Its the Steel City derby tonight as Sheffield Utd take on Sheffield Wednesday at Bramall Lane (KO 19:45).
Both these sides have had slipped off the pace in recent weeks in the Championship so there is definitely everything to play for, including local pride.
The Steel City Derby takes centre stage later tonight as Sheffield United host fierce city rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Bramall Lane, and its a game which both sides could do with winning.
With both eyes firmly set on Friday’s match Sheffield Utd boss Chris Wilder rested a number of key players during their FA Cup win over fellow Championship side Ipswich last weekend. The victory was just their second in ten games, perfect preparation heading into the derby.
After an unbelievable start to the season the Blades have slipped down the table following a string of poor results, but Chris Wilder’s side remain within touching distance of the top six and know a win on Friday night will lift them up to fifth spot temporarily.
As for the Owls It’s the start of a new era as Jos Luhukay, Carlos Carvalhal’s surprise replacement, is set to take charge for the very first time. The Dutchman boasts a wealth of experience and a CV that includes three promotions to the Bundesliga.
But this will be Luhukay’s first venture into English football and arguably his biggest challenge to date.
Sheffield Wednesday are currently 16th in the table, six points above the drop zone and 13 points off the playoffs. With half the season gone a promotion push is highly unlikely, but in the Championship anything is possible.
String three or four wins together and teams can catapult up the table just like Reading famously did a few years back.
Victory over the Blades on Friday would be the dream start to life in Sheffield for Luhukay, but his side are 7/2 underdogs after losing four of their last five league outings. In the reverse fixture
Chris Wilder’s side took all three points in a six goal thriller at Hillsborough and they’re odds on to complete the double for the first time in 12 years.
Leon Clarke bagged a brace back at Hillsborough and he’s 7/2 to open the scoring on Friday.
The Owls’ new manager spoke about getting back to basics, tightening things up at the back and implementing discipline during his first press conference.
So expect Wednesday to sit back, soak up the pressure and hit United on the counter attack, after all they do have some of the best attacking players in the division, which is why I fancy them to get on the score sheet at least.
In fact I fancy them to share the points with their fierce rivals and the draw and BTTS is 4/1.
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