Sunday 26th February 2012 – Kickoff: 1300hrs
This Sheffield derby promises to be an absolute cracker not just because it’s a local derby but the fact that both teams are promotion candidates from League One and gunning for a Championship place.
Sheffield Wednesday however, have not been in the best of form of late in League One with three straight losses on the bounce to Exeter City, Stevenage and perhaps the most surprising of all, Chesterfield who currently sit second from bottom.
The Owls’ home record stands at a strong 10-3-2 29/15, and their form at Hillsborough lately has been patchy to say the least; wins over Tranmere Rovers and Yeovil Town have been overshadowed by crucial losses to fellow promotion candidates Charlton Athletic and Stevenage (both by a 0-1 scoreline). In fact, of the other top six teams they’ve played at home they have won only once which was a 3-1 win over MK Dons while they drew 4-4 with Huddersfield Town.
Striker Gary Madine (12 goals) is their dangerman but he’s appearing off the bench at the moment, but players like Reda Johnson who is deadly from set-pieces, midfielder Chris Lines (6 assists) and Jose Semedo (4 assists) are very capable of creating and scoring chances.
United make the short trip to Hillsborough on the back of five wins out of their last six league matches with wins over Yeovil Town, Bury, Wycombe Wanderers, Huddersfield Town and Preston NE. The loss came against league leaders Charlton Athletic which has handed the London outfit a seven point cushion.
The Blades’ away record stands at 7-3-4 20/12, and their recent form on the road has been a bit win-lose in recent weeks, but the onus is definitely on the home side here to produce all three points while United would be very happy with a point in this one I daresay.
Striker and leading scorer Ched Evans (14 goals, 4 assists) is bang on form at the moment and he bagged a brace in their recent 2-1 win over Preston and he’s scored 7 goals in his last 8 league matches. Alongside is creative midfielder Stephen Quinn (10 assists) and experienced striker Richard Cresswell (7 goals, 7 assists) who are giving great support.
The pressure is on Sheffield Wednesday to win this match and United would be happy with a draw I reckon so I’ll back United with the round ball with the chance of them taking all three points – Sheffield United to win it 2-1 perhaps.
Main Pick: Sheffield United AH0 @ 2.00 Pinnacle
Value Pick: Sheffield United straight win @ 2.78 Pinnacle