After the Merseyside derby on March 3rd, we will focus on the 2nd tier of English football, the Championship league, where we will witness yet another passionate and one of the most competitive describes between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United, also known as the “Steel derby”.
Sheffield Wednesday are currently sitting at 14th place in the Championship with a 12-11-11 record and 47 points. Despite now having an admirable record this season, Sheffield Wed are coming into their next match hot, with 2 consecutive wins behind them in addition to a run of 6 consecutive matches without a defeat. Looking at the most recent 2 matches, Steven Fletcher’s men managed to defeat Swansea (3:1) and Brentford (2:0), which is a great achievement for this side, who have not won 2 league matches in a row since the end of December. With 2 consecutive wins behind them, Sheffield Wed managed to grab onto the chance of them appearing in the playoffs. With 6 points in the last 2 matches, Sheffield Wed now has 47 points, which puts them 7 points behind the 6th places Bristol City. Still, there is a long way to go for this team, who need to extend their streak of wins if they wish to turn the opportunity of them appearing in the playoffs into a reality. Looking at the match against Brentford, all of the credit for Sheffield Wed 2:0 win was due to an impressive performance from their goalkeeper, and midfield who stopped all of the Brentford attempts to score a goal. In fact, it was a good all-around effort from the team, who are now getting ready to face off their arch-rivals, who they have not defeated since 2012.
As it stands now, Sheffield United are holding a 19-7-8 record and are on 3 games winning streak, which put them at a respectable 3rd place in the league, only 3 points behind 2nd placed Leeds. As it seems Sheffield United decided to go straight for promotion this season, and from what we have seen from them, this is highly likely to happen. Last time out, they defeated West Brom in a match that only saw one goal being scored early in the first half. Nonetheless, it was enough for Sheffield United 3rd win in a row and 7th in the last 10 league games. In the match prior to their much-needed win against West Brom, Sheffield United kept Reading scoreless, while scoring 4 goals of their own against a team that is just barely above the relegation zone.
Both teams have been fairly effective in the offensive end in the recent matches. Sheffield United has racked up 11 goals in the last 5, while Sheffield Wednesday managed to produce 4 less in the same amount of games. On the other side, the two sides are the most effective teams in the span of the last 5 games when it comes to defending their goals. Both conceded only 3 goals in the last 5 games played, additionally only 6 in the last 10 for United and 8 in the last 10 matches for Wednesday. The next match will be an important one for Sheffield United to win if they wish to catch up to Leeds in a race for direct promotion. On the other side, Sheffield Wednesday has the same plan in mind, as they as well wish to climb up the ladder into the top 6. With a potent attack on both sides and high expectations to come out of the derby as a winner, we might think this one will be a high scoring match, however as historic trends suggest, this match rarely ends in a lot of goals. The last two Steel derbies ended scoreless, and I do not expect the score to be much different this time out. While United are considered a favourite to win this one, I can not imagine this derby seeing more than 2 goals.
Prediction: Under 2.50 goals
Odds: 1.72 Matchbook