It’s a three-way tussle for top spot in the EFL Championship, and two parts of the equation will do battle on Saturday night when Leeds hosts Sheffield United.
Only two points separates the two sides and Sheffield United will be desperate to leapfrog its second-placed Yorkshire rival with a win.
Leeds won’t be giving up second spot without a fight, with the Whites well poised to return to England’s top flight for the first time since 2004, adding another feather in the cap to Marcelo Bielsa’s storied managerial career.
With nine games to go, the outcome of Saturday’s (AEDT) clash at Elland Road has huge repercussions in the race for automatic Premier League promotion.
The Numbers that matter
- Sheffield United has won 3 of its last 5 league games against Leeds
- Leeds boasts the better head-to-head record overall, winning 30 to Sheffield’s 28
- Sheffield United hasn’t conceded a goal in its last six games
- Leeds hasn’t completed a league double over Sheffield United since 19911992, when it won the top-flight title
- Sheffield United is the only team to dominate possession against Leeds this season
- Pablo Hernandez is the first Leeds player to register double figures in goals (10) and assists (11) since Robert Snodgrass seven years ago.
Stars to watch:
Leeds United – Pablo Hernandez
Leeds’s assist king this season, Pablo Hernandez has now shouldered the goal-scoring load left by injured star striker Kemar Roofe. Fresh of his two-goal heroics against Reading last week Leeds will once again turn to its diminutive Spaniard for inspiration against Sheffield United.
Sheffield United – Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp continues to lead the line for Sheffield United, with 22 league goals this season and at 33, he only seems to be getting better with age. If Sheffield is to have any chance of coming away from Elland road with a result, it will need its hitman up front to be at his clinical best.
Prediction: Leeds 2-1 Sheffield United
Elland Road has been a fortress for Leeds this season, and the home ground advantage should give Marcelo Bielsa’s men the edge.