Tuesday’s victory against Brentford felt like a watershed moment for many Sheffield United fans – the Blades won 2-0 after going down to 10 men within half-an-hour.
Unsurprisingly, the bookies make Leeds the favourite for the victory in this top of the table clash with 23/20 best-price available. The Blades are be found at a tempting 13/5 while a draw is a best-price of 49/20.
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Leeds will be hoping to welcome back Jack Clarke into the fold after he collapsed on the bench against Middlesbrough just over a month ago. The 18-year-old played for the under-23s in midweek. Adam Forshaw and Kemar Roofe remain on the side-lines.
Chris Wilder will be without striker Gary Madine as his side travel up the M1 to Leeds. The on-loan Cardiff man was sent off in Sheffield United’s win at home to Brentford in midweek. The Blades have no other injury concerns.
Under 2.5 goals @ 1/1 – BET NOW
As both Leeds and Sheff Utd play in such open manner, you would be forgiven to think this would be a goal fest, but we are also dealing with two of the most formidable defences in the league.
Sheffield United have the second-best defence in the division conceding just 34 times while Leeds have let in just four extra goals to form the joint third best defence in the league along with Bristol City.
The importance of this match for both sides could see this becoming a low scoring affair, so under 2.5 goals at a best-price of evens makes perfect sense.
Billy Sharp to score anytime @ 2/1 – BET NOW
If there's one man who loves scoring against Leeds, it’s Billy Sharp. The Sheffield United captain has eight goals in eight appearances against Leeds and netted a brace this time last year when the two sides faced each other at Bramall Lane.
Sharp hasn’t scored since his hattrick against Aston Villa over a month ago, but if one man was going to come up with the goods for the Blades, it will be the second top goal scorer in the division.
Correct score – 1-1 @ 6/1 – BET NOW
Many of these crunch ties end up becoming stalemates as two sides with similar quality refused to be separated. In what we expect will be a cagey match between these two promotion rivals, a 1-1 draw looks like the likely option.
Sheffield United might not have as strong a record on their travels as they do at home with just one win in their last four, but they have drawn three of those matches against Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Norwich.
Any Leeds or Sheffield United fan wouldn’t be upset with a share of the spoils, but a defeat for either side could be devasting. A 1-1 draw priced at 6/1 best-price looks to be tempting option in the correct score market.
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