Two sides with similar fortunes meet in the lunchtime kickoff at Bramall Lane, as two early season Championship frontrunners meet lunchtime (KO 12:30).
Both sets of fans will be hopeful of a decent result after early season form has deserted both outfits, and with the sides still in with a playoff shout there’s everything to play for.
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Paul Heckingbottom begins life as Leeds United manager with a trip to Yorkshire and fellow playoff hopefuls Sheffield United with hope and expectation firmly on his shoulders.
The Whites parted company with Thomas Christiansen after losing to Cardiff on Saturday, a result which extended their winless run to seven games and leaves them tenth in the Championship, seven points adrift of those all important playoff places.
Heckingbottom, who has been handed an 18 month contract at Elland Road, only signed a new contract at Barnsley last week, but did not hesitate on making the switch.
The Tykes received half a million pounds in compensation, so hats off to them for the shrewd business.
For the Lilywhites boss it could be something of a baptism of fire as his side faces a Sheffield Utd side looking to get back to some sort of form and push for the playoffs
The Blades will be hoping to get back to winning ways after suffering back to back defeats to Aston Villa and Wolves.
After looking certainties for promotion in the early stages of the season their form has slipped away and they now find themselves in eight position in the table.
Still just five points adrift of the playoffs Chris Wilder’s side remain in the mix for back to back promotions despite a midseason blip.
Sheffield United won the reverse fixture 2-1 at Elland Road and it’s 8/1 for the same scoreline on Saturday.
Leeds will be without Berardi, Cooper and Saiz through suspension, all three have seen red in recent weeks and it’s a lack of discipline that has contributed to their slump, something Heckingbottom will need to address sooner rather than later.
Chris Wilder could be without Brooks and Freeman, while Simon Moore is unavailable due to suspension.
If it’s goals you’re looking for then there should be plenty in this one. Both teams average over 2.5 goals per game this season, so over 2.5 goals looks a banker at 11/10 which is a price which should appeal to many.
Blades striker Leon Clarke is the second most prolific in the league with 15 and he’s 7/2 to open the scoring, which looks banker material.
Sheffield Utd v Leeds Utd Match Outcome
With home advantage and vociferous home supprt I fancy Sheffield United to get back to winning ways. Brammal Lane is a difficult place to go at the best of times, and if you are in a particularly bad spell of form, its tough to get a result.
History is with the home side too – Sheffield Utd have yet to lose to Leeds at home in their last five outings – those looking to back the straight forward home win can get odds of around 4/6, while Leeds can be backed at 4/1 to take a shock three points back to Elland Road.
Those looking for that extra value can take a look at the Result/Both Teams To Score Market, which seems to be very popular with punters at the moment.
Sheffield United to win & BTTS looks decent at 16/5 considering the goal scoring records of these clubs and thats one bet we’re happy to take this lunchtime.
Sheffield Utd v Leeds Utd: What the Managers say
Chris Wilder (Sheffield Utd) –
“We’re still in the fight and it’s still all to play for. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the character of our group, in fact I know there isn’t because they prove it every single day. These are the type of matches everyone wants to be involved in and I know the lads are going to be up for it as they and the fans always are.”
Paul Heckingbottom (Leeds):
“Two years ago, when I sat in this chair at Barnsley, we were 14th and we went up. I know it can be done. It’s something that’s definitely achievable but if you get carried away with me setting that target and putting undue pressure on … the next game’s important.
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