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Leeds United Jury: Hillsborough derby will present fascinating test for Bielsa’s men

Leeds United's Mateusz Klich.
Leeds United's Mateusz Klich.
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Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s derby clash AT Sheffield Wednesday tonight.

ANDY RHODES

Marcelo Bielsa.

Marcelo Bielsa.

They say if there’s one type of game you want after a defeat, it’s a local derby, and boy have Leeds got a tasty one here.

The Whites will make the short trip south with Saturday’s defeat against Birmingham still fresh in the mind.

A win in front of 4,600 travelling fans at Hillsborough and that will soon be forgotten, but Sheffield Wednesday aren’t the same side that struggled in the Championship last season.

This time around they somewhat look rejuvenated, picking up an eye-catching win at Aston Villa last time out.

Leeds lacked a coherent identity in both games against the Owls last season, succumbing to the atmosphere in Sheffield almost 12 months to the day.

But Marcelo Bielsa will undoubtedly have experienced bigger derbies than this in South America, and you can guarantee he’ll stick to his free-flowing Plan A just as he did at Millwall.

It’s no secret that draws irk the Argentine, but there will be games where he’ll be happy to take them.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.

DAVID WATKINS

Every Championship game is a tough one and tonight’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough will be no exception.

The question this time is whether defeat to Birmingham was a one off, or whether our form really has dipped. The stats last Saturday suggested Leeds did enough to win but two sloppy pieces of defending effectively gave it away.

The Owls look, on paper, to be a side Leeds ought to beat. Wednesday would only be a single point behind Leeds if they triumph but looking at their results they have had a far easier start to the season. Wins over Millwall, Ipswich and Reading, all by the odd goal in three, didn’t really impress, but their 2-1 win at Villa Park last Saturday will have made a few folk sit up and take notice.

Wednesday have a couple of formations up their sleeve, so Marcelo Bielsa may have to be flexible with his response, either coping with the huge Atdhe Nuhiu on his own, or maybe facing the 4-3-3 set up they used at Villa.

I’m predicting the Leeds train gets back on track with a narrow victory.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 2.

KEITH INGHAM

The first away ‘West v South Yorkshire’ derby is next up for Leeds, six days after their first defeat in Championship. All eyes will be on Hillsborough as Leeds hope to get back to winning ways.

A little negativity surfaced after the defeat to Birmingham, fingers pointed at certain players. I for one found it annoying, surely it’s best to support the players after ONE disappointing defeat instead of lambasting them. They need to remember that four key players were absent through injury and most teams would be affected by this, Leeds have missed Pablo Hernandez, his ability to unlock defences has been a stand out factor in the climb to the top of the Championship.

Marcelo Bielsa may be tempted to start Stuart Dallas after he impressed when coming on for Kalvin Phillips.

Fit-again Adam Forshaw is also pushing for a starting place.

The game could also see the return of Kemar Roofe, if the striker comes through a week of training. Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi will definitely miss the game.

Hillsborough has some good memories for Leeds United fans but also has been the venue that a few heavy defeats have happened, last season ‘The Owls’ did the double over their West Yorkshire rivals. Leeds, backed by a sold out away end will be hoping to carry on their impressive away form and get a positive result.

A draw wouldn’t be a disaster and I see a high scoring game happening with the spoils shared.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 2.

MIKE GILL

At his press conference, Marcelo Bielsa indicated that the team would remain the same. No surprises there then?

This must give the players confidence, especially those like Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Kalvin Phillips who probably need ‘an arm around their shoulder’ right now. Knee jerk reactions lead to confusion and I believe that it is fair to say that this team know exactly what is expected from them.

Recently, Sheffield Wednesday lost at Nottingham Forest before bagging three points at Villa Park. Their tails will therefore definitely be up for tonight’s white hot local derby at Hillsborough.

United have every reason to approach this game with confidence and provided that Samuel Saiz has his positive, creative head on, there is no reason why they shouldn’t come out with three points.

Better performances from Mateusz Klich and Jack Harrison are also key to a successful trip to South Yorkshire.

It will be a close thing but I think United will edge it on the night!

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Leeds United 3.

SHAUN SMITH

I must confess to those who depend on my ability to predict the result that I know little of Sheffield Wednesday.

Who does! I presume they are fair to middling as they always are, will have a six foot twelve centre-forward and may or may not have one Fancy Dan and a Barry Bannan. They usually do.

Wednesday are always a bit ‘meh’, destined for mid-table anonymity but being up for it for fixtures against us, the Blades and the Millers.

Working on the premise we will finish at least seven places above them.

I am going for a 3-0 win for Leeds United, with goals deducted for the absence of Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe, the Owls up-for-it-ness and it being a Friday night.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 0 Leeds United 3.

MATTHEW EVANS

Friday night at Hillsborough was not a trip we expected to see on the calendar again after our last visit but tonight we make a return trip with our biggest following of the season so far.

Comparisons will be drawn between this and the same fixture last year where we really cemented ourselves in a bad run and didn’t look at the races after some shambolic goalkeeping from Felix Wiedwald.

Going to Sheffield Wednesday after our first defeat of the season is an acid test and a win will bode very well for our resilience over the full season.

We have to acknowledge that we are still under strength and, in a Yorkshire derby, points are not going to come easily to us but we stuck to our plan against Birmingham and, if the game had continued much longer, there could only have been one winner.

I think we’ll put on a good show in South Yorkshire and come away with at least a point.

Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 1.