This is the ultimate melting pot for a classic Steel City derby. A combination of good form, promotion hopes and decades of mouldering resentment could give us one of the best games of The Championship season.
Wednesday struggled in 2018 and their season looked to be petering out to a mid-table finish at the very best, however a turnaround in 2019 has seen them catapult themselves back in to the playoff race. Just one defeat in their last 12 has seen The Owls move in to 14th place, which may not sound impressive but it puts them just seven points outside the playoffs and just four behind 7th placed Derby.
The Blades are also flying high, just one defeat in 12 for them also as they continue to push for an automatic promotion place. Leeds made a real statement with their 4-0 drubbing of West Brom and United will be desperate to respond with a win in the derby. A win which would take them back above Leeds on goal difference and within two points of Norwich at the summit.
In their last 12 both clubs have conceded just eight goals, this has been a huge part of both their success of late. Five of Sheffield Wednesday’s last six home games in The Championship have seen under 2.5 goals, as they may be sturdy at the back but The Owls have been far from free scoring, four of their last seven finished either 1-0 or 0-0. The last meeting between these two came back in November as the game finished 0-0 at Bramall Lane. You can back under 2.5 goals at a price of 1.65.
Although it could be tight it’s hard to see Wednesday keeping a clean sheet; which they have in five of their last seven league games. This is on account of how dangerous United have been in attack this season, only three teams can boast of scoring more goals than The Blades. In their last 12 they have averaged two a game, down in no small part to Billy Sharp who is the league’s second top scorer with 22. He has netted 12 of those goals on the road and will be dreaming of one tonight after recently committing his future to his boyhood club. He’s the bookies favourite for a goal at 5.0 first and 2.7.
The nature of the game could see it open up a bit more than some stats suggest, Wednesday’s last three games have seen 10 goals. Neither will be happy to sit back in this game, both need the points and want the bragging rights, you can back both teams to score at a price of 1.85.
If this game is to be as tight as it looks to be on paper, we could see it decided by a single goal. As we’ve mentioned; Sheffield United have Billy Sharp in their ranks, his quality has won several games for the visitors this season and you can’t discount him from having a say in the outcome of this tie. Wednesday have often lacked that real game changer this season. Lucas Joao is their top scorer this season with nine goals, and recently Steven Fletcher has shown streaks of his former goal scoring quality with three goals in his last two games.
A man who has had an impact before is Adam Reach, he scored twice on a recent 3-1 win over Swansea and is a man who is fond of the spectacular. His two strikes against Swansea were crisp and well taken and we’ve seen him score some truly exceptional goals this season particularly his strikes against Leeds and West Brom. He could be a good outside punt for a goal, priced at 9.0 first and 4.5 anytime.
Both teams to score @ 1.85
Billy Sharp to score anytime @ 2.7
Match to be a draw @ 3.1