Bielsa lays down marker, Steel City intrigue and Bamford's 2019 record - 5 things you need to know ahead of Leeds United's clash with Sheffield Wednesday

Leeds United celebrate at Preston.
Leeds United celebrate at Preston.
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Missed any of the build-up ahead of Leeds United's clash with Sheffield Wednesday? Here are five things you need to know ahead of the showdown at Elland Road.

1 - Marcelo Bielsa lays down marker

“We have to win the five games left," Bielsa challenged his team ahead of today's fixture.

"When you have few points left to win because you’re in the last few games of the league, the gap or the space for mistakes reduces. Anything can happen in one football game.

“Any of the results of our opponents could make us play more freely or play with more responsibility but with any result they (Sheffield United) get, we still need to win the games.

“For us, to play the games with an obligation to win is nothing new. I don’t remember playing one game without thinking we had to win it.”

2 - No new injury worries

For a change... Leeds United are relatively injury free.

Defender Barry Douglas remains the only absentee after the left-back ruptured knee ligaments against Millwall two weeks ago which has seen his season end prematurely.

Pablo Hernandez was a doubt ahead of the midweek trip to Preston but the Spaniard was passed fit an hour before kick-off and is again available against Wednesday.

3 - Steel City intrigue

Following the arrival of Steve Bruce in early February, Wednesday's form has dramatically improved.

The Owls now sit just six points from the play-off spots with five games of the season to go after going 11 matches unbeaten during his opening stint.

Wednesday fell to their first defeat under the 58-year-old's watch against former club Aston Villa last weekend before a 3-0 midweek demolition of Nottingham Forest.

Three points at Elland Road are a must for the visitors if they are to keep their slim hopes of a play-off spot alive.

Victory, though, could inadvertently help their cross-city rivals in their Premier League ambitions.

Sheffield United sit just a point behind Leeds ahead of today's fixtures with the Blades taking on Millwall before the Whites evening date with the Owls.

Just for one day, the city of Sheffield is united in their support for Wednesday it would seem.

4 - Patrick Bamford's 2019 record

After his shooting boots went missing against Millwall and Birmingham, Patrick Bamford answered his critics against Preston in style.

A fine double handed Leeds all three points at Deepdale and with it gave Marcelo Bielsa's men the advantage back in the top two race.

But check out this impressive stat from the 25-year-old:

Patrick Bamford has scored seven league goals for Leeds United in 2019; more than any other player.

A few more in the next five games and Whites fans will be singing his name even louder than they were in Lancashire.

5 - Sheffield Wednesday unbeaten in three and Gary Hooper just loves playing Leeds

Sheffield Wednesday are unbeaten in three league matches against Leeds.

A 3-0 victory at Hillsborough in October 2017 was followed by a 2-1 win at Elland Road in the following March.

United played out a 1-1 draw away from home earlier this season as Adam Reach and Mateusz Klich struck in either half with the spoils shared.

Owls striker Gary Hooper recently returned to first-team action following a 16-month absence after a run of injury problems.

The 31-year-old bagged on just his second outing since making his comeback against Aston Villa last weekend.

Wednesday, though, will be pleased to know he has scored seven league goals against Leeds in just eight career appearances.