Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday: YEP jury predictions

Stephen Warnock.
Stephen Warnock.
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The YEP jury have their say ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

MATTHEW EVANS

If you’ve learnt one thing as a Leeds United fan over the last decade it’s that, sure as night follows day, whenever there is a glimmer of light in this extended spell in the wilderness, it is quickly glazed over with poor decision making, impatience and uncertainty.

United’s two golden hours, encompassing the last 30 at Bournemouth and the home game against Huddersfield, brought joy and relief to Elland Road.

We’d finally built a team to impress and, for the first time since 2006, we might be able to compete to get out of this league – or so it seemed.

Since then, toothless displays against Brentford and Reading have brought the support crashing back down to earth and we should expect it to get worse before it gets better.

Massimo Cellino (and Nicola Salerno too) deserve great credit for assembling a team that appears technically competent, hardworking and passionate while still making a net profit on player trading thanks to the huge fee Fulham paid us for Ross McCormack.

No mean feat.

However, despite this positive momentum, there are a string of distractions – both on and off the field.

Milanic (wearing a suit on Saturday, tracksuit by Wednesday) is now trying to get to grips with a team that looks young, gifted but terribly one dimensional.

A well-practiced routine of pass, pass, pass, pass, attempted through ball has yielded limited results and is only occasionally punctuated by gifting the ball to the opposition for them to score or for our man of the season, Marco Silvestri, to deny them at the death.

Milanic’s first two games have been conservative and, frankly, dull.

His decision to drop Rodolph Austin and Stephen Warnock on Wednesday night was bizarre given they are the two players (behind Silvestri) who have consistently impressed so far this season.

Darko’s challenge against Sheffield Wednesday is to turn our football from being competent to being effective.

The talent and the effort is there but the cutting edge just isn’t – and we can’t play Huddersfield every week.

Other Championship defences will enjoy playing this Leeds side with very little to worry about unless a winning system is found.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds face South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in a noon televised game and ex-player Tom Lees – absent for a couple of games – could be in the visitors’ line-up.

Stuart Gray’s side has impressed in the Championship defensively but Manchester City routed them 7-0 in the Capital One Cup, while Leeds will been keen to avenge the 6-0 thumping in the game at Hillsborough in January.

Darko Milanic is persevering with the midfield diamond and although Leeds passed the ball really well in the first period on Wednesday the lack of width is painfully evident. Stephen Warnock was left out against Reading, unfairly in my opinion as he has had a decent season so far. Billy Sharp did his claim for a starting spot no harm with a late effort that stung Federici’s hands. Adyran and Montenegro still have to show what they could bring into the team.

It seems they are not match fit but still earning a wage. Strange that!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1.

JONATHAN FORD

Where has the energy and desire gone from Huddersfield at home? It’s a case of building trust and making the players want to give everything like they did for Neil Redfearn. The Owls look better than they did last year and it will be a tougher game than Wednesday night.

Prediction: Leeds United 8 Sheffield Wednesday 0.

JAMES HARRISON

Another Yorkshire derby looms tomorrow at Elland Road.

We really owe one to Sheffield Wednesday after our last game against them where they demolished us 6-0. Looking back at the side that faced them in January, we are a much better team now with more quality across the park in every position.

After the stalemate against Reading on Wednesday, we need a win this Saturday to get us back on track and give the fans a bit of faith in Darko Milanic. We played some good stuff again but we were just lacking that killer pass to break them down. I am confident in the side and Darko Milanic so let’s hope for three points.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0.

GARY NEWBOULD

United have a second Yorkshire derby of the season on tomorrow lunchtime when they entertain Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls are two points and four places better than the Whites, but let’s hope new boss Darko Milanic gets his first win as United coach.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds were dreadful at Brentford but were much improved against Reading. The passing, in the first half, was neat and tidy, but dropped off badly in the second half.

Worryingly the Whites were punchless, with a Billy Sharp effort in the closing stages against Reading the first effort on target in the Milanic reign. Leeds lack a midfielder who wants to get beyond the ball, so have no real attacking threat.

The Owls have been one of the surprise package of the season so far, although a 7-0 hammering at Man City has halted their momentum slightly, and Tom Lees will be out to impress on his return to Elland Road.

Prediction: Leeds United 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1.

Hadi Sacko fires in Leeds' opening goal.

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