Times have changed as Leeds United and Sheffield United meet again in harsh Premier League reminder

BLIMEY. That was a long two weeks.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 5:30 am

Kalvin Phillips at least helped us through it with his impressive displays in three starts for England.

But a fortnight without a Leeds United game is never great during the football season and the Whites are finally back in action with a Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United in which the tables have somewhat turned tomorrow.

Marcelo Bielsa's Whites and Chris Wilder's Blades were involved in an epic tussle during the 2018-19 Championship campaign in which the Steel City side were the ones left celebrating via automatic promotion as Leeds were left to lick their wounds in finishing third.

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HOW THINGS WERE: From left, Leeds United trio Barry Douglas, Kiko Casilla and Kalvin Phillips look on as Chris Basham scores the only goal of Sheffield United's 1-0 triumph at Elland Road of March 2018. Picture by Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Nobody needs reminding of what then followed in the dreaded play offs which meant yet another season of Championship football.

Meantime, 36 miles down the M1, the red half of Sheffield were enjoying a phenomenal first season back in the top flight and very much holding the Yorkshire bragging rights in finishing ninth.

But times have swiftly changed one year on with Bielsa's 2019-20 Championship champions now flying along in 11th and a Blades side now managed by former Whites boss Paul Heckingbottom sat bottom of the table and destined for the drop back to English football's second tier.

How have a Blades side who took the division by storm last season gone from ninth to sitting bottom with just 14 points from 29 games?

Their demise is a stark reminder of the cut and thrust of a ruthless division that shows absolutely no remorse or regard for previous achievements and highs.

For another season at least, Saturday's derby at Elland Road will be a farewell from the Whites to the Blades who are not down yet but are 14 points from safety with just nine games left and 1-200 to be playing Championship football again next year.

Leeds, meanwhile, would move tenth with a victory and Bielsa's side are only 9-4 to finish in the top half.

Like Sheffield United did last year remember?

Times have changed, the tables have turned and the Yorkshire bragging rights are now very much with the Whites so soak it up and drink it in yet let Saturday's derby also be a reminder of the very nature of just what the Premier League is.

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Thank you Laura Collins