Sheffield Wednesday vs Leeds United: Preview and Prediction

Leeds United will aim to keep the pressure on Leicester City and Ipswich Town when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Friday.

We are into the final ten rounds of fixtures in the 2023/24 EFL Championship season, with Matchday 37 getting underway on Friday. The opening game will see Sheffield Wednesday hosting Leeds United at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday would have hoped for a mid-table finish after returning to the EFL Championship. But they have been one of the worst teams in the second division and sit in the 23rd spot. While finishing rock-bottom is seemingly unlikely, the Owls are in contention to evade relegation, with 16th-placed Plymouth Argyle only two points ahead.

As for Leeds United, they have overcome a slow start to the 2023/24 campaign by turning things around spectacularly in the last few months. The Whites are the most in-form team in the EFL Championship in 2024, dropping points only once, that too when they played out a draw. So, Daniel Farke is overseeing a late onslaught on Leicester City for the title.

The reverse fixture ended in a goalless stalemate, with Leeds United having more possession but Leeds United producing more shots on target. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Sheffield Wednesday

Danny Rohl has a new roster issue hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Leeds United on Friday, the Sheffield Wednesday manager will be bereft of the services of five first-team players.

The latest absentee is Ian Poveda, who cannot play against his parent club. The 24-year-old has joined Kristian Pedersen (leg), Josh Windass (muscle injury), Juan Delgado (hip), and Callum Paterson (concussion) on the sidelines.

Sheffield Wednesday will line up in a 5-4-1 formation against Leeds United, with James Beadle taking his place in the goal. The backline will look to remain compact, with the full-backs supporting the central defenders. The defensive quintet should be Pol Valentin, Dominic Iorfa, Michael Ihiekwe, Di’Shon Bernard, and Marvin Johnson.

As for the midfield unit, Will Vaulks and Barry Bannan will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park. The duo will aim to neutralise the threat of Crysensio Summerville and Georginio Rutter. Ike Ugbo should spearhead the home side’s attack on Friday, with Anthony Musaba and Djeldi Gassama being the wide attackers.

Probable Lineup (5-4-1): Beadle; Valentin, Iorfa, Ihiekwe, Bernard, Johnson; Musaba, Vaulks, Bannan, Gassama; Ugbo

Leeds United

Unlike his counterpart in the Sheffield Wednesday dugout, Daniel Farke does not have any new concerns to deal with ahead of the trip to Hillsborough. The Leeds United manager will be without two first-team players on Friday, with Pascal Struijk (groin) and Stuart Dallas (hip) still on the sidelines.

Illan Meslier will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Leeds United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Sheffield Wednesday. The backline should consist of Connor Roberts, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon, and Sam Byram.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Ilia Gruev and Glen Kamara in the double pivot. The duo will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park, with Kamara providing the forward thrust.

Patrick Bamford will lead the line for Leeds United against Sheffield Wednesday, with Georginio Rutter playing behind him. Finally, Daniel James and Crysensio Summerville will join the duo in the away side’s attack, with the latter bringing the x-factor.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meslier; Roberts, Ampadu, Rodon, Byram; Gruev, Kamara; James, Rutter, Summerville; Bamford

Key Stats

  • Sheffield Wednesday have lost just one of their last seven league games against Leeds United (W3 D3), keeping a clean sheet in the most recent three meetings.
  • Leeds United have won just one of their last five away league games against Sheffield Wednesday (D2 L2).
  • Sheffield Wednesday have lost two of their three home league Friday games this season. But they won the most recent fixture, beating Birmingham City 2-0 last month.
  • Leeds United are unbeaten in their five league away games thus far in 2024 (W4 D1). They last began a calendar year with a longer unbeaten streak on the road in 2001 in the Premier League (nine unbeaten).
  • Leeds United have not faced a defeat in their last 12 Yorkshire derbies away from home in the league (W7 D5) since a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in February 2018.

Player to Watch

Crysencio Summerville

Embed from Getty Images

Several Leeds United players attracted interest from the Premier League after suffering relegation from the top flight. But many hung around, with or without their wish. That has benefited the Whites, with a few of them becoming pivotal figures this term, one of those being Crysensio Summerville.

The 22-year-old has been among the most productive players in the EFL Championship this term. His exploits have piqued the interest of many bigwigs, including Chelsea. But Summerville remains focused on the job at hand in the Championship and will look to continue his fine run against Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls might be tricky opponents, and the Dutchman needs to be at his best to deliver the three points.


Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Leeds United

Friday’s matchday-opening fixture should produce an evenly contested affair between Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United. The Owls have been resurgent in the last few weeks, winning five of their most recent six games. But they meet a team in an even better run of form.

Leeds United are unbeaten in the EFL Championship in 2024, dropping points only once in 11 games. But their most recent away match ended in a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield Town. A similar clash might be on the cards, but the Whites should hold their nerve to eke out a narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

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