Leeds United v Sheffield United Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 16th March 2019

This Saturday, Leeds United and Sheffield United prepare for arguably their biggest match of the Championship season. Only one point separates the two automatic promotion hopefuls heading into the match but with Norwich City also in the mix, one club will end the season having to settle for the lottery that is the playoffs.

The implications of the match are huge and it could potentially decide which side ends up returning to the Premier League and which misses out. The two big city clubs are longing for a return to the top-flight after such lengthy spells outside it. Leeds last found themselves in the upper echelons of English football in 2004 while the Blades suffered relegation in 2007.

Top Tips

Under 2.5 Goals @ 4/5

Draw @ 12/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Leeds United News: Jansson issues rallying cry

Leeds United fans at Elland Road Stadium
John Seb Barber, flickr

Towering centre back Pontus Jansson took to social media earlier in the week in order to send a message to the Leeds supporters. Calling Saturday’s match the biggest game many of his teammates have ever faced, he encouraged any match-goers to create a never before experienced atmosphere at Elland Road. The 28-year-old’s post highlights just what a massive occasion this is so don’t be surprised if this game ends up with a cup final feel to it.

Clarke back in action

There was great concern when Jack Clarke collapsed while on the bench during the match against Middlesbrough last month. Although tests soon gave him the all clear, his club have been careful not to rush him back into action. Satisfied that the virus has exited his system, the 18-year-old played for the development side that beat Charlton 4-0 earlier in the week. The youngster claimed himself an assist during his 80 minutes on the pitch but also missed a penalty. Having now got some minutes under his belt, a return this weekend is not out of the question.

Sheffield United News: Wilder has no complaints with Madine red

Sheffield United Bramall Lane North Stand

There was barely half an hour on the clock when Gary Madine trudged off the pitch against Brentford on Tuesday night. Referee Tony Harrington took a dim view of the striker’s lunge through the back of Ezri Konsa and immediately brandished a red card. Chris Wilder had a good view of the incident and believed it was the right call, even if it was one difficult for him to stomach. As a result of the red, United’s on-loan striker will now miss this weekend’s clash as well as fixtures with Bristol City and Preston after the international break.

Analysis: Bielsa can avoid burnout

Marcelo Bielsa has a reputation for starting a season strongly before his physically demanding approach eventually see things collapse. While it has happened to his teams in the past, his Leeds players have been showing little signs of fatigue of late. They are the third highest scorers for goals in the last 15 minutes and have suffered few injury issues you can link to over-exertion. Not looking like crumbling just yet, Leeds will work as tirelessly as ever here.

Visitors backline near-impenetrable

Despite being reduced to 10 men after just 35 minutes against Brentford, Sheffield United not only protected their lead but were able to extend it. Against the odds the Blades expertly kept their opponents at bay as they registered a sixth consecutive clean sheet. This stunning defensive record is one that puts them in good stead ahead of this testing away fixture. Leeds may have netted eight goals in their last three matches but they’ll need something special to unlock the door against a stubborn five man defence. Goals are looking improbable as a result in this match with under 2.5 goals well priced at 4/5.

Blades to be drawn

Wilder and his men have faced a tough run of away fixtures that has seen them face Norwich, Aston Villa, West Brom and local rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Three of the four matches have ended up all square with the other being a slender win. Clearly the Blades are able to perform decently in the big matches and it’s for this reason why you can’t back them to lose here. Leeds are in a fine patch of form themselves though, winning five of their last six matches and showing few signs of cracking under the pressure. There was hardly anything to separate them when they last met so opt for a draw (12/5) for this one.

Both sides with too much to lose

While Jansson has called upon the crowd to roar his teammates on this weekend, many of the Leeds faithful may find themselves too busy biting their nails. A win for their side here would put them a huge step closer to a Premier League return but defeat would make the play-offs seem far more likely. The last time Leeds faced a game of such magnitude they ended up losing at home 3-1 to Norwich so Bielsa will play more cautiously this time. His Sheffield counterpart took no risks when at Hillsborough earlier in the month so don’t be surprised if the visitors are involved in another goalless (17/2) away game.

Recent Matches

Leeds have only won two of their last 12 clashes with Sheffield United but they did come out on top the last time the two clubs met.

1st December 2018: Sheffield United 0 – 1 Leeds United

Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson apologised to the fans after his howler gifted Leeds a late winner. The man with the gloves rushed out to stop the ball going out for a corner but while doing so, handed possession to Jack Clarke who set up Pablo Hernandez for a tap in. Conor Washington almost spared his keeper’s blushes but his overhead kick following a corner rebounded off the crossbar and away from danger.

10th February 2018: Sheffield United 2 – 1 Leeds United

In the last match between the pair, Sharp scored twice in a 2-1 victory for Sheff Utd at Bramall Lane back in February. Sharp opened the scoring after only two minutes, with Pierre-Michel Lasogga levelling just two minutes after half time. Sharp had the last laugh, though, scoring from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute to give the Blades a 2-1 win.

27th October 2017: Leeds United 1 – 2 Sheffield United

The reverse match at Elland Road a few months earlier also ended in a 2-1 triumph for Sheff Utd. Sharp was on the scoresheet in this one too, scoring after just two minutes. Kalvin Phillips equalised in the first half, but David Brooks put the Blades back in front with 10 minutes left on the clock.

19th March 2011: Sheffield United 2 – 0 Leeds United

In the 2010/11 Championship campaign, Sheff Utd eased to a 2-0 win over Leeds at Bramall Lane. A 55th minute own goal and a Bjorn Helge Riise strike proved to be enough, with Billy Paynter sent off for the visitors at the end. Meanwhile, Leeds came out on top in the reverse fixture at Elland Road that season, with Bradley Johnson scoring the only goal of an ill-tempered affair.

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