Leeds United v Sheffield United: key battle, key man and YEP prediction
AHEAD of Saturday's clash between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Elland Road, the YEP's Lee Sobot takes a look at some of they elements of the Yorkshire derby.
Competition: Premier League (11th versus 20th)
Time: 3pm (coverage beginning at 2.30pm)
Venue: Elland Road
TV: Amazon Prime Video
Odds (best available): Leeds win – 4-7, Draw – 18-5, Sheffield United win – 29-5.
Last time the teams met at Elland Road: Saturday, March 16, 2019 - Championship: Leeds United 0, Sheffield United 1 (Basham 71). Casilla sent off for Leeds (90).
Key battle: Patrick Bamford v Aaron Ramsdale
Eleventh-placed Leeds are short odds to condemn the bottom-placed Blades to a 24th defeat of the season and it would be a major surprise if Marcelo Bielsa's side did not create a host of chances. Whites no 9 Patrick Bamford finds himself sat joint fourth in the Premier League's Golden Boot race on 14 goals and returned to training this week and even Bielsa's demanding murderball sessions having soldiered on through injury in the 2-1 win at Fulham before the international break. Blades 'keeper Aaron Ramsdale will probably be in for a busy afternoon and his side's prospects could depend largely on how he fares and also the Blades back line.
Blades key man: David McGoldrick
Leeds-born former Whites youngster Oli McBurnie has a habit of performing well against his former youth side having netted three times in five games against United whilst at Swansea City. But David McGoldrick is the visiting side's top scorer having netted six goals this season, three more than Billy Sharp who is still out injured. The Blades tend to play two upfront so it seems likely that McGoldrick will partner McBurnie in attack although Rhian Brewster is another option. Marcelo Bielsa tends to field a back three against a front two and six-foot-plus strikers McBurnie and McGoldrick could also pose a threat in the air.
Lee Sobot's verdict: Leeds to win to nil
Sheffield United looked to be turning a corner when amassing three league wins out of five at the turn of the year but the Steel City side have now lost six of their last seven in the league and former Whites boss Paul Heckingbottom is now in the dugout following the sacking of Chris Wilder. Heckingbottom's two games in charge have ended in a 5-0 hammering at Leicester City and 2-0 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Cup and whilst the Blades are likely to dig in, anything other than a Whites victory would be a big disappointment for Leeds and a surprise. Bielsa's side left it late to seal a 1-0 victory at Bramall Lane back in September thanks to Bamford's 88th minute winner but it might be somewhat more comfortable if everything clicks this time against a still injury ravaged Blades who have the likes of Sharp, Sander Berge and Chris Basham still out. Something like 3-0 Leeds might be about right.
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Thank you Laura Collins