Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday Betting Tips & Predictions – Friday 9th November 2018

The Steel City showdown should be marked on the calendar of every football fan. Sheffield’s two big sides are the most bitter of rivals with absolutely no love lost between them. Passions between both sets of fans are always sky high for this derby match and often this is something that can boil onto the pitch. Fierce and unforgiving, this is not a game for the feint-hearted.

Friday night’s derby perhaps has more importance than it would usually for Sheffield United given their league position. The Blades would re-take top spot form Leeds with a win or draw, if only for a few hours. The stakes are less high for Wednesday but they will be relishing the thought of hurting their rivals’ automatic promotion push.

Top Tips

Draw @ 3/1

Both teams to score @ evens

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

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Sheffield United News: Duffy set for comeback

John Street Stand at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane
Hawksworthm, Wikimedia Commons

Mark Duffy may have been signed on a free transfer but for many Blades fans he’s now their most valuable player. The talented number 10 fits in perfectly to Chris Wilder’s preferred 3-4-1-2 formation, providing excellent support to the likes of Leon Clarke and Billy Sharp. A hip problem has kept him out the Blades’ last two matches but he’s all set to make his return on Friday. The creative presence of the 33-year-old was missed during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest so expect the home side to perform better with him on the pitch.

Sharp nominated for player of the month

A fine month for Billy Sharp saw him jump to second in the Championship goal scoring charts, one behind Brentford’s Neal Maupay. The 32-year-old striker began October with a brace at Blackburn and later secured his first hat-trick in 10 years against Wigan. Although more than just a goalscorer, Sharp will be pleased to be back on the scoring path given his barren patch at the end of last season. There’s only space for two strikers in the Blades line-up due to the returning Duffy but it’s hard to see David McGoldrick getting the nod over the player of the month nominee.

Sheff Weds News: Daunting prospect faces under-pressure Luhukay

Sheffield Wednesday Match at Hillsborough

Once strong promotion contenders, Wednesday have suffered a significant decline during the past couple of seasons. Currently they find themselves slumped back in 17th place, making any hopes of clinching a play-off place appear slim. For a team with the resources and following of the Owls, such low standing is not good enough. To make matters worse for Jos Luhukay, his side were humbled 4-0 at to Norwich last weekend, a game greeted by boos from the home fans. Coming into the Sheffield derby after such a terrible result is not going to provide much confidence for Luhukay, who may be sacked if responsible for another sour performance.

Craig Dawson still without a clean sheet

After letting in four goals against Norwich, Craig Dawson has now conceded more goals than any other keeper in the Championship. During the match Owls fans chanted the name of back-up keeper Kieran Westwood, former number one for the Yorkshire club. Wednesday goalkeeping coach Nicky Weaver has been quick to defend Dawson however, stating that few of the goals conceded can be attributed to his mistakes. He believes the academy graduate has done well despite his failure to keep a single clean sheet. In such a big game, Jos Luhukay has a big decision to make: keep faith in the youngster or demote him to the bench.

Analysis: Potential make or break match

Sheffield Wednesday need to kick-start their season before they end up stuck in the boggy mire of mid-table. Midfielder Barry Bannan said that his side’s recent 4-0 hammering at the hands of Norwich would be forgotten about with victory on Friday, handing them a bit of a clean slate. Sheffield United on the other hand could do with a big game win after failing to beat fellow promotion rivals Nottingham Forest and Leeds recently. Chris Wilder has since asked his men to prove they are not an average team and their response on Friday will be telling.

Ignore the form guide

Derbies often produce unexpected results that buck the current form trends so don’t expect United to be in for an easy ride. They’ve not done well out of recent tense affairs and Jos Luhukay will be looking to replicate what Nottingham Forest did last weekend. The Blades are at their best when allowed to play their slick football but a combative Wednesday outfit can turn the match into a more stop-start affair. Last weekend’s loss to Norwich should provoke some much-needed changes in the Owls line-up and tactics and this could be enough to inspire them to a draw (3/1).

Owls must wait for first clean sheet

A scrappy game would suit Wednesday here as when it comes to playing football, United are the superior outfit. Attempts to stifle the home side in their attacking play may work to an extent but it’s hard to see the Blades being completely shutout. Jos Luhukay’s men have not kept a single league clean sheet all season and they’ve faced sides much worse than their rivals in this time. If the visiting team can claim a draw in this match it’s hard to see it being a goalless one so back both teams to find the net (1/1).

Recent Matches

Last season’s meeting between the two clubs could hardly have been any different. One a cagey affair with more red cards than goals and the other a six-goal thriller. The overall record in the Steel City derby now sees United on 46 victories, just four ahead of their bitter rivals after 129 clashes.

12th January 2018: Sheffield United 0 – 0 Sheffield Wednesday

New Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay was rather thrown into the deep-end on his debut, handed an away fixture against strong play-off contenders Sheffield United. The Dutchman was delighted to end up with a point given the tough nature of the game and it was a point they fully deserved. A red card shown to Glen Loovens 26 minutes from time did put the visitors on the back foot late on but keeper Joe Wildsmith remained largely untroubled.

24th Sept 2017: Sheffield Wednesday 2 – 4 Sheffield United

A noisy Wednesday crowd were quickly silenced at Hillsborough as their rivals stormed to a 2-0 lead after just 15 minutes. The Owls battled hard to get back into the game however and did so thanks to goals from Garry Cooper and substitute Lucas Joao. The lead lasted all of two minutes as the Blades regained their two-goal advantage through Mark Duffy and former Owl Leon Clarke who grabbed his second of the match.

26th Feb 2012: Sheffield Wednesday 1 – 0 Sheffield United

The formbook suggested the Blades would win this Steel City derby but fellow promotion hopefuls Wednesday managed to end a run of four consecutive defeats in timely fashion. The three points were not enough to spare Gary Megson though, with the veteran manager sacked just three days later, Dave Jones his successor. The decision was vilified by the end of the campaign as the Owls secured automatic promotion at the expense of their local rivals who wound up three points behind.

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