It’s less than four months since the first Steel City derby of the season, which produced a dramatic game and a shock 4-2 Blades win. Another win for the red and white half of Sheffield would be less surprising this time around though, with Chris Wilder’s side having established themselves as the only team in these parts likely to be challenging the play-offs this term.
They have lost their way slightly of late and with new Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay taking charge of his first game, this promises to be another intriguing contest. You have to wonder whether the slightly eccentric Dutchman knows quite what he’s letting himself in for, as he prepares an inconsistent Wednesday side for what is sure to be a hostile Bramall Lane welcome.
Luhukay is perhaps a new name to many in England but he does have extensive experience of coaching at the top level in Germany so it will be interesting to see how he goes. With 13 points currently separating the Owls and the top six, the remainder of the campaign is likely to be about assessing his squad as much as anything, with a promotion push now highly unlikely.
Owls fans will be hoping he brings a more attack-minded approach than his predecessor and there can be no doubt that Wednesday do possess some dangerous attacking players at this level but they need to show it on a more consistent basis.
Sheffield United have netted 10 more goals than their city rivals this term. They’ve been particularly strong at home, scoring 1.77 goals per game in front of their own fans, with Leon Clarke their surprise hero. His goal at Derby on New Year’s Day was his 15th of the season, the most recorded by a Championship player this term and backing Clarke to score anytime could be worth a punt here, with the veteran forward having bagged a brace at Hillsborough in the first derby clash of the campaign.
There’s reason to think there will be goals at both ends again here though. Sheffield United have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 14 Championship games so that ought to offer the visitors plenty of encouragement. 58% of Owls games this term have seen goals at each end too and there looks to be value in backing Both Teams to Score, in what is sure to be another lively Steel City derby as the Owls seek revenge for their derby loss earlier in the season.