Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United: YEP Jury predictions

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
5
Have your say

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.

KEITH INGHAM

Tuesday’s late, late show versus Fulham may have just taken the pressure a little off both the head coach and the players. The 1-1 draw with Fulham was definitely deserved.

We’ve had better starts to seasons, without a doubt, as most supporters have rightly said, but it is early and again it is a squad with eight new faces in it and they will need time to settle into their new surroundings.

In saying this mind you there is no excuse for the lack of ‘bottle’ shown by some against Birmingham City in the second half of that game. Garry Monk’s comments may have surprised many but they were totally correct.

I still believe that Garry Monk, given the ‘tools’ to do the job, will turn things around but patience never has been one of the virtues Leeds fans have in abundance. It’s to be hoped that in the last few weeks of the transfer window those players needed will be brought in to give the squad the boost it desperately needs.

A cosy visit to Sheffield awaits the faithful and a expensive one too – like Leeds they charge nearly 40 quid for a seat. With the Premier League now limiting the cost to £30, maybe it’s time the Championship clubs follow suit.

The Leeds squad will certainly be boosted by Liam Bridcutt, who finally arrived from Sunderland after a protracted transfer was finally settled late Tuesday night. He should go straight into the squad to travel to South Yorkshire. I liked the midfielder during his previous loan spell; he adds ‘steel’ to the midfield. There is also a possibility that another new addition, Pontus Jansson, could make his debut at the weekend.

With Bridcutt in the team, I would like Hernandez to resume his role at ‘number 10’ – a role he played so effectively at Fleetwood. He’s not as useful in the centre of midfield or fast enough to be a winger.

I also think Cooper and Bartley did enough against Fulham to be kept as centre-backs. Wood’s late goal should, hopefully, boost the striker’s confidence.

I’d use Roofe and Antonnson either side of him in a three; Wood by himself just doesn’t work. Mowatt, Vieira, Dallas and Sacko are good options from the bench, if needed.

For me, another striker is definitely needed – and not a cheap option Mr Cellino!

Two defeats and a draw may not be the best preparation for this game, but I saw enough on Tuesday to hope for at least a draw at Hillsborough.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds are up and running, in a fashion, following Tuesday’s late drama against Fulham, and one can only hope that the luck that was on the Whites’ side that night will mark a turning point in the club’s fortunes.

Garry Monk’s side could quite easily have been on the end of a bit of a drubbing had the Londoners taken their chances, but United hung in and grabbed a point at the death. It was the very least their efforts deserved and there was enough on display to give the fans hope that we will not be sucked into the fight at the wrong end of the table.

What’s next is for Leeds to build on that performance and find a settled line-up to take things forward. The signing of Liam Bridcutt should now allow Pablo Hernandez the licence to roam free and not be shackled into a rigid 4-4-2 formation. I can see him operating behind a lone striker with Antonsson and Roofe coming in from the flanks in support, with Phillips and Bridcutt holding the fort in the middle of the park.

Tomorrow’s trip to Hillsborough is a tough one, and with the Owls having a little sticky patch themselves, will be an interesting watch. Recent visits have provided plenty to talk about and Fernando Forestieri will have a point to prove. Again blind optimism outranks pragmatism as I hope rather than expect a point.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.

DAVID WATKINS

A bit of good fortune and a bit more of that gritty toughness Garry Monk was looking for and we got our first point on the board on Tuesday against Fulham.

Sheffield Wednesday is sure to be another tough test but Leeds ought to have the boost of Liam Bridcutt in the side and I’d be happy to wager that will make us a tougher nut to crack.

I still doubt we are good enough as it stands to regularly win games in the Championship – that will take a bit more time on the training pitch and a couple more new faces.

But, if the luck goes with us, a draw ought to be within our capabilities at Hillsborough tomorrow.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

After snatching an injury-time draw from the jaws of defeat in midweek against Fulham, United head to Hillsborough for their first Yorkshire derby of the season.

The Whites are likely to be boosted by the return of Liam Bridcutt who has now arrived permanently and will doubtless add some much needed steel in the “Steel City”. After the lofty heights of last season the Owls have started with a win, draw and loss. A rare clean sheet and two consecutive good halves would be very welcome, however I’m expecting a few goals and the bragging rights to be shared.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 2.

MIKE GILL

Never has a last-minute equaliser been so welcome – for Chris Wood, for Garry Monk and for the fans.

The question is, can we go forward against Sheffield Wednesday?

Their strong start has been soured by hysterics from Fernando Forestieri and a shock defeat at Burton, but are Leeds strong enough to upset a team which must be looking for a positive reaction?

I can’t see Monk throwing caution to the wind with his selection and the introduction of Liam Bridcutt should steady the midfield. I expect a tough uncompromising and possibly ugly battle from both sides and would expect that another draw would be seen as a positive result.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

Chris Wood’s last-minute equaliser on Tuesday night allowed Garry Monk the luxury of talking up his team having picked up their first points of the season.

The harsh reality is that the performance was no better than the one he’d derided in his post match interview last Saturday.

United will have to be much, much better to get anything out of a difficult trip to Hillsborough. The signing of Liam Bridcutt will help protect our defence and add some much needed bite to the midfield but there is something more fundamental that is preventing this bunch of players from gelling. Once it clicks we will be up and running but I fear tomorrow’s game will come too soon.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 0.

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen.

Sunderland 0 Leeds United 2: Whites shrug off absence of Wood as Saiz and Dallas down Black Cats